PDP Chieftain tears Saraki apart! Says, they’re masters of “Legislative Looting”

former Governor of Kwara State, Bukola Saraki,
former Governor of Kwara State, Bukola Saraki,

A top PDP Chieftain who was among the political casualty in the last elections spoke with our correspondent on condition of anonymity gave a bitter and sharp opinion over the national assembly crisi triggered by Senator Bukola Saraki, read what he said:

My Position on Saraki’s Emergence as senate president?

Well, I must say that the perceived “elevation” of Kwara State in the unfolding political developments is just for Bukola Saraki and may be, some ‘lucky’ lackeys lurking around him may benefit. Bukola got to that position with ill-gotten money from Fuel Subsidy scammers to stall any Buhari’s anti corruption ‘bring to book’ plans and for his immunity against pending Societe Generale Bank and also the plundering of Kwara State pending at EFCC investigation.

I am not excited about PDP rewarding a treacherous egocentric leader who abandoned our PDP ship to drown us in the Power ocean only to turn round to exploit the poverty of ideas of survivors-49 of them in the Senate to climb to no.3 just because the price offered was good.

Well, I know Bukola but never see a leader in him. A leader must be a lifter of those who are falling, and an ‘Handkerchief’ for those weeping. Bukola under the guise of distribution of gifts got many killed twice, such occurrence with more than 250 hapless people meeting their untimely death. We parted ways since 2008 and I only refrain myself from media attack on his inglorious reign in Kwara… but Nigeria is not Kwara, Nigerians are not a conquered people. Take note an you will see that we have not gotten to the end of the National Assembly drama yet. Bukola is like a fly who perched to such sweet palmwine of power, at the end of which you find such flies drunk and dying inside the palmwine.

The dangerous implications of this development remains an unstable polity that can provoke serious national shaking. May God help us…

I was not that excited when Saraki emerged though I had internal joy that Tinubu failed at the end of the day.

The late Saraki (the father of Bukola) was not a decent man. He dehumanised Kwarans – omo ejo, ejo lo ma jo!

I said to some folks that how I wish that he will seize this privilege to redeem the dented image of his family and take the Senate to the masses, making amends and endearing himself to the ordinary people.

The David Marks of this world being master in “legislative looting” will seat on his neck pretending to teaching him how to climb the ropes! If however they all will resolve to make the 8th Senate the peoples’ parliament, they might become heroes!

The first step is to allow the public to scrutinise the expenditure of the national assembly just as the public has been demanding rather than hide under some bogus excuses as has been the norm!

Justice Oloyede should resign now – Osun APC

From right, Governor State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and the Newly appointed  Chief Judge of Osun, Justice Adepele Ojo, during her Swearing-in Ceremony at the Local Government Civil Service Commission, Abere, Osogbo, the State of Osun on Monday 17-06-2013
From right, Governor State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and the Newly appointed Chief Judge of Osun, Justice Adepele Ojo, during her Swearing-in Ceremony at the Local Government Civil Service Commission, Abere, Osogbo, the State of Osun on Monday 17-06-2013

All Progressives Congress in the State of Osun has advised Justice Olamide Folahanmi Oloyede to do the honorable thing by first resigning her position as a judge of the high court of the state’s judiciary before ganging up with the opposition, to attempt to destroy the state government of which she is an integral part.

The party gave this advice today in initial reaction to a petition the judge had forwarded to the State House of Assembly demanding the impeachment of the governor of the state, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and his deputy, Iya Afin Titi Laoye Tomori, over the unpaid salaries of the State workers and pensions.

According to APC, ‘it is a gross abuse of the privileges of her office for the judge to use the platform of the state’s judiciary to mount open and destructive challenge against the state’s Chief Executive who is her boss in government.

‘The ethics‎ of her status in this government prohibits such frontal challenge’, the APC argued but conceded that ‘if the judge is determined to bring down the Aregbesola government, as her petition so clearly indicates, it will be dishonorable of her to remain in government. She is therefore advised to resign immediately so that she will be free to pursue her delight outside the platform of government ‘, the APC said.

