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Dele Momodu Regrets Supporting Buhari Over Jonathan, Says Perhaps We’re Fooled By Him Picking Osinbajo

In a Facebook write up, the founder and CEO of Ovation Magazine, Mr Dele Momodu has regretted supporting Buhari over Jonathan.

In a very confessional write up, Momodu regretted the fact that they should have listened to voices of reasons like those of former Ekiti state governor, Ayodele Fayose and others but perhaps fooled by the fact that Buhari chose Prof. Yemi Osinbajo as vice president.

This actually depicts that Momodu and his ilks voted and supported Buhari due to Osinbajo, which simply translates to tribal sentiments.

His write up is below.

“I must confess that at the height of our stupidity and naivety, in retrospect, we threw caution to the winds.

We wrote off Jonathan despite occasional flashes of genius and inspiration by some members of his team.

In the meantime, former Nigerian Head of State, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (RTD.) was repackaged to smell like roses and we all fell for the promise of Eldorado he seemed to hold at the time.

I was one of those who jumped on the bandwagon to describe him as a born-again Democrat, despite some strident and persistent warnings by then Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose and others. Perhaps we were fooled by the fact in quick succession he had picked Pentecostal pastors in his running mate in Pastor Tunde Bakare in 2011 and Professor Yemi Osinbajo in 2015.

Those who told us that our Hallelujah Choruses were premature and that a leopard can never change its spots were castigated and hounded by those of us who had been converted to what we believed was the new Buhari.

We sang in unison that anyone but Jonathan. The rest is history.”

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When People Call My Administration Clueless I laugh, Says Jonathan |RN

                     Former President Goodluck Jonathan

Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja

 

Former President Goodluck Jonathan says he laughs anytime people try to run down his administration as a clueless one.

The former President said this in his recently published book titled, ‘My Transition Hours’.

He said, “Sometimes I laugh when certain propagandists attempt to stand logic on its head by maligning my administration as one bereft of ideas and clueless. In assessing my administration, it is best to focus on facts.

“I cannot assess myself. I leave that to history and I make bold to say that never in the history of Nigeria till date has the nation had such a star-studded cabinet full of achievers and people who got to the top of their chosen fields by merit.”

Jonathan said the only thing that saddened him was the hounding of his former ministers by the Muhammadu Buhari administration.

He, however, said he was happy that many of his ministers and former appointees had become leading world figures today like Adewunmi Adesina and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Jonathan added, “Most painful has been the attacks on my ministers, aides, associates and even members of my family. There is an attempt to erase our legacy from history.  The good thing is that the unending barrage of attacks, deliberate misinformation, and programmed media smear campaigns have failed to sway the opinions of those with the clear view of our beliefs, efforts, and achievements.

“There are millions of Nigerians and others around the world who are still impressed with our modest achievements in consolidating democracy and growing the nation’s economy. They will continue to serve as my strength and encouragement.”  (Punch)

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Buhari Has No Vision, Capacity To Develop Nigeria, Says Saraki |RN

                                         President Muhammadu Buhari

Simon Utebor, Yenagoa

 

The President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, says that the leadership of the All Progressives Congress, led by President Muhammadu Buhari, lacks the vision, capacity and the patience to develop the country.

Saraki made the comment on Thursday when he led his Presidential campaign team on a courtesy visit to Governor Seriake Dickson at Government House, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

The Senate President asked Nigerians to replace the current leadership provided by the APC, saying that the party had caused disunity in the country.

Saraki stressed that the country was in dire need of a leader like him with a demonstrable capacity to unite the deeply divided country and create a sense of belonging through fair distribution of appointments in the country.

He argued that it was indeed impossible for anybody to give what he doesn’t have as shown by the inadequacies of the current APC leaders.

He further said that the country was in need of a young vibrant leader with the capacity to withstand the rigours of governance at all times.

He said that running governance must be accompanied with the inseparable willingness and capacity to give all-round attention to the demands of the job.

The Senate President, who also spoke on the raging debate on restructuring, stated that it would be wrong to perceive restructuring as a move to develop a few states.

