I’m Still In Race For Presidency- Fayose

Despite the fact that his party, the Peoples Democratic Party has zoned the presidential ticket foe Elections 2019 to the North, Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has said that he is still in the race for the 2019 presidential election.

Speaking during an interactive session with teachers in public primary and secondary schools at the Government House in Ado Ekiti, Fayose said, “I am still in the presidential race. I am only waiting for the time the Ekiti governorship election will hold so I can have the time.

“Though I am making contacts and I am reaching out to the people that matter across the country, I have no role to play, only the NWC will present the delegates’ lists for them to elect the candidate. So, I won’t interfere despite my support for Prof. Kolapo Olusola.

“I have no regret supporting Olusola. If it were those people I had supported, they won’t be abusing me. But they remain our brothers and sisters and we are going to put our house in order at the right time so that we can be on the same page.”

Fayose appealed to the teachers to support Olusola the way they supported him in the June 21, 2014 governorship election, where he defeated Fayemi.

On the agitations of some aggrieved PDP aspirants that Fayose should be prevented from interfering with the primary, the governor gave an assurance that the state had no role to play in the primary election, saying it was the prerogative of the Chief Uche Secondus-led National Working Committee.

Some aggrieved PDP aspirants such as a former Minister of Works, Prince Dayo Adeyeye; Senator Biodun Olujimi, Owoseeni Ajayi and Amb Dare Bejide, had at a joint press conference on Monday advised Secondus to stop Fayose from playing any role in the primary.

The PDP has battled a series of internal fightings which political analysts suggest has weakened the party’s impact as a worth opposition and also dimmed its chances at the next polls.

Ikpeazu Rejects Cattle Colony Plan For Herdsmen In Abia

Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, has rejected plans by the federal government to establish “cattle colonies” for Fulani Herdsmen and their cows in Abia State saying that the state will not cede any part of its territory to Fulani herdsman as cattle colony.
According to a press release issued by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary Mr Enyinnaya Appolos, governor Ikpeazu has indicated that Abia state will not accept that any of its land will be used to establish cattle colonies for herdsmen.

“We reject such plan . We don’t have enough land for our agricultural activities and our people want more land. “Giving away any part of Abia land as a colony to herdsmen, wherever they may be from, will be most unjust and unfair treatment to Abia State and her people who are largely farmers.

He added that “such alien land occupation will also cause unrest and crisis that may grow beyond what we can handle when it happens, so the best thing I think we should do is to reject such plans so that those behind it will know that Abia State is not a party to it.”, the press release concluded.

Buhari’s Campaign For 2019 At This Time Is Political Sacrilege

Senator Shehu Sani, representative of Kaduna Central, has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to forget his ambition of running for a second term next year and address the security situation of the nation and other national challenges.

The senator said: “It is wrong to be talking of the re-election of Buhari as President when hundreds of lives are being lost and people are being massacred in different parts of the country.

“In time of bloodshed like this, the issue should be how to come together and address the problem. But those marketing the President at a time of this bloodshed are like people dancing on the graves of Nigerians.

“Campaigning for Buhari for next year’s election when people are being killed, when orphans and widows are being produced as a result of the tragedy of these circumstances and people are being kidnapped, I think amounts to political sacrilege.

“It is an insult on the conscience of Nigerians and it is an insult on the moral integrity of Nigerians for anybody to ignore what is happening and simply walk to the President and tell him that what is important at this material time is his re-election campaign for next year’s election…

“If we allow this trend to continue, it would threaten the peace and unity of this country.

“I advise people advising the President and strategising for him to contest the elections to spare him some time, advise him well and provide a solid strategy to end the carnage and atrocities that is going on in the country today.

“Human life is more important than politics, because you cannot preside over dead people. The images we see in both social and traditional media is heart-rending and despicable.

“I can tell you that over a year ago, the President was in Zamfara State in military fatigue to address the problem of banditry and mass killing. The President should be seen in any part of the country where such violence occurs.

