The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Yekini Nabena has threatened the party may be forced to report Spiritual Director of Adoration Ministry, Rev Fr. Ejike Mbaka, to the Pope and Vatican for allegedly committing acts capable of causing instability in the country.
The APC leader alleged recent calls for impeachment of President Muhammadu Buhari by the cleric were capable of instigating the people against their leader and cause disaffection for the government.
Mbaka, who in 2015 publicly endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari and repeated same for his reelection in 2019, recently in a church service called on Buhari to resign or the National Assembly should impeach him if he fails to resign over escalating insecurity.
The cleric had complained during a service that no civilised leader would remain in power with the spate of violence in the country.
“How can people be dying and the chief security officer of the country would be sitting down without making any comment?” he questioned.
He further complained: “Gunmen attacking people everywhere. Buhari should have resigned honourably following his (alleged) failure as a leader. Let me tell you that if it were in a civilised country, President Buhari would have resigned by now. So, it is amazing that he has chosen to sit tight while people are dying daily.”
He called on the National Assembly to impeach the President in the face of intense poverty and insecurity across the nation.
But Nabena, in a statement on Friday in Abuja, said it was unfortunate for a man of God “who is supposed to deploy all known spiritual means of averting crisis to be threatening a democratically elected government for his own personal benefit while pretending to be speaking for the people.”
He referred to Mark 4: 35-40 where Jesus Christ calmed the storm when a wild wind came up and the waves was about to crash the boat.
Nabena noted instead of complaining or blaming captain of the boat, Jesus prayed and calmed the storm.
“One will wonder whom Father Mbaka is emulating because the Lord Jesus Christ did not threaten to bring down the government during his own time. In fact, Jesus Christ obeyed and honoured constituted authorities. That’s why he paid his tax.
“We are calling on Father Mbaka to concentrate on his spiritual calling and stop speaking like politicians who it is obvious he (Mbaka) has been dining and wining with. If Mbaka has found another political ally, it is better to leave political message for politicians.
“Calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to either resign or be impeached because of the current challenges is ungodly. Father Mbaka should not, however, take his luck too far because there are lot to tell the Vatican and the Pope about his person and his sources of inspiration,” he said.
Nabena also called on other clerics to emulate the likes of Pastor Enoch Adeboye of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) and Pastor WF Kumuyi of the Deeper Life Bible Ministry and many others who will rather fast and pray to avert crisis instead of threatening the government of the day. (The Nation)
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has insinuated that former Head of State Ibrahim Babangida (IBB) cancelled the June 12, 1993 election presumably won by MKO Abiola due to “bad belle”.
‘Bad belle’, Nigerian slang, is synonymous with jealousy. It is used to express the resentment of a person(s) towards a thing or individual(s).
Obasanjo insinuated this on Sunday in Abeokuta, the Ogun capital, after his investiture as a trustee of the Abeokuta Club.
The Owu-born elder statesman was honoured alongside Abiola. The late philanthropist was awarded a posthumous vice-patron of the club.
He said IBB’s action denied Egbaland and Ogun the privilege of producing three occupants of the nation’s top seat, including Ernest Shonekan, ex-Head of Interim National Government (ING)
“I want to thank the club for this honour being bestowed on me and the honour being bestowed on my school mate MKO Abiola which he richly deserved”, The Nation quoted him as saying.
“When you win a cup three times, you keep that cup. Isn’t it? If not for bad belle, Abeokuta would have produced the President of Nigeria three times, in which case we should have kept it permanently.”
Obasanjo assured of his continuous commitment to the development of the state, Nigeria, and global peace.
Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo described Obasanjo and Abiola as proud sons of Abeokuta.
The traditional ruler added that “bad blood” didn’t allow Abiola to emerge President.
“…It is over for Tinubu. He has been thrown under the bus and retired from politics!”
BY FEMI FANI-KAYODE
My dearest Jagaban,
You know very well that I have always liked and respected you. You will also recall that a few years ago I warned you that everything that is being done to you today would eventually be done to you given the choices you made at the time.