Saraki said that restructuring would create opportunities for the respective states of the federation to actualise their developmental potential and ensure national growth in the interest of the future generation of Nigerians.

He stated, “2019 is a very crucial election for this country; we are at the crossroads as we have never been so disunited as we are today.

“Wherever you go, people ask questions: where do you belong? We need to address the issue of unity in this country; it is time for everybody to have a seat on the table, a time for everyone to have a sense of belonging in this country. It is not about me.

“There is a new order in the world today, wherever we go, we see leaders that have a vision, that are ready to develop their countries. A lot of us talked about the Asian tigers, but they did not come by chance, or trial and error, they became tigers because they have visionary leaders.

“They are leaders that are ready to defend their countries, that have an idea of what they want to do.  As I keep on saying, you cannot give what you don’t have.

“Where we are now, we have a leadership that has no vision for us. We must bring visionary leadership to the presidential level so we can move this country forward.”

In his remarks, Governor Dickson said that the time had come for the country to move away from the evil of bigotry and indeed a leadership founded on feelings of sectional superiority.

He restated the position of the elders and leaders of the Niger Delta that the 2019 election would be a referendum on restructuring.

He said, “We must get quickly to that point where we build a new Nigeria; where to be appointed as Director General of the Department of State Services or the Chief of Army Staff, the Inspector General of Police, the Chief Justice of Nigeria and to be whatever you want to be, you don’t need to come from a particular tribe, or someone who worships one type of God or another.”

The presidency, in its reaction, described Saraki’s comment as crude, condemnable and derogatory of the President.

In a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Garba Shehu, the Presidency, however, called on Buhari’s supporters to display restraint in language and conduct.

Noting that Saraki’s sole aim of joining the PDP was contesting for the President, Shehu said the Senate President had shown himself to be a very dangerous person who could go any length to promote his personal interests.

The statement read, “The Presidency wishes to react to the crude speeches hitting the news from Senator Bukola Saraki, who recently joined the PDP with the sole ambition of running as the president of Nigeria.

“In response to the condemnable and extremely derogatory speeches by the PDP aspirant, we urge all Buhari supporters to display restraint in language and conduct and to always put across their points of view in a decent language.

“Throughout his political career, Senator Saraki has shown that he is a very dangerous person who can go any length to promote his personal interests.

“The language of his campaign is such that cannot be used against a domestic help.

“Does he just know that the President lacked vision? This is someone that the Senator had worked with very closely for more than three years.

“Amazingly, he never said all that he is now saying against him. Rather, his words for and on the President were always respectful and reassuring.

“That’s the man he called ‘My Father,” about him “there is no cause for alarm…a President who is healthy, witty and himself.’ What then changed, all of a sudden?

“Is he saying these blatantly false and crude things against the President because he is running for the same office? Could it be that he is targeting President Buhari because the party he just joined does not have any real issues to highlight?”  (Punch)

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Roles We Played To Convince Jonathan To Concede Defeat – Gen. Abdulsalami

buhari-jonathan6

Abdulsalami noted that the genesis of Africa’s political problems was “the action of its sit-tight leaders, who amend the constitution to perpetuate themselves

Godwin Tsa, Abuja

Former military head of state, Gen. Abdusalami Abubakar (retd), has revealed the process that led to former President Goodluck Jonathan to concede defeat to President Muhammadu Buhari after the result of the 2015 Presidential election.

Abdulsalami, who made the disclosure at the 2018 Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), noted that the genesis of Africa’s political problems was “the action of its sit-tight leaders, who amend the constitution in order to perpetuate themselves.

“These leaders have the tendency to manipulate very vital democratic organs, particularly the legislature and, sometimes, the judiciary, to suppress any dissenting voice.

“Despite all these, Africa is now harvesting an influx of leaders and politicians. The young people who are emerging are more educated and internationally exposed than the current old leaders we have all over Africa. And these young men and women are trying to make their marks. However, as you know, they are hampered by the high cost of electioneering in developing countries and, indeed, the world,” he said. Abubakar, who delivered a keynote address on “Political transitions in Africa: Lessons to learn” gave credit to former President Jonathan for not only conceding defeat but for congratulating President Buhari who was a candidate of the opposition party.

