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CJN: What Will Happen If Buhari Rejects Onnoghen’s Resignation – Clarke |RN

Walter-Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari, Justice Walter Onnoghen

 

By Fikayo Olowolagba

 

Chief Robert Clarke, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), has warned President Muhammadu Buhari against rejecting resignation of suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen.

DAILY POST recalls that the lawyer to the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria(CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), disclosed that his client took the decision in the interest of the judiciary.

Speaking on the development, Clarke on Channels Tv on Sunday blamed Onnoghen for his present predicament, adding that a petition by the EFCC should have warranted Onnoghen’s resignation since February.

He further noted that President Muhammadu Buhari’s Government should be given credit for taking the head of the judiciary to a tribunal but warned that a rejection of Onnoghen’s resignation will ‘create heat wave in Nigeria politics’.

Clarke said, “The government has knowledge of many things which you and I don’t have, so if the government decided to go and take the head of the judiciary to a tribunal, give them credit that they know what they were doing.

“What has created the situation that he (the CJN) has found himself today is the petition written by EFCC. That petition, he had a copy of it in February

“As at February, the CJN was aware of those charges labeled against him, at that stage when he got the EFCC’s petition, he should have resigned.

“The politicizing of the situation stopped Onnoghen from doing the needful at the time.

“Let me be honest with you, we should not allow the politics or the political climate to be overheated. I will advise Buhari as President of Nigeria to accept the resignation because if he does not do so, he is creating another heatwave in the politics of the country.”       (Daily Post)

 

 

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South Should Forget 2023 Presidency, Zoning Is Dead – Junaid Mohammed |RN

CONTROVERSIAL Second Republic member of House of Representatives, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, has said that the North will present a candidate for 2023 presidential election, as zoning and rotation of power have collapsed, and as such any region with the political strength can claim the coveted position.

In an interview with VINCENT KALU, Mohammed asked the Southeast to forget 2023, accusing Ohanaeze of collecting millions of naira to support Atiku Abubakar’s presidential election.

Are you satisfied with the conduct of the last general elections?

I thought I would be satisfied after the first election, but later it came to my notice and when I started getting phone calls on the reactions to the elections, within and outside the country, including people who were international observers, I became very disappointed.

When the second round of elections came, all hell broke loose; during these governorship and state House of Assembly elections, what happened was a complete mayhem; no laws, no order and the people who were responsible for maintaining law and order were in the forefront on mangling the election, and upturning peoples mandate.

So, I’m not satisfied and I can never be satisfied.

The problem with this kind of recklessness on the part of people who are supposed to be umpires and administrators is that they rubbish the name of democracy itself; they rubbish the rule of law and more or less, they turn the whole essence of mandate and legitimacy of mandate upside down.

This is very unfortunate because without a government whose mandate and whole legitimacy is accepted by the people, there can never be law and order. Then, there is a beginning of a cause you don’t know where and when it will end.

When the poverty in the Northeast was grinding, we were complaining that there was massive poverty in the region that we better did something about it, but nobody in government paid any serious attention. When the Boko Haram started in 2009, we know what has since then been happening in that part of the country.

From the Northeast, that mayhem, that illegitimacy that re- fused to accept the legitimacy of the government moved on to the North Central and they are currently in the Northwest, where banditry has been legitimised; anybody can go into the bush and calls himself name, and decides to attack whoever he chooses to attack. People in government have been attacked and some of them have been abducted.

This problem of abduction of people has been in the South- South and Southeast for a long time but the government didn’t do its duty. The primary responsibility of government is the maintenance of law and order; law and order became out of reach for those in government either because they didn’t care or they didn’t know what to do. This is the situation until this morning.

Atiku has gone to court to challenge the election; some people say that he is overheating the already heated polity. What do you say to this?

I don’t know whether Atiku means to overheat the polity, but the fact remains whether he means it or not, the net result of what he is doing is to overheat the polity, and that is unfortunate.

Any patriotic Nigerian will know that when the polity is overheated the way it is being done now, at the end of the day there will be violence; there will be massive movement of people from where they are legitimately working and earning their living to their hometowns.

After decades of independence, we ought to be beyond this kind of ramshackle government, where if you ignite a match, people will start scrambling to go back to their homes.

People used to go to their homes to vote during elections, but this time it was a big progress as people stayed where they live to vote.

I’m about 70, and when I was growing up, election was like a mad house or a psychiatric home. Once election was approaching everybody was going to railway station to but ticket to travel to their homes, but this time around, people stayed be- hind to vote. This is a big progress and I hope it will continue. Why will I leave Kano to Port Harcourt to vote, it doesn’t make sense.