I bear you no malice or ill-will but in view of what is happening in your political party and given the fact that your good friend, co-conspirator and collaborator, President Muhammadu Buhari, has finally thrown you under the bus and dumped you, I am constrained to write the following.
The bitter truth is that you predicted NOTHING and you saw NOTHING. The only thing you saw were your own vain delusions and insatiable greed and the only thing you felt and that moved you was your blind ambition.
You sold your body, spirit and soul to the enemy and betrayed your people even though we warned you over and over again that those you were dining with were far smarter and far more astute than you.
Yet even though all the signs were there you dismissed our concerns, vilified us, treated us with contempt, demonized us and sought to destroy us.
Now the chickens have come home to roost and the writing is on the wall. The signs are there for all to see. You betrayed and sold Lagos. You betrayed and sold the South West. You betrayed and sold the South East. You betrayed and sold the South South. You betrayed and sold the Middle Belt. You betrayed and sold the North East. You betrayed and sold the North West. You betrayed and sold the Muslims and you betrayed and sold the Christians.
Simply put you betrayed and sold EVERYTHING and EVERYONE in Nigeria just to feed and satisfy your psychotic obsession and compulsive ambition.
Like Icarus the Greek, you flew too high and too close to the sun with your wax wings, puffed up and fuelled by your hubris and pride and now you shall meet your nemesis. The spiritual wound that has been inflicted on you is irreversible and terminal and there is no going back.
The dark clouds that lie ahead of you are thick, ugly, frightful, violent and impassable: you cannot make it through them safely or survive them. Your enemies have dug a pit for you and you have already fallen into it.
They have finally stripped you naked, grabbed you by your balls and taken everything from you.
You have lost your mystique, honor, glory, self-respect, following, clout, pride, reputation and so much more. You have also lost control of the political party that you conceived, formed, nurtured and built. The APC was your baby and now they have taken it from you and are set to kill it.
They fooled you, used you, dimped you and humiliated you and now they are going to expose you, rubbish you, malign you, break you, crucify you, investigate you and utterly crush you.
You dreamed of being Vice President in 2015 and you failed. You are dreaming of being President in 2023 and you will fail.
In all your plans what you failed to appreciate is that God alone rules in the affairs of men. You refused to acknowledge or accept the fact that the Presidency of Nigeria can only be given by God and He gives it to whom He deems fit by prophecy and divine decree.
It is not about money and power and if it were Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Yar’adua, Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari, who had neither of the two before being respectively elected as President, would never had made it.
It is about God and God alone. It is for Him alone to give. It is about His purpose, His will, His counsel, His plan and His glory.
He OWNS the Presidency and the minute any man or woman attempts to usurp His role and think that he or she can buy it or manoeuvre his or her way into it by the usage of political intrigues, guile, sagacity, wisdom, power, knowledge, money or anything else, the Lord disqualifies and rejects him.
Such a person will fail woefully and may even end up losing everything he or she values and cherishes in his futile quest.
God will never share His glory with anyone and He will never support a man or woman that is prepared to mislead, betray and sell his own people down the river just to satisfy his vaulting and insatiable ambition of becoming President.
Yet the signs were there but you refused to acknowledge or accept them.
They refused to give you a formal position in the National Executive. They ensured that some of your key loyalists in the South West turned against you and opposed you.
They refused to accept even ONE of your Ministerial nominees both in 2015 and 2019. They humiliated your protegee who you nominated as Vice President and turned him into a pliant and pathetic little errand boy with no testicular fortitude or shame.
They drove your nominee at FIRS out of office unceremoniously and have placed him under criminal investigation.
They have divided the ranks of your loyalists and turned even your hitherto most trusted lieutenants against you.
They insulted, undermined, marginalised you openly and worse of all they made it clear to you privately that they would NEVER give you power.
All this meant nothing to you and you shamelessly continued to support their evil ways and toe their satanic and murderous line.
Yet if you did not care about what they subjected you to you ought to have at least cared about what they did to Nigeria.
For the last five years our nation and people have suffered because of the calamitious choices that you made and the inexplicable and unconciable alliances that you forged.