He said: “All analyses of the political trend in the run-up to Nigeria’s 2015 general elections pointed to above scenario playing out. Very early on, I teamed up with some well-meaning non-partisan stakeholders and elder statesmen to engage the key contestants and party leaders with a view to forestalling such a scenario.

“Under the auspices of a peace initiative, we brokered an agreement with leading contestants, in form of a Memorandum of Understanding, for them to accept the outcome of the elections, preach cordiality in relations and conduct peaceful campaigns.

“It is gratifying to note that, courtesy of our humble effort and the goodwill extended to it by the contestants and the Nigerian public, the 2015 national elections were conducted peacefully.

“To his eternal credit, the then incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan, who lost the polls had the magnanimity to concede defeat and congratulate the candidate of the opposition party. In the end, peace, amity and political stability prevailed in the land.”

The retired army General further disclosed the process that led to the transfer of power to a democratically elected leader in 1999.

He said when he was appointed to lead the country in 1998, there was political apathy and that the political class was already fatigued, with some voices calling for a return of the country to the parliamentary system.

Also, speaking at the conference, a former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, said while strong leaders and institutions are important for political transition, emphasis should not be placed on the strength of the leader at the detriment of the leader’s competence and disposition.

 

“To my mind, we need strong institutions and strong leadership; but, it is not just the strength of the leader that we require. What we require most is the competence and the capacity of the leader to make decisions and to be assertive in ensuring that those decisions are actually implemented.

“So, we have to be very careful in thinking that strong leaders can really help. Just as a weak leader can wreak an institution, a strong leader who has just the power and courage, but lacks capacity, ability and competence to lead, could also wreak strong institutions. So, it is very important that we recognise this important aspect of the leadership that we require,” he said.  (The Sun)

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Buhari Gives His Government Pass Mark, Says ‘We Have Not Done Too Badly’ |RN

Muhammadu-Buhari-NigeriaPresident

Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja

Amidst growing allegation of non-performance, President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday said that considering the condition in which his administration met the country, allegedly without savings and the economy vandalised, “we have not done too badly.”

According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, the President spoke while receiving some members of the Buhari Diaspora Support Organisation, led by Mr Charles Sylvester.

Buhari noted that Nigeria was gifted with tremendous human and natural resources, but regretted those past leaders failed to capitalise on the nation’s resources to improve a lot of Nigerians.

“Failure of some of the leadership we had in the past led to our not being able to capitalise on resources to improve a lot of the people,” the President said.

He added that “wicked people” plundered the country, “and kept Nigerians poor.”

Buhari said the damage done to the Nigerian economy in the years of plunder was massive, and that government was doing its best to recover some of the loot.

He, however, admitted that it was impossible to identify and recover all.

“If they had used 50 percent of the money we made when oil prices went as high as $143 per barrel, and stabilised at $100 with production at 2.1 million barrels per day for many years, Nigerians would have minded their business.

“You could almost grow food on our roads, as they were abandoned. The stealing was so much, and they were so inept that they could not even cover the stealing properly.

“I wonder how all those things could have happened to our country,” the President said.

He commended members of the Buhari Diaspora Support Organisation for deciding to identify with the country when they could have stayed abroad where they are comfortable.

“I am happy that people like you are here, on your own, defending the country. You have shown courage and sacrifice. I assure you that your confidence in us won’t be abused; we will do our best to justify it,” Buhari said.

Sylvester was quoted as saying that members of the group were happy with the achievements of the Buhari administration so far.

He said the same God who healed the President when he was sick would grant him victory in 2019.

He said, “You met a difficult situation, but you have overcome most of them. We are happy with the agriculture revolution, the ease of doing business, the anti-corruption war, the employment of youths through the N-Power programme, and the blockage of leakages in the public sector through the Treasury Single Account.

“We are proud of the speed with which you recovered the abducted Dapchi schoolgirls. It shows you as a worthy General.