The main issue behind Atiku’s complaint is that he knew that he lost the election, whatever he says or whatever the people who work for him say. The statement he issues or by Secondus and other people who work with him is that they are now accusing and abusing not just those who are in APC (I’m not in APC and I will never be in APC), but also others who have nothing to do with the election. That to me shows that they are very primitive and immature politicians. You don’t have to abuse me if you want me to vote for you.

Sadly, Atiku has been the mastermind of the rigging of elections in this country from 1999, when he and Obasanjo were with the ticket. If you did that kind of thing, you will not be surprised even if you want to believe what you want to believe, you cannot be surprised if people have mastered what you taught them. Many of the APC members decamped from the PDP. We grew up with some of them, we worked with some of them; we married into their families and they married into our families, so it is not something new. We all know the rig- gers; Atiku is the principal rigger. So, he has no moral basis to complain of being rigged out.

He even went beyond the moral norm by hacking into the servers of INEC, and publishing documents, but to mark him up, INEC went and put the real figures for everybody to see. This is very unfortunate for those who claim to be statesmen. You have to know that the most important thing for you and your party is the survival of the country because the connection I have with Atiku is that he is a Nigerian and I’m a Nigerian. If there is no Nigeria where would he go, which president will he be?

I believe he has the constitutional right to go to court, but the way and manner he is doing it is destructive and he is lying through his teeth; the same thing with Secondus and some of the hired hands, hacks who write statements for them. Some of the people who issue the statements don’t even know Nigeria.

You stay in your village, and after school you come to Lagos and then to Abuja, and you start abusing people left, right and centre. These are the kind of people who are causing a lot of problem; there must be peace before you have governance.

Do you see Buhari’s second term differ- ent from the first?

No. I don’t.

Why?

On the record, I read where he said that this time around, his government will be an all in- clusive one. That to me is very fundamental because when I started speaking in 2015 about the manner he put together his government, all these boys in the presidency and others who go about collecting money from ministers and others, started attacking me, issuing statements whether I know what governance was all about.

Many of them don’t even know the his- tory and the genesis of what they were talking about. When I raised the issue of Amina Zakari they kept quiet; when I raised other issues, they kept quiet.

After three years, on the issue of Amina Zakari, they came out to own the statement, they now say that Buhari and Zakari were only related by marriage. If you go and marry somebody’s relation are you not related? His statement is a confirmation that he knows that his government is nepotistic, comprising his relations, in-laws etc.

To make matters worse, every of these appointments, not only that it was not done on merit, but it was given to the least competent person, and where their incompetence became glaring, nothing happened to them.

The statement he made to me is that he accepted that the way and manner he went about making personnel changes in personnel choices was wrong, and in the end it is the country that suffers it. When you make an appointment without merit, you are unfaithful.

He also said that this time around he is go- ing to be tough and he is going to put people where they belong, so that they can do good job, etc. This is an admission that the people he has in the last four years have not done a good job and to make matter worse, he has lacked the courage to sack them. If you have the pow- er to hire somebody, by implication, you also have the power to fire him. If you give a man a job, and he cannot do it, ask him to go because it is a political appointment, there is no capital punishment.

You cannot give a man who clearly is not capable, no matter the issue – or is it because of nepotism, or it’s because he is your friend, or your in-law, or your friend, nephew or niece.

PMB’s handlers say you were so criti- cal of the president because you were frus- trated that he didn’t give you any appoint- ment. True or false?

We have been friends since 1967, at the outbreak of the civil war, before I travelled to Soviet Union for further education, and there was never a time I asked him for any favour, and I want you to quote me directly, and let him tell if I have ever asked him for any favour, or for any member of my family or friend or relation.

Secondly, the military government came and threw us out of power; but one of my closest friends among the military and among people generally was General Babangida. When I started speaking the way I started, it was public, Babangida came out openly to say that I had never asked him for any ministerial appointment, or any other appointment, that I was his friend and still remain his friend in spite of our differences. As I’m talking to you now, yesterday (Monday), I was with him in Minna over break fast. If he had not been honourable enough to deny that that I never asked him for appointment, then their analysis would have continued.

Therefore, this time around when I started with Buhari, another friend, people, especially from the South kept talking, not knowing the relationship between Buhari and I. Well, they can say what they want to say. If I want an ap- pointment, I believe I’m qualified as any other Nigerian living or dead.