You propped up and supported a ruthless, heartless, corrupt, bloodthirsty and cruel regime and tyrant and a President that is clearly beside himself and whose mental and physical faculties reside in another realm and in another world.
Consequently our nation has been utterly and completely destroyed, our economy ruined and our people decimated.
They have been slaughtered, butchered, pauperised, emasculated, humiliated, marginalised, insulted and impoverished.
Hundreds of thousands of them have been murdered in cold blood in their homes, towns, villages and farms and millions have been displaced.
Millions more have been ruined and economically destroyed whilst our country remains weak, divided and the butt of cruel jokes all over the world.
Because of your choices Nigerians are being subjected to persecution, physically attacked, enslaved, humiliated, lynched, scorned, maimed, killed, disgraced, evicted and declared persona non grata both at home and in distant foreign lands whilst our foreign Embassies are being demolished by miscreants and local criminals even in supposedly friendly countries.
I sincerely hope thet one day you will reflect on all this and consider the damage you have done to your kinsmen and compatriots.
Whether you do or not is left to you but one thing that is clear: for the choices you have made, for all you have done and for the sheer wickedness and greed that resides in your insensitive and dark heart you will pay a heavy price both in this world and in the world to come and the Lord will hand you over to your political enemies.
Permit me to conclude by quoting the instructive words of a tweet that I posted just yesterday after I heard about the latest developments in your party. I wrote,
“First Oshiomole is kicked out by the Court of Appeal. Then his preferred replacement, Ajimobi, falls into a coma. Then his arch rival, Giadom, is recognised by Buhari as National Chairman.
Conclusion: it is over for Tinubu. He has been thrown under the bus and retired from politics!”
I stand by those words. Happy retirement my dearest Jagaban: may you live long to see the glory of our country restored and the damage that you have done to our people repaired. Shalom.
Former Minister of Aviation and staunch critic of President Muhammadu Buhari, Femi Fani-Kayode, has reacted to the statement credited to a former Minister of Defence, Retired General Theophilus Danjuma. While speaking at the University of Ibadan, during a book launch, T. Y. Danjuma was quoted by to have said that Nigerians will lose their sleep, if he reveals what is going on in the country.
Reacting to the statement by Danjuma, on Friday, Fani-Kayode said that he should speak now, or forever remain silent. His words: “Would someone please tell Gen. T. Y. Danjuma that if he wants to talk, he should talk! Nigerians have already lost their sleep! We are already a vassal State being run by crude barbarians, and we have nothing to lose. He should talk now before it is too late, or forever hold his peace!”
Also reacting to the development, the former Kaduna Central District Senator, Shehu Sani, called on Danjuma to give details of whatever he knows about Nigeria, so that Nigerians ‘will be awakened’ by the insomnia of its truth. On his Twitter page, he wrote: “Dear Baba Gen. T. Y., spill the ardorous, putrid beans, so that the snoring slumberland ‘will be awakened’ by the insomnia of its truth, and of its reality.” Elsewhere, a top APC source said: “Nigeria died the very day this criminal called T. Y. Danjuma, Yakubu Gowon, and the British government conspired and murdered Major-Gen. J. T. U. Aguiyi Ironsi, in cold blood, on July 29, 1966. T. Y. Danjuma is a blood sucker, a barbaric genocidal, a coup plotter, an animal who knows nothing but wickedness, what really did he want to say or tell us?
“T. Y. Danjuma, do you want to tell us how you killed nursing mothers and pregnant women, after you finished raping them during the Biafra war, God kept you T. Y. Danjuma and Yakubu Gowon alive, so that you will reap the fruits of crime against humanity committed against Biafrans. This is just the beginning; do you think you can bribe God with your blood money to get peace of mind? No way, because there is no peace for wicked people.”
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…Bills to amend the constitution pass first reading in Reps
…APC may still feature Buhari for fear of extinction
…Crisis looms in PDP over zoning
Despite the outright denial by the Presidency that President Muhammadu Buhari is not interested in running for a third term, facts have emerged that he is perfecting plans to continue in office at the expiration of his second tenure in 2023.