“The President must visit Southern Kaduna, Birnin Gwari, Taraba, Benue, Rivers and Adamawa states. It gives people some hope that their Commander-in-Chief is determined and committed to defend and protect them.”

The Benue Killings: Matters Arising By Dan Agbese

There has been a steady outpouring of grief, anger and condemnation in Benue State over the latest killings by Fulani herdsmen in Guma and Logo local government areas. For tens of families in those areas, the new year did not bring joy and happiness. It brought death, grief and loss. Official figures of the dead? 71 men, women and children who had no quarrel with these herdsmen and in no way provoked them into turning them into mere disembodied statistics.
I offer the state governor, Dr. Samuel Ortom, my condolence. Their death diminishes all of us who are indigenes of the state. It is right for all those who come from that sad state to express our feelings over the attempts by the herdsmen to turn Benue, and indeed, three other states in the Middle Belt zone into killing fields. It is unacceptable. We are right to say so loud and clear.

Something appears to be stirring post these senseless killings. The minders of our state appear to have finally woken up to the real security challenges of enemies without borders menacing our state. The reaction this time is different from the indifference shown by the authorities when the herdsmen, not once but several times and with impunity, levelled several villages in Agatu Local Government Area, also in the state, in 2015 and 2016. We still do not know how many were killed in those attacks. Let us not pretend that the minders of our state failed to rise up to that challenge then. Guma and Logo are sad reminders of a simple fact: evil earns its capacity to spread when it is treated like a minor boil on the nose of the unfortunate.

Still, I welcome the outpouring of anger and condemnation by our big men. I can see that the reaction to such incidents has moved from the politically correct template of mere condemnation couched in jaded words by the important people in both the state and the nation at large into what I see as perhaps a move to address this growing problem and free the state and the nation from being hostages to these mindless killings and killers.

On October 30 last year, the former head of state, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, released bone chilling statistics on the killings and the destruction by the Fulani herdsmen in four states – Plateau, Nasarawa, Kaduna and Benue – in 2016. In only one year, according to the general, Fulani herdsmen killed 2,500 people and displaced 62,000 people in the four states. The states lost $13.7 billion and 47 per reduction in their internally generated revenue.

Since leaving office in a blaze of glory in 1999, Abubakar has become a tireless ambassador for peace in and outside the country. In releasing the statistics, he warned that the killings were spreading beyond the four states. What he did, and rightly so, was to confront the Nigerian state with the fact that its lethargy would make matters worse, much worse, and urged it to wake up. It seems to me that his timely warning appears to have been ignored. The consequence is that the killings are going on and have spread to Adamawa, Taraba and even Imo states.

Abubakar described these killings as clashes. In my reaction to his timely warning in my column for this newspaper, titled: Fulani herdsmen? The grim statistics, I pointed out that the killings did not and do not result from clashes between the herdsmen and the villagers because “there is no evidence that those attacked ever faced the attackers or that they had a chance to fight back. These attacks and killings are unprovoked and the attackers choose where and when to attack.” I also pointed out that “The real shock is not that these killings, maiming and displacements go on with impunity but that the federal government seems to be doing Rip Van Winkle in the face this critical national challenge.”

In these sad moments, it is naïve not to expect our people who believe they must be heard to bottle their emotions. A crisis is easy to be exploited and manipulated for political gains. It is in the nature of human societies. We must be careful not to reap such bountiful political harvests at the expense of the people. But make no mistake: when the emotions are spent and the dead are buried, the big people would once more padlock their lips and remain blind to, and silent on, issues that agitate us. Guma and Logo would recede into our collective memories overflowing with the sad victims of similar incidents in and outside the state.

Those who are calling on the president to resign are merely riding the tide of public emotion. The president has nothing to gain from the killings in Benue and other states. It is not right or fair to accuse him of inaction because he, like the herdsmen, is a Fulani. The tribalisation of a crisis such as this merely beclouds of our thinking and our sense of fairness and proportion. Let us face the fact and the fact is that the primary responsibility for the security of the state and its people lies squarely on the shoulders of Ortom, the state governor. Security is the number constitutional duty placed on the shoulders of the president and the state governors.