Secondly, I will never be a member of any party that Buhari is involved with, be it ANPP, CPC and APC.

Many people had asked me to join any of the parties where Buhari is; I told them that I would never share the same party with him. I told them that Buhari is not a politician. I’m not a member and would never be a member of APC.

If you are not a member of a party what makes anybody think that after he won the election that I should go round and say give me an appointment. I’m not that kind of per- son. I don’t believe that even those who are shameless can go and ask a leader of a party to give them appointment when they are not members of the party in the face of thousands of party members who have not been given anything.

I’m not a member of his party and I have never attended a single political event organ- ised by him from 2002 when he joined APP until today.

He cannot deny me. Off the cuff, I can tell you ten favours I did to him and I challenge him to tell me one favour he has done to me.

Babangida’s security chief, Gusau jailed me; I was detained in Owo, Ondo State for over three months. One can say that Babangida who was the head of the government detained me, it doesn’t matter. However, I survived and I have maintained my integrity and I have been able to talk to anybody; to talk to those in power. They say I’m looking for ap- pointment, what appointment?

Let me tell you, if I were in the dream and I decide to have an appointment, I will not take it from Buhari.

Those who are saying that I was looking for something from him don’t know me. He, Buhari knows how useful I am to him. I took him to the United States twice – CIA, State Department, Capitol, Congress, National Security Office, etc, and I took him to UK once, and he didn’t beg me to do it.

I know in a country like Nigeria, it is difficult to trust people who say they were doing this thing not because they were expecting any benefit but because of the sake of the country.

It is very unusual to hear of a Nigerian who talks of Nigerians hating Nigeria; everybody is after something, but there are few people in this country of over 200 million, who still believe in this country, and can come out to claim their faith in this country.

An Arewa youth leader, Shettima Yeri- ma, in a recent interview, said that Buhari wasn’t the candidate of the North for the 2019 election, and that by 2023, the North will present its own candidate. How will you reconcile this when people are saying for the sake of equity and justice, power should go to South?

Shettima is my friend, even though I didn’t read the statement, but let me state my view. This idea of zoning and rotation has been a tragedy for Nigeria because it can deprive Ni- geria of getting a better leader. That being the case, whosoever wants to claim it, let him go.

Look at what the Afenifere said that next time it would be a Yoruba person. Their under- standing of rotation is between the North and the Southwest, or Northwest and the South- west. That cannot be.

Now the contradiction, which they invented about zoning and rotation, has now collapsed, and now they are looking for lies to tell to deceive us.

Otherwise, how can you say that we now have a president who is from the Northwest and his deputy, who is from Southwest, and hat next time it will be the turn of the South- west to produce the president of this country. What are we talking about?

I don’t want to hear about this equity and justice, that is sheer nonsense.

The people, who abused this equity and justice, are the people from the Southeast because whatever we are talking about, in a democracy you cannot circumvent voting figures.

You can say it is time for my people. We will not vote for you and let’s see what hap- pens. I said it in one of my statements, look at the way the people of the Southeast voted during the last election; they have a humongous collection of votes and they all voted for Atiku, and they expect somebody to come from his own area to vote for them.

If you want other Nigerians to vote for you, you better look for other Nigerians and make a choice. Maybe, in 2023, Kanu will come and force all Nigerians to vote for them. Democra- cy is a question of give and take; you vote for me and I vote for you, that was what Michael Okpara used to say. You don’t vote for me and maybe you think that by abusing me on the pages of newspapers that I will vote for you. I will not. If I come back into active politics, it will be because of that. Let us see, for abusing people how they will vote for you.

Look at Ohanaeze, how they are duping people; they collected millions from Atiku. Let us see 2023, by the grace of God, which candidate they want to produce.

There are over 232 ethnic groups in Nigeria, how can anybody be a candidate of a group and expect to be voted by the others. You pressmen you have a responsibility to enlighten people. I want to see how they will pick the candidate from Southeast in 2023.

Some of us traditionally, we don’t talk too much, but don’t imagine that we will keep quiet and do your own bidding, it will not happen. See what is happening now, we have started the second term of Buhari’s administration, but today, people are scrambling for 2023, and the Yoruba are saying that it is their turn. How it’s their turn, I don’t know.

We keep on making this mistake of agitation of, ‘it is our turn’ over and over again. Af- ter all, somebody says the classical definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.

This is what I see happening in Southeast; you don’t vote for anybody, you only vote for who gives money, also those who say they are in APGA; all those who belong to the Igbo faction of PDP. They should think back and think of their own generation of those who are promising and who are educated and who don’t see politics as trading. Politics is not trading; it is a serious matter.