When this plan was first uncovered, the Presidency quickly debunked such insinuations, describing them as internet-based gossip and un-informed media commentary.
The Presidency had said Buhari would serve his full second elected term in office ending 2023 and then there shall be a general election in which he will not be a candidate.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu who denied the possibility of a third term agenda said: “The Presidency wishes to correct internet-based gossip and un-informed media commentary regarding presidential term limits, given credence by so-called support groups, staging street demonstrations asking President Muhammadu Buhari to do a third term.
“There are no circumstances or set of circumstances under which President Buhari may seek to amend the Constitution regarding the two -term limit on holding office as President.
“President Buhari intends to serve his full second elected term in office, ending 2023 and then there shall be a general election in which he will not be a candidate. There is not even the faintest possibility that this will change. It is important to note that there was a past attempt to change the constitution to allow for the then incumbent president to stand for a third term.”
According to Shehu, “That attempt was wrong, unconstitutional and rightly rebuffed. No such attempt will happen under this President. President Buhari is a democrat. He respects the constitution. Any activity aimed at altering the two-term limit will not succeed and shall never have his time nor support”.
But political observers are becoming more curious that Buhari through the ‘Cabal’ in the Presidency is leaving no stone unturned, including constitutional amendment, arm-twisting of the judiciary, pocketing the Electoral Umpire, rubber-stamping the legislature and castrating Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to realise the third term bid.
Only recently, an erstwhile political associate of Buhari, who is now the National Chairman of Reformed All Progressives Congress, rAPC, Buba Galadima, raised the alarm that the President may be contesting in the 2023 presidential election
Galadima said the forces controlling Buhari are planning to lure him into running for third term, alleging that the present administration has pocketed the judiciary and is doing all it could to muzzle the opposition.
According to him, Buhari has already pocketed the judiciary, and he feels that nothing will happen, and that he will be victorious at the court. His government has destroyed the judiciary and this is very troubling for democracy, and our nation
“A lot of politicians will be disappointed. Only God knows what will happen between now and 2023. Buhari may even be drafted to join the 2023 fray by some of his aides and associates.
Apart from Galadima, other political actors who however, lack the audacity to come out publicly are speaking in low tones that Buhari and his handlers are not ready to vacate the scene after 2023.
Some inside sources within the power cycle who would not want to be mentioned agreed that there are hidden plans for the incumbent President to continue in office beyond 2023.
They alluded to the fact that Buhari may not want policy somersault particularly the war against corruption, border closure, among others hence, the desire to have another tenure which would provide enough time for their consolidation.
Our sources noted that the continued retention of Service Chiefs even when some have attained 40 years against the mandatory 35 years of retirement is part of the plan not to inject new blood into the system to pave way for the unhindered tenure elongation.
The sources further disclosed that constitutional amendment is imminent and it would be targeted at creating a six-year single tenure so that after Buhari, no one would enjoy serving for a second tenure and in a way making him the last longest serving President.
“We are beginning to sense that the President and those around him don’t want to go after 2023. That is why they are doing everything, though covertly to water the ground for his third term.
“What do they want to do? They will ensure there is a constitutional amendment not just for Buhari to go for a third term but to introduce a six-year single tenure after his exit.
“So far, the Independent National Electoral Commission is in their palms, the National Assembly has been captured or do you think Gbajabiamila and Lawan would object anything the President and the Cabal want? No. In fact, they were handpicked for this purpose.
“The CSOs, where do you think they are? Can they try any rubbish? If anyone tries, he or she will have himself to be blamed as Sowore. The opposition has been annihilated. In fact, EFCC alone would finish them. Forget, 2023 is a done deal for Buhari,” a source that claimed to know the workings in the corridors of power said.
The indications to amend the constitution are becoming even palpable; hence so far, three Bills to amend the constitution have passed first reading in the National Assembly, especially in the House of Representatives which may not be unconnected with tenure elongation or six-year single term for President.
These bills are: Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2019 (HB.408) (Hon. Dachung Musa Bagos), Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2019 (HB.410) (Hon. Dachung Musa Bagos) and Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2019 (HB.418) (Hon. Awaji-Inombek Abiante).