Consider the ham-handed official police reaction to the killings in Guma and Logo in early January. They might have been forgotten if the killers had not returned a few days later to Logo. The inspector general of police attributed the first wave of killings to communal clashes in those areas. I think he misadvised himself and his statement in the heat of the crisis was equally callous and ill-timed. I can find no where in the laws of our land where the police are authorised to treat communal crises with insouciance or levity. Perhaps, this mind set encouraged the killers to return.

Why did the state and the police fail to rise up to the immediate challenges of securing the affected local government areas? Interestingly, the Benue State police command informed the public they had arrested seven of the herdsmen involved in the new year attacks. Were they Tiv men in herdsmen’s clothing? It is such a great pity that the police chose to be mealy-mouthed about this grave problem.

The current killings throw up once more one of the fundamental problems with the operation of our military federalism. As horrendous as the Benue killings are, they are in no way worse than those in Borno and Yobe since 2009. Or worse than those in Adamawa and Plateau states. Whether they are perpetrated by Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen or hired killers, these killings point to an uncomfortable but inescapable fact: our security system has failed us. This is not really about Benue. It is about the inability of the Nigerian state and the constituent units of the federation to make us safe in our own country. No one should take this lightly because the challenges posed by these pockets of crises are nasty and real; intractable even.

We need to take two urgent steps in this regard. The first is to take another look at the nature and the practice of our security system. Security is not entirely the responsibility of the Federal Government. It is a shared responsibility between it and the state governments. The states cannot effectively discharge this responsibility with our current single federal police force. Experience has amply demonstrated that it is not working or working satisfactorily. It argues for a state police.

Despite the generous security votes for which they are accountable to no one, the state governors do not feel sufficiently responsible for security in their various domains where most of them choose to enjoy privileges without responsibilities; what the late Churchill called the province of harlots. They throw it back on the Federal Government. In their failure they try to score cheap political points by making the president the scapegoat every time there is a security breach resulting in death and destruction.

I am afraid this would not wash. So, the second point is to hold the state governors primarily and unequivocally responsible for security in their domains. Their failure to do what they ought to do with their security votes and the security outfits available to them to make their states and their people fully secure and protected should attract constitutional sanctions. The Nigerian state ought not be complicit, by default, in the cheapening of the lives of its citizens. No band of killers can ever boast of the security arsenal in the custody of the Nigerian state.
Why do we feel so helpless?

Nigeria Navy Shakes Up Commands

The Nigeria Navy (NN) has embarked on a reorganisation that caused appointments and re-appointments of officers for effective and efficient service delivery.

The Acting Director of Information, Naval Headquarters, Navy Capt. Suleman Dahun, said on Friday in Abuja that appointed included three new Flag Officers Commanding (FOCs).

The new FOCs are Rear Adm. Akinjide Akinrinade for the Logistics Command, Oghara, Delta; Rear Adm. Matthew Emuekpere for the Eastern Naval Command, Calabar, Cross River; and Rear Adm. Saleh Usman who took over at the Central Naval Command, Yenagoa, Bayelsa.

The acting director added that the appointment also affected 27 other Rear Admirals.

“These are: Rear Adm. Begroy Ibe-Enwo who is reappointed at the Naval Headquarters, Abuja as the Chief of Naval Transformation, Rear Adm. Victor Adedipe is appointed Director of Plans at the Defence Headquarters, Abuja.

“While Rear Adm. Peter Onaji is taking over as the Chief of Naval Safety and Standard at the Naval Headquarters, Abuja and Rear Adm. Dogara Albehu is now the Director of Training at the Defence Headquarters, Abuja.