Both Buhari and Atiku are from the North, was it wrong if Southeast or South- west supported one of them?

It doesn’t matter, but what matters is that there was a candidate who can run the coun- try; is he acceptable to the rest of Nigeria or rather than just an ethnic group?

If you check the figures from the election of 2003 until 2015, Buhari has never won his home state of Katsina. You can see that the fact that he came from Katsina was neither here nor there. His own people couldn’t vote for him in three elections.

But what happens in Southeast is that you have people who enforce their Igbo hegemony on other people by violence, and if the election doesn’t go their own way they go and produce Kanu and IPOB.

I remember former President Jonathan be- ing persuaded by the Yoruba that the Sovereign National Conference was going to be by ethnic groups, I pointed out to them and I remember that Murtala Nyako also pointed it directly to Jonathan that if you do that it won’t work. Like in Taraba, there are 72 ethnic groups and in Adamawa, there are also 82 ethnic groups, while Yoruba has only one ethnic group, and all of them speak one language and one culture. How do you equate their representation at the Sovereign National Conference with that of 82 from Adamawa and 72 from Taraba?

You can see people talk rubbish; they don’t know what they are talking about because they don’t know themselves. Will they accept it if you say that all the Hausa should bring the same number of people with the Yoruba because they are each ethnic group, but there are other minor ethnic groups in the North. So, let’s see what happens.

How do you want the composition of the leadership of the 9th National Assembly?

Frankly speaking, I have nothing but contempt for the entire eighth National Assembly, and the way I see them now, everybody is agitating that it must not be this man; it must be him. They are all positioning themselves for positions of principal officers of the NASS. The Ninth Senate will be business as usual, they will move round, and collect money from the budget and all sorts of criminal things.

It has now become a pattern, anytime they are clearing budget, the ministry, agency or department must bring money, which must be shared.   (The Sun)

 

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It’s Not Compulsory North Must Return Power To South In 2023 – Babachir Lawal Ex-SGF

THE immediate past Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir David Lawal, has given a graphic picture of how the Governor of Adamawa State, Jibrilla Bindow, betrayed President Muhammadu Buhari which led to the poor performance of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state during the presidential and governorship elections.

Lawal said Bindow, right from the onset, pitched tent with the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Al- haji Atiku Abubakar, who Bindow believed, sponsored his governorship in 2015.

Lawal said: “Part of what led to this out- come was a historical position that the government of Bindow had on several occasions publicly declared that their government was a government of Atiku. It is on record that in so many fora, his supporters, his henchmen had said it in his presence and he didn’t take any step to deny it.”

Lawal also dwelt on the 2023 presidency, saying that the constitution did not say that power must leave the North in 2023, even as he said every part of the country was qualified to produce a president for the country. Among other issues, Lawal opened up on the issue of marginalization by the Igbo under President Buhari in the sharing of National Assembly leadership positions, declaring that the agitation by the Igbo is genuine, but the basis defective. He spoke more on these and others in this interview with AID- OGHIE PAULINUS in Abuja.

What went wrong that the APC didn’t win the presidential and governorship election in Adamawa State despite big names like you, General Buba Marwa (retd), wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, Mr Boss Mustapha, Governor Bindow, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu and others?

I don’t know. We tried our best. Big names don’t mean big votes. We went into this election as a divided party in the state. It has been so for almost two years and you would recall that most of the so-called big names you mentioned had protested the way and manner the party was being run.

By who?

By the governor who hijacked the party structure and his loyalists and which we said was being run wrongly. And we had protested this over and over. I led several delegations to the national party chairman with some of these members you just said in the group, to complain about the manner the congresses were being organised. So, we were doing this being mindful of the fact that the presidential candidate of the PDP is an indigene of Adamawa State; a man who at one time won the governorship election of the state before he migrated to become the vice president of the country. This is by no means a small position, and obviously, would have some supporters in the state. And he will be, maybe not desperate, but he will deploy enormous resources to see that at least, he wins his state. This is the norm in every country where politics like ours is being played. So, it is not therefore surprising that the president didn’t win, but he didn’t lose either because the margin was very small and it is thanks to the combined efforts of these people you have mentioned that we were able to reduce the margin to what people call almost insignificant level.

Who do you blame for this defeat? The national chairman or…?

The national chairman doesn’t vote in Adamawa State.