“We are happy that you have declared for 2019. Majority of Nigerians are happy, but agents of corruption and darkness are unhappy.

“The same God who healed you when you were ill, will grant you victory in the 2019 elections. You are a General who does not fear combat, either with Generals or non-Generals.

“We declare our love and support for you. You are fixing the faulty foundations of our country and the second term is when you will build the enduring structure.”  (Punch)

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Fake IPOB Leader: Okwudili Doesn’t Exist Except On DSS Imagination, Gossip Columns – IPOB

NnamdiKanu

IPOB Leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu

IPOB PRESS STATEMENT

Fake IPOB ‘leader’ Okwudili doesn’t exist, except on DSS imagination, computer hard drive and gossip columns

We the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) view as laughable the latest attempt by the Nigerian secret police DSS to rescue one of their sinking Igbo slaves in the person of Okezie Ikpeazu by seeking to deflect attention with the concocted, faceless, non-existent ‘Okwudili’ they claim is heading a ‘faction’ of IPOB. Hausa-Fulani Arewa North and their slaves in Igboland, of which Okezie Ikpeazu and Nnia Nwodo are most prominent, even more than Rochas Okorocha, are misguided into thinking the great global IPOB family can be fooled by such kindergarten tactics of planting names in the public domain and claiming the person is IPOB leader.

DSS as a spy agency should work harder at infiltrating IPOB because all their efforts so far have failed miserably and will continue to fail because we are the most disciplined mass movement anywhere on this earth today. Parading what is in effect a ghost as fake IPOB ‘leader’ to give the impression that IPOB is divided is a wretched joke long anticipated by the highest command of IPOB four years back and something we knew would happen, so we are prepared for it. Therefore it did not come to us as a surprise when this morning DSS hurriedly issued their usual ‘Okwudili’ press statement to the media to limit the fatal blow IPOB dealt Okezie Ikpeazu by simply stating the truth through our press statement yesterday that countered the lies he was spewing. The public must understand the tricks and propaganda strategy of DSS. Any time this APC regime is in trouble with their image, they fabricate false high propaganda value news and blackmail, cajole or bribe media houses to carry it so public attention will be deflected from the real issue/s. Remember the timing of the release of Chibok girls in 2017. Is it not a coincidence that this DSS generated press statement, attributed to a faceless nonentity they named ‘Okwudili’ claiming he is IPOB leader, came out on the day Amnesty International published their report confirming that at least 12 people were shot dead at the home of our leader on Afaraukwu Umuahia on 14 September 2017? That is the extent this deceptive Buhari regime is prepared to go to confuse the weak and gullible. Okezie Ikpeazu in less than 3 years in office, supervised five well-known massacres of innocent men, women and children in Abia State, from which he will never escape justice, for he will be punished severely at the appropriate time.

We knew Okezie Ikpeazu’s Hausa Fulani masters will come to his rescue and today they have done exactly that by using our hallowed name to seek to exonerate him. This move is too little, too late for them. Anybody who is remotely interested in knowing how ridiculous these whole fabrications are should remember similar attempts in the past by DSS to give the impression that IPOB is divided which came to nothing. This present Nigerian government in the past have floated RE-IPOB, TRIPOB, CG-IPOB and much more on the pages of newspapers, in the hope of attracting money hungry Igbo traitors to destabilize IPOB and betray Biafra but all their efforts failed. They floated a radio station in the US called Radio Biafra International which failed to take-off till date, that attempt to replicate the world famous Radio Biafra was what caused IPOB to launch Radio Nigeria Hausa Service. Okezie Ikpeazu, Nnia Nwodo and other traitors must know that lies and deception can never help their cause of exchanging our blood for money and political relevance in Nigeria.

The same way Buhari doesn’t exist in Aso Rock is how there is no ‘Okwudili’ leading IPOB. If this fake person does exist, how come there is no picture of him anywhere, he doesn’t address any gathering, he has no village, no parents, nothing. He is a mirage, a figment of the imagination of DSS and corrupt Igbo leadership. ‘Okwudili’ we know for sure exist in DSS computer hard drives and no place else. From there they move him to the pages of newspapers for a few hours and the name vanishes. Anybody who allows him or herself to be deceived by this childish antics from DSS might as well believe Jubril at Aso Rock today is Buhari or that Naira notes are the main diet of snakes and monkeys.