‘Whereas‎ the Judge, as a free citizen, has rights to express herself on matters affecting the country and her environment, but as a judge of the state high court, she is ethically and morally restrained from making pronouncements that would be prejudicial to the administration of justice’, the APC contended.

The APC also described the judge’s petition as significantly flawed because it is bogus rehearsal of all the baseless allegations made by the PDP in recent time, against the Aregbesola administration.

However, any sane and patriotic individual who read or have access to the speech of the governor himself at the inauguration of the State’s 6th House of Assembly on June 2, 2015, will have a comprehensive note as a counterpoise to the rubbish contained in Justice Oloyede’s petition.

‘We know a bit of the antecedents of the honorable judge in relationship with the PDP government that Aregbesola took over from’, the APC said, ‘adding that, ‘it is probable she has not gotten over her shock as a result of that event.

‘Now that the opportunity created by the tragedy facing Nigeria because of PDP’s monstrous pillage of the country’s treasury, Justice Oloyede may simply be seeking a pound of flesh from the governor, to avenge her loss of relevance as a PDP supporter.

‘We make bold‎ to assert that Justice Oloyede’s petition is a ‘hate’ document laced with puerile sentiments and emotive overflow that could only come from a soul burdened with destructive hatred’.

The APC remonstrated further that any public officer at that level of responsibility and trust owes loyalty to the state’ and that if for any reason the public officer wants to take up arms against the government, he or she must quit because, ‘government is about collective responsibility.

‘But now that Justice Oloyede is distancing herself from the government of the state of Osun with the kind of venom and hate language profusely used in her petition, her continued‎ stay in government is no longer tenable because she is irredeemably hateful of the person of the state governor and would never be able to dispense justice any longer in cases where the government is involved’, the party said.

‘Justice Oloyede can no longer be trusted because she has betrayed trust in government and therefore has positioned herself with the opposition to destroy the very same government she serves. Her conduct is unacceptable’, the APC concluded.

Barr. Kunle Oyatomi
Director of Publicity, Research and ‎Strategy,
APC, State of Osun.

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY CRISIS AND MATTERS ARISING – By Nelson Ekujumi

National assembly, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu,A key indispensable ingredient required for any enterprise to be successful, credible and long lasting is discipline. Discipline is a key building block without which any structure will collapse and unfortunately, this has been the bane of our national life since time immemorial. However, this national malaise must not be allowed to continue unchallenged, it must be condemned wherever and whenever it rears its ugly head like we are witnessing now.

Since the controversial inauguration of the 8th National assembly in which Senator Bukola Saraki and Honourable Yakubu Dogara controversially emerged as senate president and speaker of house of representatives respectively in defiance of their party’s choice in circumstances that can best be described as acts of indiscipline and disregard for party rules, things have never been the same again for both legislative houses, whose leaderships have thrown discipline, decency, respect and loyalty to the dogs.

Just like millions of Nigerians who are dumfounded and watching in disgust at how our legislators who are supposed to exhibit the greatest character of discipline, responsibility, loyalty and respect for constituted authority symbolized by Change that they voted for, in contrast to the preceding era of lawlessness, criminality and impunity, this writer inclusive, has been utterly disappointed, but not surprised.

However, one indisputable fact about our political system is that we are operating a multi party democracy in which persons can only aspire to public office by submitting themselves to the rules and regulations of the party which is the principal and is the only entity allowed by law to field a candidate for election. In a party democracy, the party is the principal of any politician and it smacks of indiscipline for any politician to disobey his principal’s decision or rules on an issue. In as much, as a politician has a right to disagree with the decision of his principal, the party, but once it’s collectively agreed on, it’s binding and must be respected, alternatively, the only available option is for such a politician to seek his sojourn elsewhere.

Notwithstanding the opposite and supportive opinion of some people for this acts of gross indiscipline, disloyalty and disrespect for party’s supremacy and decision by the duo of Dr Bukola Saraki and Honourable Yakubu Dogara, the groundswell of opinion monitored via the media and public discourse so far, reveals that the electorate who withstood the rigours of the economic, political and social dislocations to effect the desired Change from the previous shameful political order at the polls, are fast coming to terms with the reality of the image of the average Nigerian politician as an insincere, dishonest, untrustworthy, unpatriotic, selfish, irresponsible, personal interest driven being and this I must confess, portends grave danger for our democracy and society.