Also, there is anxiety within the ranks and file of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) that the party would go down with President Buhari if he exits in 2023 as he is presently the uniting force of the strange bed fellows – the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), parts of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and the New Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP).
As recently decried by former Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, APC might lose its current grip of power in 2023 as APC is a party that they hurriedly put together when they were governors, with Buhari as the fulcrum.
“President Muhammadu Buhari gave character to APC. He brought his integrity to bear on the party. He made the party what it is in the northern part of the country and the masses of the North, who saw him as a true leader, and we all rode on that to achieve that victory, but after the credibility of Buhari into this party, there seems to be no alternative in the same manner that will drive this party to 2023 victory.
“This is why I expressed my concern that if we are not very careful, APC might go with Buhari in 2023, and that will be a very unfortunate situation for the founding fathers of APC. The party needs to show purposeful leadership, show character,” Okorocha said.
Meanwhile, there is raging crisis in the ranks of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) over zoning of the presidential slot ahead of 2023.
The party, particularly the National Working Committee (NWC) is plotting to maintain the zoning of its presidential ticket to the North East and South East, respectively.
By this zoning arrangement, the NWC is bent on picking former presidential candidate of the party, Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi as the candidates for 2023.
The NWC may have felt that since the party had a remarkable outing in the last presidential election, with Atiku and Obi, if the statuesque is maintained in 2023, PDP will oust the ruling APC roundly.
However, it was gathered that the PDP governors are not in any way ready to back the Atiku/Obi ticket anymore. The governors appear to be divided since all of them are angling for the position.
The governors seem to be resistant on the zoning to North East and South East because, they feel President Muhamadu Buhari’s body language tilts towards plot to elongate his tenure in 2023, and that if Atiku/Obi ticket is flown, the party may not coast to victory.
Sources said, already, some of the governors including Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto and Nyesom Wike of Rivers State are nursing political ambition to run on North West and South-South zoning. They have since started holding secret meetings to woo the other governors’ support to convince the party to zone the presidential slot in their favour.
Wike, it is said has been the chief strategist rooting for Tambuwal as he wants to be Vice President in 2023 but as it stands, there is no possibility that the NWC will agree to dance according to tunes of Wike and or bow to any North West and South-South zoning, just as it appears Wike is the major financier of the party, hence Rivers is rated the only PDP state with overall financial might.
Retrospectively, it was same Wike’s alleged shenanigans that saw the crisis that erupted, few months ago, between the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT) and NWC, over suspension of the House of Representatives Minority leader, Ndidi Elumelu. The dust on the matter is yet to settle.
Wike had reportedly tipped Peter Chinda who is from Rivers State for the position and compelled the party to accept it, which the party refused.
Unfortunately, majority of party executive members did not buy into it and worked against it vehemently. Till now, the crisis on the matter is brewing and the party is not ready to entertain yet another internal chaos.
Although at the moment, the PDP appears unstable on how it intends to zone the presidential slot, it is determined to oust the APC and to resist every move by Buhari to elongate his tenure in 2023.
Of course, with alleged Buhari’s plan to retain 2023, pundits perceive that the consideration of Tambuwal and Wike for the 2023 slot may garner more acceptability, more so that they are younger politicians with vast experiences and sagacity.
But the PDP has said it is yet to decide on any zoning and that those trying to peddle the information are doing so to further their own selfish political ambitions.
The PDP, through the National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan has stated in a statement that there is no plot to stop the ambition of any of the governors either.
“For the avoidance of doubt, our party is yet to discuss the 2023 presidential election, overtly or covertly, at any time whatsoever.
“If anything, the PDP is currently working with Nigerians on how to win its elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states and will not be distracted by
individuals who found themselves operating in the highest offices of the land but failing in governance. “As a party, we are also working with our respective state governors and legislators across the country as they work hard, in line with the manifesto of our party, to improve on the welfare and development of Nigerians,” he said.
“Moreover, it is also imperative to counsel, without any equivocation, that enemies of our party, who feel threatened by the rising profile of Governor Nyesom Wike, should have a rethink on their incessant attacks on the governor,” Ologbodiyan said. (BusinessDay)
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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 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.