IPOB is one indivisible family under God. No man born of a woman is capable of dividing IPOB. If you claim you are Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s replacement, please come out let’s see you, after that then come down to Biafraland and address us.

EMMA POWERFUL MEDIA AND PUBLICITY SECRETARY FOR IPOB.

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BREAKING: Buhari Is In A Trance – Soyinka |The Republican News

Wole Soyinka

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

Gbenga Adeniji

Revered playwright, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has said President Muhammadu Buhari is in a trance.

Soyinka, while reacting to a question on the three things he would tell the President if he meets him, stated, “I will say Mr. President you are in a trance.”

He added that the sooner the President got out of the trance, the better for the nation.

Asked the form of trance the President was in, the Nobel laureate said, “I don’t know. So many unforced errors. Take for instance the suspended Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Usman Yusuf,  reinstated by the President.

“What is that about? What is going on?”

Soyinka had earlier held a press conference in Lagos on the state of the nation titled ‘Nomads and Nation: Valentine card or valedictory rites.’   (Punch)

Details soon.

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I Warned Nigerians About Buhari: He Lacks 5 Critical Elements Of Leadership – Yakasi

Tanko-Yakasai
Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, 92, a chip from the old block, served as President Shehu Shagari’s Liaison Officer to the National Assembly. In this interview, he reviews the state of the nation and critically dissects the arguments for restructuring. He submits that insinuations of northern objection to restructuring are unfounded upon the claim that the blueprint for the process has itself been etched on imaginations that have not been properly articulated.
Yakasai also pooh-poohs moves to delineate the Middle Belt from the North saying that the concept of a Middle North toeing a separate political path as unrealistic. Yakasai who supported President Goodluck Jonathan against Muhammadu Buhari in the 2015 presidential election concludes by saying that his warnings that Buhari lacked five critical elements of leadership have crystallised for all to see.
Excerpts:

What is your evaluation of Nigeria in the past 12 months?

By and large, I will say things were as they were before, except that at the end of the year, the price of crude oil has appreciated considerably, and that impacted on the economy of oil-producing countries including Nigeria. The result was that we got more money and this can be seen from the way our foreign reserve is now augmented; it’s higher than what it was before; otherwise everything is more or less the same. But in some cases, things were less than what they were a year before.

How has the controversy of Buhari’s ill health, Biafran agitation, and agitation for restructuring affected our unity?
As a matter of fact, I won’t say it had affected the polity very much because when President Buhari was sick, he delegated power to his deputy and he discharged his duty creditably, and I think the efforts by Professor Osinbajo at the time the President was away for treatment actually made things to improve, most especially if you look at the crisis in the Niger-Delta which actually led the Acting President to undertake a visit to the area, and as a result of that visit and the consultation he had with the stakeholders and opinion leaders, the crisis decreased.
So the crisis in the area was reduced to the minimum. You remember the vandalism of pipelines to refineries and depots which affected the generation of power in the country during the crisis stabilised because of that deft move by the Acting President. That act made the governance within that period hitch-free when the President was away for treatment.

Why is it that Nigerians still find it difficult to live together as one?