“Rear Adm. Micheal Ebe is assigned the Director of Plans, Naval Headquarters, Abuja, while Rear Adm. Aliyu Lawal is taking over as Director Equipment Standardisation and Harmonisation, Defence Headquarters, Abuja.

“Others are Rear Adm. Uchenna Onyia who is now the Director of Administration at the Naval Headquarters, Abuja and Rear Adm. David Adeniran is reappointed the Commander Naval Drafting, Apapa, Lagos State,” he said

As well as Rear Adm.Tanko Dakwat who is now the Admiral Superintendent Naval Ordinance Depot, Lagos State, Rear Adm. Ahamefule Eluwa was reappointed Moderator at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Plateau.

He said further that the appointment also affected Rear Adm. Dolapo Kolawole, as the Director of Policy at the Naval Headquarters, Abuja. Rear Adm. Mike Okonkwo as the Chief Staff Officer at the Logistics Command Headquarters, Oghara, Delta.

Others are: Rear Adm. Shuwa Mohammed as the new Director of Armament Supplies, Naval Headquarters, while Rear Adm. Segun Adebari is the new Group Managing Director at the Navy Holding Ltd., Abuja.

As well as Rear Adm. Abubakar Al-Hassan as the Director of Transformation at the Defence Headquarters, Abuja. Rear Adm. Obed Ngalabak as the Admiral Superintendent Naval Doctrine and Assessment Centre, Lagos State.

Others are: Rear Adm. Abraham Adaji who was reappointed Director of Operations at the Naval Headquarters, Abuja. Rear Adm. Jatau Luka as the new Chief Staff Officer at the Eastern Naval Command Headquarters.

While Rear Adm. Ibikunle Olaiya was reappointed as the Director of Naval Intelligence at the Naval Headquarters, Abuja.

“The appointment also include: Rear Adm. Kamarudeen Lawal who is appointed the Director of Transformation at the Naval Headquarters, Abuja, Rear Adm. Abdullahi Adamu as the Director of Combat Physical Training, Naval Headquarters, Abuja.

“While Rear Adm. Oladele Daji who is redeployed to the Western Naval Command Headquarters, Lagos State, as the Chief Staff Officer. Rear Adm. Maurice Eno as Director of Research and Development at the Naval Headquarters, Abuja.

“Others are: Rear Adm. Saidu Garba now the Director of Project Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation Directorate, Naval Headquarters, Abuja, as well as Rear Adm. Barabutemegha Gbassa as the Fleet Commander, Headquarters Eastern Fleet, Calabar, Cross River.

“As well as Rear Adm. Sanusi Ibrahim now the Director of Manning at the Naval Headquarters, Abuja, while Rear Adm. Muhammad Nagenu as the Fleet Commander, Headquarters Central Fleet, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State,” Dahun said.

The acting director said further that the exercise also saw the redeployment of 95 Commodores to various commands, units, and establishments.

NAN

APC Youths Want Private Schools Banned

The National Youths Caucus of All Progressive Congress (APC), Northwest Zone, on Friday in Kaduna canvassed for total ban on the operations of private schools in the country.

The caucus which held a rally in support of ongoing reforms in the education sector in Kaduna State said the measure was necessary to save public schools from total collapse.

Malam Isiyaku Sarkin Pawa, Secretary of the caucus, said Nigeria must take steps to salvage the education sector from its present poor state in order to build a prosperous and stable nation.

“In the past, everyone attend public schools irrespective of their parents’ status in the society, but because of the establishment of private schools, all public schools have been neglected.’’

He added that public schools which used to be for all classes of people have now become only for the poor, thus encouraging segregation in access to educational opportunities between children of the rich and poor.

“Public schools performance is not too good, that is why we are supporting the governor’s reforms in the education sector,” the secretary added.

Jafaru Sani, the state Commissioner for Local government and Chieftaincy Affairs, who received the group on behalf of Gov. Nasiru El-Rufai, explained that the reform was not politically motivated but for the benefit of the future generation.