 

Because you said that you led several delegations and nothing was done…

It is not a matter of blame. In the end, it is the decision of the voter as to how to cast his own vote. And obviously, if a party goes into an election factionalised, the message to the voter will not be unitary and therefore, probably, even demoralising to the rank and file of the party. So, the zeal to mobilise the voters to vote might not be that much. It is not about blame. It is about the voter in Adamawa State deciding to vote where his heart is.

On the presidential election, do you have evidence to say that Governor Bin- dow worked for Atiku rather than President Buhari?

Part of what led to this outcome was a historical position that the government of Bindow had on several occasions publicly declared that their government was a government of Atiku. It is on record that in so many fora, his supporters, his henchmen had said it in his presence and he didn’t take any step to deny it. I remember at one of their road launching somewhere in Adamawa State, the then-led Chief of Staff, made a long speech in which he insisted that Adamawa State Government was for Atiku. Now, we did also point out the fact that the governor himself had claimed that it was Atiku’s money that facilitated his victory at the polls. He had said that on several occasions. We have also had cause to protest that in Bindow’s government, there were about seven serving com- missioners who were very close to Atiku, including his own daughter. Without regard to their merit as qualified indigenes, but I mean, their political inclinations in normal politics will disqualify them from participating in an APC government. But the governor didn’t think so.

Why didn’t he lean on the Atiku’s backing to win the governorship election?

You see, in a democracy of our type, I

think the person that got this very, very well was the president who admonished the voters to vote for candidates of their choice. In my previous interview with you, I did mention that in 2015, we propagated the principle of APC. That is, from top to bottom, APC, on our understanding that the president would need such a cohesive team to perform. But to our dismay, as the political drama was play- ing out, it was in fact, the APC legislators that were fighting the government to a standstill. So, it didn’t make sense, therefore, to repeat the same principle in which just because somebody is in APC, vote for him whereas as we have seen, they ended up being the most vociferous enemies of the president.

Sir, is that not a kind of anti-party statement?

At 63 years old in a country like Nigeria with about 90 political parties, am not afraid of pitching my tent with any political party. I mean, if as an individual, if by chance or by mistake, somebody gets the APC ticket and decides not to follow the APC manifesto and decides not to do some developmental goals in line with the APC constitution, in line with the APC manifesto, I don’t think it makes sense for my state to continue to be a state of underdevelopment. It is a state of penury, so I can’t continue to support somebody just because he says we are in the same political party. It is not religion. Political party is not religion. Even in religion, people do change faith.

Is there any agreement with Fintiri, maybe he will join APC later?

I don’t know much about Fintiri. I first came into contact with Fintiri when he was Speaker and was working to impeach Governor Nyako, the then APC governor decampee. And I was one of those the party assigned the responsibility of working to frustrate the impeachment. It was at that time I first heard of his name and subsequently, told to frustrate that impeachment process.

But I was not likely to do so. After that of course, he later became acting governor for three months or less than three months. But I am not a state party man.

Can APC ever rise again in Adamawa?

Definitely! Part of the consequences of what has happened is APC trying to rebrand itself in our state. And definitely, we will learn our lessons from what has happened in the last four years. We will rebuild our party, we will reorganise our party with the belief that even those in our party who probably misadvise the governor or probably advised him wrongly whether deliberately or not, would have learned their lesson and will now be able to rebuild a party that am sure definitely, we will reclaim our mandate in 2023. This I am very sure of.

With the struggle for leadership positions in the 9th National Assembly, do you fear that the APC might lose control of the legislature like it did in 2015?

APC didn’t lose the legislature in 2015. Obviously, those who emerged as leaders, except one, were APC members. It was just the candidates themselves that were a dis- appointment to the government. They per- formed in a way that bears that out. Now, I am not a senator, I don’t have votes in the National Assembly. I believe majority of the senators in this 9th Assembly are people that are matured, grandparents, experienced in politics and have learnt their lessons from what happened in 2015. And my expectation is that they will try to avoid those pitfalls and choose leaders that are APC in nature, APC in party, APC in conviction and committed to the manifesto of the party and committed to support the government to succeed, a gov- ernment in which they are a part because the National Assembly is part of the government.

There are concerns that only the National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole and APC National Leader, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, are the two people pulling the strings in the party. Do you agree that the party has been hijacked by powerful forces ahead of 2023?

Truly, if they pull strings, those strings do not include my own tail. I don’t know what strings they are pulling. As I have just told you, as I have learnt from Adamawa State, and which I continue to say, getting the nomination of the party to contest election is a completely different ball game from the general election because the electorates have their own minds and they have their own PVC and it is not a colony owned. It is one man, one PVC and one vote.