No, no, Nigerians are living together as one without any difficulties.
In all honesty, take a visit to Enugu and find out if there has been a clash between the host and their guest communities. Take another visit to Ibadan, Ogbomosho, Abeokuta or any part of South-West and find out whether there was any clash between the local people and guest community. Come to Kano, Katsina or Sokoto and other big cities in the north apart from areas where the insurgents have taken roots; you don’t find the local people having clashes with other Nigerians. Nigerians are living in peace with one another, and unfortunately, it is the elites who have access to the media that are creating a crisis which is non-existent.
The issue of restructuring is a matter of public opinion especially for the elites who have access to the media and are generally the ones who are creating tension by speaking carelessly. The agitation for restructuring is an expression of personal opinion by the individual, and they are entitled to their opinion, and interestingly, most of those engaged in the shouting match on restructuring are doing it from the position of Northern phobia. Throughout the period dedicated to the debate, I have not seen a single northerner that was opposed to restructuring Nigeria.
The only thing I know was that most people from the north ask for details, and until today, no one has come out with a clear blueprint on what restructuring is all about. We are in a democratic setting; we have provisions on how things should be done. What the north is simply asking for are the details. It is our legislators – both national and states – that are empowered to effect a change in our constitution, and there are clear positions on how many of them can do that legally. It is the right of an individual to initiate a bill through the legislator on any grey areas he or she wishes to effect a change, and as I speak to you from the time this debate resurfaced, to date, nobody has done anything in respect of that either to the state Assembly or National Assembly proposing whatever changes that he or she would like to introduce into the Constitution of Nigeria.
They are intellectuals who are simply busy for nothing; because they have nothing to write about, they write to massage their ego, even though there are more pressing problems confronting Nigeria; the problem of poverty, unemployment, developmental programmes, good roads, sustained power supply, industrialisation, mechanisation of our agriculture, fertiliser, application of insecticides to check bumper harvests and nobody is talking about all the myriads of problems, yet, you are talking about restructuring, and not a proposal that would bring succor to the citizens.

But why has the debate on restructuring refused to die since 1966?

No, I’m a student dialectics. Find out the number of newspapers we have in Nigeria.
Put together, how many copies do they produce in a day compared to the totality of Nigerians, and the percentage of those that read newspapers. From my findings, they are not up to 10 per cent; that is to say that 90 per cent of Nigerians don’t read newspapers, therefore all this noise on the pages of newspapers, and few in the radio with its technical reach, reaches out more to the communities than the newspapers; yet the debate is not on the radio, maybe in the television, but how many people watch television? Very very, few. So this exercise in futility by the elite does not affect ordinary Nigerians.
But tell me, what has the debate done to Nigeria? Did it change their lifeclass, thought pattern and what have you?

It is not the whole country that is involved. It is just a microscopic few who are not up to 10 per cent of the population of Nigeria who are busy misleading themselves.

Don’t you think that your position is informed by your background as a northerner?

No, no I’m not against restructuring, and I challenge anyone to produce a single northerner that is against restructuring. The simple fact about the debate is that we don’t know their definition of restructuring.
You cannot oppose something blindly; you have to fully comprehend what the other man wants to enable you to decide whether you will key into it or jettison the idea as balderdash. The north is asking the proponents of restructuring for details to enable them to take an informed decision. The North reserves the right to be consulted by these few people because of the strength of their population and size because head or tail, they will be more affected, but instead, they choose to consult people from the imaginary zone they call Middle Belt.

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I Failed In ‘Aspirational’ Goal To Unite Americans, Obama Tells Young Leaders

 

Amber Phillips, Juliet Eilperin
President Barack Obama visits with youth leaders Monday at the University of Chicago to promote community organizing, his first formal public appearance since leaving office.© Scott Olson/Getty Images President Barack Obama visits with youth leaders Monday at the University of Chicago to promote community organizing, his first formal public appearance since leaving office.
CHICAGO — In his first public appearance since leaving the White House in January, President Barack Obama told young leaders here Monday that “special interests dominate the debates in Washington” and that he had failed to realize his “aspirational” goal of uniting Americans in red and blue states.

“That was an aspirational comment,” the former president said of his famous 2004 Democratic National Convention speech, prompting laughter from the audience at the University of Chicago. He added that when talking to individual Americans from different political backgrounds, you learn that “there’s a lot more that people have in common” than it would appear. “But, obviously, it’s not true when it comes to our politics and our civic life.”

Obama, who has kept a relatively low public profile since the end of his second term, did not mention President Trump during his opening remarks at the event. But he said he was determined to galvanize younger Americans to do more politically because they were the ones best positioned to bridge the current political divide.

“The single most important thing I can do … is prepare the next generation of leadership to take up the baton,” said Obama, who sat onstage, wearing a black suit, white button-down shirt and no tie, with half a dozen activists in their teens and 20s.