“The state government has done a lot towards improving the education sector, there is no going back on the disengagement of unqualified teachers, instead we will improve on the quality of teachers and education in general,” he said.

He assured that the government would continue to do the right thing in spite of the challenges being faced.

NAN

Civil Engineers Laud Aregbesola On Infrastructural Development

The Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers (NICE) has lauded Governor Rauf Aregbesola of the State of Osun for committing the required percentage of the state’s resources on infrastructure development in the state.

According to the civil engineers, the Aregbesola’s administration met and exceeded the minimum of six percent of its GDP recommended for infrastructural development.

The leadership of the Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers gave the commendation in Osogbo, the capital of the State of Osun at a public lecture.

Speaking on the theme of the conference: “Infrastructure Development and Index for National Development”, the former Deputy Vice Chancellor, Ekiti State University, Professor Olugbenga Aribisala, lauded Aregbesola’s commitment to human and capital developments in the state.

Aribisala said the present administration in Osun has raised the bar of governance in all socio-economic
sectors, particularly on infrastructure development.

He acknowledged the Aregbesola’s government for always making adequate budgetary provisions for the maintenance of infrastructure sustainability since inception.

According to him, the Osun state government has shown a very great example of government funding on projects as the state in the last seven years has been committing over 6% of the state’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on infrastructure development.

”I want to state here unequivocally that Osun state has exceeded the minimum of 6 per cent of its GDP recommended for infrastructure developments.

“Since the diversification of the economy remains impossible without adequate infrastructure, there is need for government at all levels to make the required budgetary provisions for the maintenance of
infrastructure development as being done in Osun.

“Obviously, the Osun state government has shown a very great example on how infrastructure should be properly and adequately funded by governments as the state has exceeded the minimum of six per cent of its GDP recommended for infrastructural development.

“As an institution involved in civil engineering policies and recommendations, we can rightly confirm that the seven years of the present administration in Osun has been full of numerous big civil engineering infrastructure projects across the state.

“We have been moving around Nigeria and have been to several states in the country, we have never seen a state like Osun with huge proliferation of infrastructure development in spite of her meager resources.

“The types of projects which we have seen in Osun are the types that students of civil engineering need to come and understudy because they are breath taking.

”I want to use this medium to appeal to both the federal and state governments to make budgetary provisions for the infrastructural sustainability”, Prof. Aribisala noted.

Earlier in his remarks, the National President, Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers, Engineer Andem Ekpo-Bassey, commended the level of infrastructure in the state, saying Osun has distinguished itself among its peers in developing infrastructure in all sectors of the economy.

“Without mincing words, I can tell you that you are very lucky in Osun to have a governor like Aregbesola who has decided to embark on the third type of project, which is targeted at human development.

“I can confidently tell you that Osun is on the right path to economic development, it may not have been happening today, but with what I have seen on ground, Aregbesola has secured the future for this state.

“Infrastructural development is the way to go if any economy wants to get out of the woods and be self-sustaining” Ekpo-Bassey said.

In his remarks, the Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola commended the leadership of NICE for organising the Conference in the state.

Aregbesola who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works and Transport, Engineer Nurudeen Adeagbo, encouraged engineers on the need for them to champion professional ethics and standards as they play a crucial role in national growth and development.

Osun Workers Rejoice After Receipt Of Full December Salary

There was a positive change of mood among the categories of civil servants in the service of the Osun government who have been receiving Modulated Salaries since 2016 on Wednesday, as they began to receive payment of full salary for the month of December 2018.

This was in pursuance to the agreement the state government reached with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Joint Negotiation Council (JNC) prior to the suspension of the strike action workers embarked on in late December.

Some of the workers were sighted jubilating and commending the state government, particularly the Governor, Rauf Aregbesola for standing by the agreement with the labour unions and fulfilling the promise to pay full salary for the month of December 2017.

The workers confirmed the receipt of bank alerts for their full salary’s payment.