If Senator Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara can be so disdainful of the feelings of the people for responsible and disciplined political practice by disobeying their party position, through whose vehicle, they got into public office today, what stops them from jettisoning public interest which is the purpose of their being in the national assembly for personal interest? If by tomorrow, these duo lead the national assembly to pursue interest inimical to the good of the Nigerian people, who do we hold responsible to call its members to order, if not their party? Well, like they say, time will surely tell.

Therefore, the latest and adding salt upon injury disregard for the party’s choice of principal officers of the senate by Dr. Bukola Saraki which was unfolded some days ago, like in their tradition, is expected to be replicated by the Honourable Dogara led leadership in the house of representatives when they reconvene, but the truth of the matter is that, the people are already developing thick skin by the realization that our national assembly is a congregation of selfish and dishonourable people led by a leadership whose ethos is at variance with the values of the Nigerian people of honesty, humility, respect for law and order, dignity, selflessness, etc.

Unfortunately, Dr. Bukola Saraki and Honourable Yakubu Dogara condemnable acts of indiscipline has further strengthened the arguments of advocates of those calling for the scrapping of one arm of the national assembly like happened in Senegal recently to save cost because it is viewed as corrupt, idle and wasteful without commensurate productivity to national development, if we all recall that the 7th national assembly led by David Mark and Aminu Tambuwal failed to fulfill the mandatory constitutional requirements for house sittings and were only able to pass 108 bills in four years. The irresponsibility and trivialization of legislative business by the 7th legislature was capped by its history making, now in Guinness book of record passage of 46 bills within 10 minutes, which is reprehensible, condemnable and legislative rascality.

As these unhealthy developments unfold in our legislature, it is important to admonish Senator Bukola Saraki and Honourable Yakubu Dogara to make a u turn from this character of indiscipline, irresponsiveness, irresponsibility and self interest which has the potential to imperil our democracy and society by further alienating the legislature from the people.

Thanks.

Yours Sincerely,
Signed.
Nelson Ekujumi

The Osun Judge’s Call For Aregbesola’s Impeachment: Where I Stand – By Bashir Adefaka

judiciary
Judiciary
Each day there is one sorry story to tell by Nigerians about Nigerian and Nigeria. Unfortunately, there has not been a day that this story is favourable. One of the problems of Nigerians is that their yesterday has always been better than their today. One would ordinarily anticipate that a nation that had particularly stood failed in the last six years of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, but now on the verge of being rescued will have its citizens speak positive about charting a way out of its quagmire. I stead for that to happen, what we have is people, perhaps trying to attract attention to themselves, would go to the extent of pages of the newspapers and broadcasting media to speak ills about people who are sincerely positioned to save the nation.

The latest being the call by a man simply identified as an Osun judge, Justice Oloyede Folahanmi, for the impeachment of Governor Rauf Aregbesola. At the last count I saw his impeachment call was premised on unpaid salaries of workers.

In the petition to that effect, Folahanmi, in a 30-page paper, urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, Amnesty International, Transparency International among others, to investigate any other person found to be responsible for what he described as ‘’deliberate mismanagement of the economy of Osun State.’’

The petitioner further accused Aregbesola of acting in defiance of some sections of the constitution which bordered on the welfare of Osun indigenes.

He added, ‘’Neglecting the welfare of members of the community under the guise of wanting to provide infrastructure, runs contrary to the teachings of Christ, the son of God, Jesus of Nazareth. The provision of infrastructures at the expense of human lives and the dignity of man is therefore repugnant to natural justice, equity, and good conscience and must be denounced as
abominable. It contradicts Principle 1 of the Stockholm Conference.”