All of the panel members were Democrats except for one Republican, University of Chicago undergraduate Max M. Freedman. Asked by Obama whether he has a hard time being heard on a college campus as a Republican, Freedman replied, “You can expect some level of ostracization from certain people.”

“There’s a significant empathy gap, not just here, but everywhere… We’ve cloistered ourselves,” Freedman said. “Civic engagement, at some point, will require a level of civility.”

During his time in office, Obama relished holding town halls with young people while traveling overseas. Monday’s event had a similar feel, as he asked the socially active members of the panel why they got involved in politics. Ramuel Figueroa, an undergraduate at Roosevelt University who had served in the military before starting college, said activists need to “connect personal problems to policy issues” to get people invested in elections.

“If you’re working two jobs and can’t afford day care, it’s not because you’re lazy,” Figueroa said. Of activists he said, “You need to demonstrate some connection.”  (The Washington Post)

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Obasanjo Not A Good Role Model Leader -Comdr Omessa |The Republican News

Navy Commander Dennis Omessa (retd.), in this interview with BAYO AKINLOYE, talks about how he was framed by Gen. Ishaya Bamaiyi and his goons in the 1995 phantom coup. He also speaks about how former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan scuttled the implementation of the Oputa panel recommendation

When did you join the army?

I joined the Army on June 28, 1970 as a Regular Corps 12 Officer. I was the chief instructor of the naval faculty in Jaji.

What do you know about the 1995 coup?

I am sure you mean the 1995 phantom coup. On March 2, 1995, I was in my residence when one Lt.-Col. Aka came to me saying that I was wanted at headquarters in Kaduna by Gen. Ahmed Abdullahi. I asked him why he would want to see me. I explained to Aka that I was not an armed robber but a naval officer. I followed him. They took me to Kaduna and kept me in a guest house and I was wondering what the problem was. I met another military officer and asked why I was brought to the guest house. He said they were arresting people involved in a coup. I told them that, as far as I was concerned, there was no coup.

In the evening of that same day, they moved me to another guest house, ‘Kangaroo’ I was kept in an air-conditioned big room with a television and radio. I had all I needed. I was wondering if they were sure there was a coup and I was arrested based on that. In the room, I was listening to a radio commentary. If there was a coup, would I be allowed to listen to the radio? A military officer came to me saying, ‘Oga, I know you.’ I replied him, ‘You know me for what? I don’t know you.’ He further explained how he got to know me and I eventually recalled having met him. He said to me, ‘Oga, let me tell you the truth, there was no coup. Na lie.’ So, later they came for me, put me in handcuffs and I was led away to another place. Then the investigation started; I was called in for interrogation one Saturday night.

What did they say was your offence?

The panel said I was charged with a coup for making a comment. I asked them what the comment was. They said that when one Lt.-Col. Bamgbose was arrested, I was complaining. But I didn’t know any Bamgbose. They asked me to go out. Later, they told me that I was displeased with the arrest of Bamgbose and claimed that I made a comment calling for his release. The truth is that I never made any comment like that. I didn’t know the officer and the officer didn’t know me. That alleged coup was a blatant lie. Eventually, all of us that were framed in the phantom coup were freed, with people like Col. (Gabriel) Ajayi and Col. (Olusegun) Oloruntoba severely tortured. Col. Ajayi went through hell. I was not tortured. Nobody touched me. People like Gwadabe and Emokpae were tortured. Bamaiyi and his cohorts were too wicked.

We learnt you were not happy with former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan.

Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo set up a panel but failed to implement the recommendation of the panel, despite spending eight years in power. He was succeeded by President Umaru Yar’Adua, who tried to implement the recommendation of the panel in 2009; unfortunately, he died. When he died, I think our file was handed over to his successor, ex-President Goodluck Jonathan. But Jonathan was dilly-dallying with the document. He was busy adding other names like (that of former Bayelsa State Governor, Diepreye) Alamieyeseigha and Gen. (Oladipo) Diya. These ones enjoyed all benefits approved by the Federal Government; they were cleared of every wrongdoing. It is not fair. This is selective justice.