It would be recalled that since the economic crisis that hit the states of the federation began, workers on level 1-7 have been receiving full payment, level 8-10 receiving 75 per cent, while level 12 and above as well as political office holders have been receiving 50 per cent of their pay.

The modulated salary arrangement was in line with the agreement with the labour unions as a viable alternative to the retrenchment of workers in the state employment.

The state Commissioner for Finance, Mr Bola Oyebamiji confirmed that the state government has paid full salaries to all categories of workers for the month of December 2017.

Noting that the administration of Governor Rauf Aregbesola is a government that is committed to the welfare of workers, he said the government was ready to stand by the agreement reached with the workers on the payment of salaries, pensions and allowances.

Wow!!! Meet First Black Person To Obtain Ph.D In Biomedical Engineering

A Nigerian, Adeola Olubamiji is the first black person to obtain a PhD in the field of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada.

But she had very humble beginnings. From selling pepper on the streets of Ibadan, Nigeria to now being a distinguished PhD holder, Adeola has not had it easy. Here’s a snippet of her story:

“As the fifth child of five, I always had to wait for my turn. I was the last, a girl child and raised by a mother who is a farmer and a father who has little.

“I hawked pepper on the streets of Ibadan as early as age 10 to help my mum. Went to public primary and secondary schools in Ibadan. Attended OOU and studied Physics.

“Because I had a 2.1, it opened the door for me to proceed to Finland for a Master’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering. During this Master’s degree, I worked part-time as a cleaner and did this after my Master’s as well.

Adeola Olubamiji is the first black person to obtain a PhD in the field of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. But she had very humble beginnings. From selling pepper on the streets of Ibadan, Nigeria to now being a distinguished PhD holder, Adeola has not had it easy. Here’s a snippet of her story: . “As the fifth child of five, I always had to wait for my turn. I was the last, a girl child and raised by a mother who is a farmer and a father who has little. . “I hawked pepper on the streets of Ibadan as early as age 10 to help my mum. Went to public primary and secondary schools in Ibadan. Attended OOU and studied Physics. . “Because I had a 2.1, it opened the door for me to proceed to Finland for a Master’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering. During this Master’s degree, I worked part-time as a cleaner and did this after my Master’s as well. . “Out of determination, I applied to over 100 schools for my PhD and finally got a full three-year scholarship (later extended to four years) at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, to pursue a PhD in Biomedical Engineering. . “While in that PhD programme, I worked part-time as a makeup artist, teaching assistant, braided hair and fixed weaves to make extra money. . “Today, I walked the stage as the first black person to bag a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada! . “I walked this stage for you Mama Africa and for my Motherland Nigeria! I walked the stage for all of you Black women disrespected and looked down on! . “I walked for all of you Africans in Finland wondering what is next for you!! . “Be bold, be innovative, be different, be you, be everything you want to be; but remember to put God first! . “Let no man, upbringing, money, circumstance, colourism, past mistakes, institution, company, partner, background, let nothing tell you ‘you can’t do it.’ . “Go smart! Go hard!! Go for Gold!!! Go with God!!! Just Get Going!!!!! . #JMSStories #JoMaxwellShow #JMS

A post shared by The Jo Maxwell Show (@jomaxwellshow) on

“Out of determination, I applied to over 100 schools for my PhD and finally got a full three-year scholarship (later extended to four years) at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, to pursue a PhD in Biomedical Engineering.

“While in that PhD programme, I worked part-time as a makeup artist, teaching assistant, braided hair and fixed weaves to make extra money.

“Today, I walked the stage as the first black person to bag a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada!

“I walked this stage for you Mama Africa and for my Motherland Nigeria! I walked the stage for all of you Black women disrespected and looked down on!
.
“I walked for all of you Africans in Finland wondering what is next for you!!
.
“Be bold, be innovative, be different, be you, be everything you want to be; but remember to put God first!
.
“Let no man, upbringing, money, circumstance, colourism, past mistakes, institution, company, partner, background, let nothing tell you ‘you can’t do it.’