There are insinuations that the North may not cede power to the South in 2023. Do you believe this?

I don’t attend any meeting in which a so called north takes decisions. If there is such an organization that takes those decisions, they don’t invite me. For obvious reasons, I am a democrat and I believe every part of Nigeria has qualified candidates for the presidential. Every part of Nigeria! Indeed, I don’t see why the… even if it is in the north, if we say the Northwest has produced a presidential candidate, the Southwest had produced one, I don’t see why the North Central can- not produce or the Northeast cannot produce just as South-South, Southeast, Southwest and even Northwest can still produce. The constitution doesn’t say it is prohibited. And as I said, I believe every zone, every state, has capable people that can run this country effectively.

Do you believe in the principle that deputies should always succeed their principals like Osinbajo succeeding Buhari in 2023?

It is not in the constitution, so it is not a principle. Principle of what? It is not in APC constitution, it is not in the national constitution, it is not in the Bible, I don’t know whether it is in the Koran; I don’t know. So, I don’t see how it became a principle.

From the way you are sounding, you are speaking as if in 2023, there is no hope for the southerners at all?

When I said every area can produce a president, where do you get this conclusion? I just said every part of Nigeria can produce a president, a competent one. I know so many. Being a cosmopolitan man, I know Igbos not less than ten that can successfully run this country; I know Yorubas that can do, I know Ijaws that can do, I know Hausas that can do, I know even Kilba. Hey myself, my friend, I can be president of this country. I consider myself quite competent to do so from a small tribe of 300,000 people. There are so many such tribes that can produce good, competent leaders all over Nigeria.

For the second time, the Southeast is already shouting of marginalization under Buhari in the sharing of National Assembly leadership positions. Do you think their complaint is genuine?

Personal to me, their complaint is genuine, but their basis is defective.

How do you mean Sir?

I keep telling you I am not a member of the National Assembly. But my understand- ing of their rules is that you must be a rank- ing member. That is to say you must have been a member before, and therefore, has knowledge of how the place operates. But if the goodwill is there, somebody must begin somewhere. I mean, if the goodwill is there and the desire to unite the country and make everybody feel a sense of belonging is there, you can bend over backward, modify the rules and even a green horn can take one of the leadership positions. However, be that as it may, it is also true that in a political party contest, those who delivered the votes are en- titled to the perks of the office.

But in this case, the Southeast even has a ranking lawmaker.

The Southeast?

Yes. Dr Orji Uzor Kalu was in the House of Representatives and now going to the Sen- ate. He is a ranking lawmaker.

Yeah. I didn’t know that. He was in the House?

Yes

And he was a governor.

Yes. And he was a governor. Is he not eminently qualified?

He is qualified. Maybe not eminently, but he is qualified. Maybe not eminently, but he is your boss. He is qualified.

Why are you removing the eminently?

Because as I said, the qualification criteria is subjective. If you like, you can say hey, how are you going to give the Senate President to Abia in which the president didn’t get much votes, the people don’t believe in the APC and they believe in a different political party that lost? So, how do you dissuade the worries and the feeling of marginalization by those who overwhelmingly voted for the party? These are the reasons why they voted for the party and they are entitled to the perks of the office, the benefits of the office be- cause they delivered the votes. Without the mandate of the overwhelming votes of those people, we would not have won the election. So, that is why I am saying that on the face of political party system, those who delivered the votes are entitled more to rewards of their votes. Those who delivered few votes are still entitled to, but in principle, the minimum constitutional requirements. But if the good will is there, why not? You can bend over backward and say hey, these are our brothers. You can still give it to them.

Don’t you think by giving the position of Senate President to the Southeast, it will win more followers to the APC?

This type of thing, you know they say I am too troublesome. But you see, the APC has won presidential election. Even in spite of the minimal votes it got from the South-east, it still won. The APC, as it is, you have to go like searching for a needle through a haystack to be able to find one elected per- son from the APC in the Southeast. And there are zones that have hundreds of elected members. So, you want to jump them where you have people and people where you can choose from and go and start…?

Should it be done on that basis?