We call on the government to give us justice. Up to this moment, there is no implementation of the recommendation made by the Oputa panel. Our case should even be more pathetic than Diya’s own; we didn’t plan any coup. It was a set-up. Can you imagine the government clearing people like Diya, Alamieyeseigha and Gen. Adisa, and we are left to languish? It is not fair. I am appealing to the Federal Government to implement the recommendations of the Oputa panel. We need to reach some form of closure on this matter. They must realise that what goes around comes around.

Obasanjo’s attitude towards us represents the kind of leadership we have in this country. He was a victim of the phantom coup and I expected him as the commander-in-chief to have issued a directive that we should be restored to our positions and duly compensated. He didn’t do that. Instead, he set up the Oputa panel. Do you call that one a leader? No, he’s not a good example of a leader. I do not respect him again. He is not a good leader. He was an eyewitness to the fact that we were all victims of injustice and power play.

Could Obasanjo be worried that some of you might have been actually involved in the coup?

That’s incorrect. Obasanjo knew there was no coup. Even though he invited us to his office, he failed to do the needful; to ensure that we all got the benefits that we deserved. He called us to apologise that the Federal Government had not looked into the Oputa panel recommendation. He promised to look into it and implement the document. But he never did till he left. It is fair enough to credit the Oputa panel to him. It showed he meant well. But good intentions are not enough in bringing justice to those who have been treated unjustly. Yar’Adua meant well; he wanted to implement the recommendation but died in the process. It was Jonathan who messed up the whole thing (implementation of the Oputa panel recommendations). As I am talking to you now, the file of the recommendations is with the Ministry of Justice. If you go to the ministry, they will tell you more about the file. You should let them know that justice delayed sometimes can be justice denied. Some of us have died, while some are gravely incapacitated. That’s where we are right now. The Nigerian Navy’s motto says, ‘Onward together.’ When we are in the same ship or boat, if we land safely, it’s the captain that goes ashore first. But when disaster strikes, it’s the duty of the captain to see to the safety of his crew and be the last person to abandon the ship. The contrary was the case in the 1995 phantom coup saga as the captain (Obasanjo) abandoned his ‘crew’ to drown. It’s unfortunate.

Why do you think you were framed as one of the people planning to overthrow Gen. Sani Abacha in the 1995 phantom coup?

Let me tell you what I think could have led to being roped into the coup plot that never was. At that time, there were rumours that I was being considered as a military governor of a state. Some officers were saying I should be prepared that I would soon become a military administrator of a state – that was all.

What are some of the Oputa panel recommendations?

The recommendations including quashing of all charges and sentences; paying due compensations to victims and their families; promotion of the victims to appropriate higher ranks, whether serving or retired; medical examination for those who were physically and mentally traumatised as a result of torture by Abacha’s men. What have I done to deserve this injustice? I know where my colleagues are now. Why has the government failed to look into our plights? Why are we being treated unfairly?

Our pains and frustrations have been allowed to go on for more than 20 years. Why? Why should we be treated callously by those who should have known better? We dedicated our lives to serve our fatherland and what did we get in return? A thankless disengagement from the military service? We joined the military to give our best to the nation. We were falsely accused of a coup that never existed in the first place and the government, since 1999, has not deemed it fit to bring about justice in our case. Why do we repay honest people with injustice? There are people who participated in a coup attempt and were granted state pardon and enjoy their full benefits after leaving the service.

Once again, I am appealing to the Buhari administration to look into our case and let justice be done. We can’t wait forever. Some of us have died while waiting for justice. Some of us are battling with bad health due to the torture they went through in the hands of those who framed us. So, will those of us alive get justice before we die? Something has to be done to correct the evil that happened under Gen. Abacha. What else can we ask for? The 1995 phantom coup allegation was senseless. Why would the regime lock people for nothing? I think justice must be carried out swiftly now before it is too late. I have no regret serving in the military though. I have pride in the Nigerian military. It was an honour to serve my fatherland. But nobody should be repaid with injustice for serving the nation meritoriously.     (Punchng.com)

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