“Go smart! Go hard!! Go for Gold!!! Go with God!!! Just Get Going!!!!!
.

Source: Instagram

Osun Attorney General Urges Court To Discharge Or Declare As Expired Orders Restraining Osun LG Funds

By Nofisat Marindoti 

The State of Osun Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General, Dr. Ajibola Basiru has urged a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja presided over by Justice Tsoho to declare as having expired by effluxion of time, orders of injunction granted by the court on 4th of December, 2017 in line with Order 26 rule 12 of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules, 2009.

This is even as the Commissioner said the court could also discharge the orders on the sundry grounds like absence of jurisdiction, absence of real urgency, suppression of material facts and breach of legal right to fair hearing.

Basiru, who appeared along with  Hassan Agbelekale State Counsel,  Idrees Mikaheel Abiodun State Counsel,  Oghenovo Otemu Esq. and Kafayat Abiola Olajide Esq. made these submissions while moving two applications filed by Osun Government who is the 7th Defendant in a case instituted by three individuals challenging the legality of the creation of Local Council Development Areas in Osun. 

Arguing the application filed on 29th of December, 2017, the Attorney General stated that the 7th Defendant had filed, 0n 8th December, 2017, an application to discharge the ex parte order granted on 4th December 2017 but that the court did not hear the application within fourteen days as required by the Rules of Court. 

He further argued that by express provision of the Rules, the order ex parte have expired by effluxion of time citing several legal authorities. On the contrary, Chief Robert Clarke, SAN, on behalf of the Plaintiffs argued that the orders made on 4th of December, 2017 were on notice and therefore the 14 day rule does not apply. 

Basiru also stated that though the court refused reliefs 1 to 5 of their Motion Ex-parte on 27the December,  2017 but that the Court on 4th December,  2017 resuscitated the prayers and granted the relief 1 to 5 earlier refused.  

While replying on points of law, Basiru posited that the position of the Learned Silk for the Plaintiffs in fact supported the argument of the State Government that the court was functus officio having refused the interim orders on 27th December,  2017 and went ahead to still grant the same reliefs on the same application. 

He also argued that an order to show cause upon the ex parte application of the Plaintiffs formed part of the hearing of the ex parte application and does not convert the application ex parte to one on notice. Furthermore, that the court granted expressly reliefs 1 to 5 of the motion ex parte as interim orders and made same to be contingent on the hearing and determination of the motion on Notice. 

Justice Tsoho, having heard the two applications adjourned the matter till 23th day of January, 2018 for ruling.

Hope For Election In Nigeria

By Nofisat Marindoti

Elections in Nigeria has surprisingly taken a new turn over the years. Going by history, election in the recent Nigeria had always been a rowdy, highly manipulated one.

Apart from the 1993 Presidential Election which has been internationally adjudged as the most free and fairest election; subsequent elections in the country have been critically assessed and sometimes not anything to write about them.

The 1993 election was the first since the 1983 military coup that toppled the government of Alhaji Shehu Shagari and the result was a victory for Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola of the Social Democratic Party, who defeated Bashir Tofa of the National Republican Convention.

However, the elections were later annulled by the then military ruler, General Ibrahim Babangida, leading to a crisis that ended with Sani Abacha, also military general to assumed the power as the Head of State.

In the wake of return to civilian rule in 1999, the people’s agitation at that was for a change from military rule to civilian rule. Considering the circumstance at which the winner of 1993 presidential election died and subsequent demise of the Sani Abacha, Yoruba nation was on the frontburner as possible consideration for the presidential seat.

General Olusegun Obasanjo who happened to be in the prison at the time he was chosen as the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party while Alliance for Democracy settled for Chief Olu Falae another Yoruba man.

Though Chief Olu Falae whose party lost the election to the candidate of Peoples’ Democratic Party, claimed that there the elections were flawed with lot of manipulations from the electoral umpire to favour the eventual winner of the election.