I don’t think you heard me. I think you have a preconceived mind. You want your boss to be Senate President. I don’t mind, he is my friend. We are not discussing personalities, but if you want us to do… Uzor Kalu is my friend and among all those contesting for this thing, I think he is the closest to me. But I am pointing out the realities to you, the realities of politics. I don’t say ok, let me give you the presidency so that you can vote for

me. Vote for me and then you get what you are looking for. It has always been the case with the Southeast. They go their own way which they are entitled to doing and then they come round and say marginalization in an election in which they marginalised themselves. They marginalised themselves in this election. They went for PDP which lost. No-body forced them to vote PDP. But they lost. So, that is politics. Politics is a game of risk. You lose, you sit down and watch through the window when people are chopping on the dining table. So, they shouldn’t blame anybody on marginalization.

How do you assess the Buhari government on its three point agenda in the last four years and what do you think should be done differently in the second term?

It is an unfair statement because for two years, I was an active member of the government; the Secretary to the Government which people say is the engine room of the government. So, to ask me how we have per- formed is like asking a mother whether her son is smart.

What is next for you politically? Are you looking at the presidency in 2023?

I, B.D. Lawal, joined politics in 2003. I joined politics in the Buhari political structure to contribute my quota and effort towards making Buhari president. In 2003, my goals, my ambitions were not achieved. In 2007, it wasn’t. In 2011, it wasn’t. But in 2015, God gave us what we have always been looking for patiently and doggedly. Now, by the constitution of Nigeria, President Buhari can only be president for two tenures, two terms and by the grace of God, He has made the second tenure possible. Buhari has won the election. So, to that extent, as far as I am concerned, God has been kind to me, He has helped me achieve my ambition in politics.

Are you saying that you are done?

As far as I am concerned, my principal, primary goal of joining politics has been achieved.

 

So, every other thing is addition?

 

Every other thing is a hobby.

 

 

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Onitsha Businessman Arrested Over Wife’s Murder In A Shrine |The Republican News

Arrested-for-crime

File photo: Arrested for crime

Aloysius Attah,Onitsha

TheEnugu State Police Command has arrested an Onitsha based businessman, Mr. Ikechukwu Odoh, for alleged complicity in the murder of his wife, Mrs. Chinenye Odoh, who was shot dead by a gunman in a shrine at Obollo Afor, Udenu Local Government Area, Enugu State.

 Sunday Sun gathered that Ikechukwu and his late wife, Chinenye, had engaged in a protracted family dispute, which warranted their leaving their Onitsha base to the village in Obollo Afor for settlement in a traditional manner. A resident, who spoke on the matter, said the mother of two was taken to a native doctor in the neighbourhood who recommended that the couple should go to a local shrine to settle their marriage issues.

  “Before now, the husband wanted a divorce but Chinenye did not want their marriage dissolved after two kids and that was how the issue of going to the shrine for settlement was arrived at though she didn’t know that danger was lurking around.  

On their arrival at the shrine, a lone gunman hiding within the premises opened fire and shot Chinenye at close range and ran away leaving her in a pool of blood,” the source said. 

  The source further disclosed that the chief priest of the shrine was not aware of the couple’s visit prior to the incident while Ikechukwu was seen making some suspicious phone calls before the attack. Enugu State Police Public Relations Officer, Ebere Amaraizu, who confirmed the incident, said Ikechukwu has been arrested while police have commenced full-scale investigation into the case. A community leader in Obollo Afor, Chief Matthew Agu, called on the law enforcement agents to do everything within their powers to make sure that justice is served.  (The Sun)

 

 

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Osun Gubernatorial Re-run Poll Illegal, Tribunal Declares |The Republican News

AdelekePDPOmisoreSDPandOyetolaAPC
                                          Adeleke and Oyetola and Omisere

Ade Adesomoju, Abuja

 

The Osun State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abuja has declared as illegal the September 27, 2018 supplementary governorship election held in seven polling units as illegal.

The tribunal held that the supplementary election was a product of an illegal cancellation of the results in the seven polling units during the September 22, 2018 main election.

It ruled that the Returning Officer who cancelled the results had no power to do so.

The Peoples Democratic Party and its governorship candidate, Ademola Adeleke, in the election had filed the petition urging the tribunal to declare that Adeleke polled the highest lawful votes and be declared the winner.    (Punch)

 

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BREAKING: Tribunal Declares Ademola Adeleke Of PDP Winner Of Osun Guber Poll |RN

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Racist Chinese Restaurant: Lagos Gov’t Defends As More Victims Speak Up |RN

                                                     Shi Shi Chinese restaurant

 

Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja

 

The Lagos State Government, on Tuesday, cleared the Chinese restaurant accused by some Nigerians of racism, even as yet another Nigerian, who was barred from entering the restaurant, spoke to The PUNCH.