Much sweetening as this judge wrote, the point is just one and very simple. The state for the first time in five years had been unable to pay salaries for eight months. It is an unusual predicament that is resolvable despite the embarrassing appearance it came with. At such critical period, concerned Osun eminent sons like Justice Folahanmi and daughters, who don’t see Osun as Aregbesola’s or APC’s palava but as palava and success of all that mean Osun, are expected to sit down with the governor to discuss its challenges and jointly proffer solutions.

But where you have people who should do as stated not only staying aloof watching but also mocking, what do you expect? We have 18 states in the country where salaries are not paid. Osun is only one of of them. Why is Osun the only place the governor must be impeached? Why is it the only state that workers want to die before death? Where do people keep their faith forgetting that God that has made them till today without salaries is capable of resolving their problem of salaries payment? The belief of Lagos factor is another factor. Why, Osun people, why?

It therefore suggests to me that Osun becomes an issue because of badbellying politics the opposition in the state is known for. And from my personal findings on the ground of the state, I realised that opposition in the state does not restrict to party politics but in the CAN, even in the schools. One teacher of Ataoja High School of Science near the governor’s office where a big edifice has reached 80% completion told me before this problem started still complained about school merger, unified schools uniforms and spoke bitterly against the edifice built in the school which has started giving the school a facelift.

All these were happening in a state where the governor’s performance shunned the huge political, religious and even fetish wars and opposition mounted against his re-election and won for him the second term. Most of Osun people particularly those including the teacher and author of this current call paper for Aregbesola’s impeachment should partly blame themselves for their own plight because, if your spirit does not work and pray for progress of your leader, when he digresses, he may end up crushing you unintentionally. It is natural.

Osun is the only state of Nigeria I have seen people of God joining the bad people in politics telling big and destructive lies against another politician to block his reelection chances. They said Aregbesola’s was training for Boko Haram invasion of Osun and cried loud that he had gone to Islamic Development Bank IDB to take loan and thereby planning to Islamise Osun. They infiltrated his schools re-classification programme with masqueraders and choirs wears just to show the governor that your religion is hated here. What did they not do? Upon all that, majority votes he got spoke volume that these fifth columnists were irrelevant talking of number and popularity.

They then went to court from tribunal to Appeal Court to stop the governor. Believing that he paid to win, they again went to Supreme Court where they eventually got their avoidable disgrace.

Their man. Jonathan, and party, PDP, ran the country bankrupt, which affected their Federal allocation dependent state hence the inability of the state in the last eight months to pay salaries. Some have argued that the governor should have devised alternative means of sustaining the state’s economy. How many of these argument makers pay tax and which of them will not politicise if the govt uses force to collect tax from them?

It is for that one that our Honourable Judge wants Rauf Aregbesola to be impeached even at a time the governor had not only commenced palliatives but has also given the workers hope to start paying them by this month end. It then calls to question the interest the judge is working for. His attitude shows that he will be beclouded by sentiment if he were to judge issue in his court. As a journalist, much as I always have my personal opinion, even which must not slander any side, I am still guided by ethics of balance, fairness and objectivity when it comes to reporting.

This one by the judge is unfortunate and is dead from start.

Governor Rauf Aregbesola will lead Osun out of this predicament. But where will these people hide their faces then? Instead for them to call for their master’s arrest and jailing, they want innocent man to suffer for their own sin of plunging Nigeria into economic and social mess. President Buhari’s recent alarm over Jonathan, PDP looting of the treasury thereby running the country bankrupt is evident of Aregbesola’s vindication.

Good morning Nigeria

*Prince Adefaka, a journalist, wrote this on his Facebook page.

ALL HAIL THY HALLOWED CHAMBERS – By Adesokan Adetoyese

Senator Bukola Saraki take a walk with Aminu Tambuwal
Senator Bukola Saraki take a walk with Aminu Tambuwal

The growing list of politicians remarkably inaugurated into the Nigerian hall of shame continues to swell with the hallowed chambers contributing in no small amount. Prior to their quisling-like ascension to power, some Nigerians have barely ever heard of the names Bukola saraki and Yakubu Dogara despite the former being an 8year governor of the North central Kwara state and inheriting the political machinery of his late father.