The situation was however, not different in 2003 as President Muhammadu Buhari contested with the incumbent Olusegun Obasanjo and the latter emerged the winner of the election. But not without litigations alleging rigging and manipulation by the incumbent government.

Observers from the European Union described the 2007 elections, which brought Umaru Yar’Adua, a Muslim from northern Nigeria, to power, as among the worst they had witnessed anywhere in the world. Human Rights Watch estimated that at least 300 people were killed in violence linked to the 2007 elections.

Another election that leaves a clear picture in one’s mind is the 2011 presidential election when many lives were lost and properties destroyed.

“The April elections were heralded as among the fairest in Nigeria’s history but they also were among the bloodiest,” said Corinne Dufka, senior West Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch.”

Deadly election-related and communal violence in northern Nigeria following the April 2011 presidential voting left more than 800 people dead. The victims were killed in three days of rioting in 12 northern states.

The violence began with widespread protests by supporters of the main opposition candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, a northern Muslim from the Congress for Progressive Change, following the re-election of incumbent Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian from the Niger Delta in the south, who was the candidate for the ruling People’s Democratic Party.

The protests degenerated into violent riots or sectarian killings in the northern states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Niger, Sokoto, Yobe, and Zamfara. Relief officials estimated that more than 65,000 people have been displaced.

Human Rights Watch estimated that in northern Kaduna State, at least 180 people and possibly more, were killed in the cities of Kaduna and Zaria and their surrounding suburbs. According to media reports and journalists interviewed by Human Rights Watch, dozens of people were also killed during riots in the other northern states.

The elections conducted in 1999, 2003 and especially 2007 were characterized by widespread malpractices such as violence, corruption and falsification of results. After the 2007 election, there was widespread disenchantment with the electoral process.

The elections held in 2003 and 2007 were preceded by widespread intra-party and inter-party violence that continued on the polling days. In a report released in 2004, the Human Rights Watch observed that:

“Both Nigeria’s federal and state elections in 2003 and local government elections 2004 were marred by serious incidents of violence, which left scores dead and many others injured … In April and May 2003, at least one hundred people were killed and many more injured.

“Majority of serious abuses were perpetrated by members or supporters of the ruling party, the people’s Democratic Party (PDP). In a number of locations, elections simply did not take place as groups of armed thugs linked to political parties and candidates intimidated and threatened voters in order to falsify results … One year later, local government elections took place across Nigeria on March 27, 2004. These elections too were characterized by serious violence and intimidation, as well as widespread fraud and rigging. There were reports of dozens of people killed before, during and after the local government elections.”

However, in recent times, there is the rising hope for free, fair and transparent elections in Nigeria with the resounding success in the last few elections starting from the 2015 presidential election when the incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari won the race over former President Goodluck Jonathan.

The State of Osun Governorship election in 2014 that produced the incumbent Ogbeni Rauf Argebesola and that of the recent Anambra state guber election are shining examples too.

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had declared the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, and incumbent Governor, Willie Obiano, as the winner of the November 18, 2017 governorship election in Anambra state.

The success of Anambra election which is the most recently conducted election in the country has shown that the Nigerian electoral system is actually getting better.

It is a reassurance that Nigeria might still have the kind of 1993 election when all Nigerians shared the spirit of brotherhood, know what they wanted and come out en mass, peacefully, to vote for what they wanted.

In the final analysis, the possibility of transiting from the third world to the first where sanctity of fairest election is predicated on the resolve of the country’s political leadership to galvanize the people so that they can buy into the rescue programme devised by their leaders. The disconnect between the leaders and the rest of the population would need to be corrected before the prospects for socio-economic and political transformation can become so much enhanced.

Nigeria is, undoubtedly, poised for great electoral accomplishments in the years ahead, given its incredible endowments in both human and material resources. However, it needs be emphasized that greatness is not to be conjured into existence but a product of painstaking and dogged pursuit of well-thought out electioneering process.