The Lagos State Government’s position, made known via a Press statement issued by the Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Steve Ayorinde, said that findings by its officers sent to “investigate the veracity of the claim” showed that the allegations were false.

“The two officers who went there on Monday did so incognito, and found the allegations to be false.

“The officers were served without any questions or discrimination. They also took photographs without being noticed.

“Our officers also observed that the restaurant had a number of Nigerians working inside there and did similarly observe that pepper soup, a Nigerian delicacy, is also on the menu.

“More importantly, the restaurant has been registered with the Lagos State Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture since 2016, as required by law.”

The ministry which regulates eateries, restaurants, hotels, and other hospitality facilities in Lagos promised to conduct further investigations.

However, findings by our newspaper, which is standing by its report, showed that the restaurant relaxed its obnoxious racist policy after the initial outrage on social media on Sunday.

After our report on Monday, the restaurant threw open its doors to the public.

One of the workers of the company who spoke to our reporter after he was turned back, had admitted that the restaurant took notice of the outrage on social media on Sunday.

A director of the company, Niyi Adegbite, who spoke to our Correspondent on Monday, also refuted the allegations of discrimination but added that the restaurant had two sections: One of the sections is open to the general public, while the other is strictly for Chinese.

According to Adegbite, “The restaurant is divided into two sections. There is one open to the public and there is one called Hot Pot.

“The Hot Pot is where you enter and cook on your own. All the ingredients are made available. But it’s only for Chinese nationals.

“Maybe it’s this one that some people tried entering and were disallowed and is now causing the outcry.”

Joshua Jenom Gidin, who said he was denied entry along with five of his friends last Saturday, said it all seemed like a joke at first when he was told that Blacks would not be let in.

Gidin, who is a journalist with Pulse TV in Lagos, said, “When we got to the gate, we saw some pretty Chinese girls going inside and we even laughed with them.

“When we attempted to go in, they refused to allow us in because we were Black.

“I first thought it was a joke, but when the guards repeated it almost five times, I knew they were serious.

“In order not to cause a scene, we left the place; but I made sure that I scored them low on Google reviews and let the whole world know that they are racists.

“I am sure it was after the negative reviews online and the condemnation on social media that they quickly decided to change their racist policy.”

Obianuju Uba, whose experience was published in one of our earlier reports, found it strange that the government could rush to defend the restaurant.

Uba said, “We know what we witnessed. The government cannot tell us otherwise. Why would I be making spurious allegations against a restaurant?

“If the guards had told us that the restaurant was a members-only establishment, we would have understood and left. But we were told that we would not be allowed in because we are Black. That is truly what happened.

“So, I was confused because I had never experienced such in my life.

“I was shocked that a Nigerian — and not a Chinese — was used as the security guard. The guard even spoke with a Yoruba accent, so I was sure that he was a Nigerian.

“I was pissed off and left, and I walked away while my friends continued to argue with him.”

Blessing Ukeje, a computer programmer who was part of a group that was turned back on Saturday, reiterated that she had visited the restaurant along with four other friends around 8pm on Saturday and that they were turned back because they were Africans.

Ukeje said, “When we were about to enter, a guard asked what we came for and we responded that we were there for Karaoke.

“He told us that they didn’t have a Karaoke bar, but his colleague said they have, and that anyone who wants to enter must enter with Chinese people.

“He said Blacks are not allowed. He said the Blacks that come must come with Chinese people.

“We were all shocked because, even when we travel, we never see such.

“So, I asked him again if he was sure and he said that was the management policy.

“I actually thought I was dreaming. I asked him if he was okay with it as a Black man and he said nothing.

“While we were standing there, we saw Chinese people going in. Two Chinese ladies and two Chinese guys went in. It was after our experience that we decided to expose these people.”

When asked if she was denied entry because of the way they were dressed, Ukeje said, “I was coming from a wedding and I was well dressed. Those people had no excuse for turning us back.

Also speaking with The PUNCH, Akpan Aniefiok, who was barred from entering the restaurant along with his friends, lambasted the state government for defending the restaurant.

Aniefiok, who is a student of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, said he and his friends visited many fun spots on the same day without issue.

He said they had no reason to tell lies or unjustly malign anyone’s business.

The final year student said, “We visited three lounges on that fateful day. Why would we unjustly tell lies against the Chinese restaurant? What do we stand to benefit from such?

“What happened on that day was that the security guard told us that we would not be allowed inside because we are Black and that he was following orders.”  (Punch)

 

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