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?
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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There is palpable apprehension over the results of the presidential and National Assembly elections conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission [INEC] on February 23, 2019.
Sources have revealed that fear of cancellation of the election result is looming as, 12 days after, INEC has no result sheets for inspection by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP], Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
That court order is reportedly causing tension in INEC as to what to do.
It was also gathered that, soon after the court ruling, INEC on Wednesday ordered its legal department to look into the ruling to advise it appropriately, a source in the know revealed.
It is now two weeks after the conduct of the elections but it seems the Electoral Commission does not have full results in its kitty for inspection.
Worse still is the fact that INEC does not have result sheets and other materials it used for collation of the results, causing anxiety and fears of annulment of elections aftermath of court ruling on Wednesday.
Even of concern is why INEC has yet to provide details of the outcome of the polls either on its website or at its state offices.
Checks conducted through INEC online portal, calls to its states’ offices, wards, local governments, federal constituencies and senatorial districts showed no physical collation or online release of the results.
This is causing fears the election results may have been cooked as efforts were rather placed on declaring winners than following processes as allowed by extant laws before declaration of election results could be done.
When Daily Mail enquired from Oluwole Osaze-Uzi, INEC’s Director of Voter Education and Publicity, it was not successful.
Also, attempts to speak with Festus Okoye, INEC’s National Commissioner on Voter Education was also unsuccessful as his phone rang out.
But several sources told Daily Mail that it should normally take few weeks to collate all election materials “owing to the magnitude of the election and the materials used.
“Nigeria is a large country, we shouldn’t be hasty in some issues but I can agree with you that at least all the materials and equipment used should have been at states’ offices.”
Asked why state offices are yet to have the equipment and materials, he said state offices should be asked or INEC “higher authority would be in a position to answer that.”
A source at the legal department of INEC told Daily Mail on phone that “it was always going to be tough providing the materials the court has ordered.
“I don’t know why materials used during the election have not be submitted but I am not in a position to speak – I am in the legal department, my mandate is not to speak on issues like this.”
According to her, “There should be thing to inspect, in fact all things being sought should be available for a petitioner to examine – that’s what all relevant laws in the country says.”
When asked what if the petitioner cannot be provided the materials being sought, she responded, “That is left for the court to decide, but it could mean cancellation of result because you can’t announce nothing for something.” (ElombahNews)
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Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (retd.)
Adelani Adepegba, Abuja
The Federal Government has declared Friday, February 22, 2019, as a public holiday, in preparation for the February 23 Presidential and National Assembly elections.
Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Bello Dambazau (retd), made the declaration in Abuja on Wednesday.
The Ministry of Interior in a statement on Wednesday night by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Georgina Ehuriah, however, excluded bankers and those offering essential services across the nation.
It said, “The Federal Government declares Friday, February 22, 2019, as work-free day. Those providing essential duties and bankers are excluded.
“The work-free day is to enable citizens return to their polling units for the reschedule Presidential and National Assembly elections.”
“Security agencies have been directed to ensure safety of lives and property before, during and after the general election,” the statement added. (Punch)
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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Friday said he has not fled Nigeria, contrary to a social media report that he had travelled out of the county ahead of the presidential election scheduled for Saturday.
Obasanjo spoke with newsmen at his Presidential Library, Abeokuta, describing the Social media post as “fake news.”
The former president was reacting to a Facebook post of one Gbenga Lawal who posted: “Breaking: Obasanjo jets out of Nigeria. He can’t even wait for the thief he is imposing on Nigerians.”
In his reaction, Obasanjo said “Why should I travel out of the country before the election?
“If not for anything, I believe I should be here to perform my civic responsibility, which is to vote according to the dictate of my heart tomorrow and on the second of March.
“Those who are carrying that type of rumour or fake news; I leave them in the hands of God; I am used to that kind of thing.
“In Yoruba land, if your head is hard, you don’t have to worry yourself.
“Let anybody tell lies against you, let anybody issue fake news against you, let anybody abuse you, God will deal with them rightly and appropriately.” (Punch)
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