He has held the state by its jugular by handpicking his successor and being in absolute control of all the state’s resources. Anyway that is a. Discussion for another day but people who know Bukola saraki wouldn’t be surprised at his recent antics given his well documented lust for power and political treachery.

This is further reinforced by a background with a rich history of betrayal being a fulani man from illorin. The recent occurrence in the upper and lower chambers bring to questioning the contributions of these chambers to good governance in Nigeria since the inception of. Democratic dispensation vis-a-vis its ridiculous consumption of National resources.

As a typical economist, I’d say the cost far outweighs the benefit. When was the last time any of these chambers made a bill that directly impacted the lives of average Nigerians? When was the last time they acted their role adequately as a checkmate to the excesses of the executives because if they did Nigeria would not be in the financial quagmire it finds itself due to the recklessness of the PDP led years and more recently the catastrophic Jonathan years. The freedom of information bill which would have been one of the major high-point of senate legislation still remains to be domesticated in various states today despite it being passed by the senate.

About 60% of Nigerians do not even know the names of the senator representing his/her constituency let alone the house of representative members. The house successfully blocked the third term agenda of former President Olusegun Obasanjo not as a result of people oriented decision but an outcome of tactical innuendos of a few politicians most notably Atiku who feel their needs would not be served by such decision. Now they serve as the clog in the wind pipe of change that this Nation has clamoured for decades.

Come to think of it, is it not the same senate that successfully screened Adesiyan, an ex-convict as a minister during the Jonathan era?? Weren’t they the ones that successfully accredited the reinstatement of the notorious Obanikoro as minister after his failure at the PDP primary in lagos thereby empowering him to unleash terror on the people through the OPC??? Isn’t it ridiculous that the miscreant who now parades himself as the Governor of Rivers state was deemed qualified to be a minister by the senate??? Did they find anything wrong in giving excessive and unconstitutional powers to Dr Ngozi Okonjo-iweala as minister of finance who would go down in history as the one who ruined the Nigerian economy???

Not to mention the fact that the senate has become a safe haven for criminal governors after spending 8years in their respective states milking it dry. Hence in support of what Asiwaju Tinubu has rightly said, please can we have a system of government that is devoid of this self serving nomenclature called the Senate?

It’s Time For Buhari To Take Control Of APC – By Ola’ Idowu

APC Gov Buhari
APC Gov Buhari

The lingering crisis in the All Progressive Congress (APC) over the choice of its National Assembly leadership – though not unexpected due to our seemingly constant penchant to always put the cart before the horse in most situations in Nigeria, because of personal interest rather than the interest of Nigerians – has become one unnecessary crisis whose blame should lie squarely on the shoulders of President Muhammadu Buhari.

By trying to be an aplomb diplomat and making a departure from the past when his predecessors meddled into the choice of leaders for the National Assembly, President Buhari has ended up playing into the hands of his critics, the opposition party PDP, as well as influential members of his party who should have known better and offer him the right advice. I should have written about this long before the crisis within the APC started but I did not follow the whole series of event culminating in the June 9 National Assembly leadership elections as I thought the APC party leadership would get things right despite Buhari’s wrong insistence that he would not interfere in the affairs of the legislative arm in choosing its leaders.

While it would amount to a disproportionate interference in the legislative arm of government by Buhari should he meddle in their legislative duties, there is nothing like interference in choosing party members that would advance the policies and agendas of President Buhari as APC leaders in the National Assembly thus the president was wrong to have stayed out of the selection and elective process leading up to the June 9 Assembly elections. The constitution is clear that the Senate and House Representatives would produce it’s Senate President, Speaker and deputies from the rank of the party with the most members, so its strictly an affair for the ruling party. Furthermore, the Senate and House of Representatives standing rules also make it clear that leaders for both houses would come from the party with the most members, thus making it a party function.

At the moment the ruling or governing party in Nigeria is the APC, and prior to June 9, 2015, it had three main leaders namely : The President (Muhammadu Buhari), Vice-President (Yemi Osinbajo) and Party chairman (Odigie Oyegun), between those three, the leaders of the 8th Bicameral National Assembly should have been well articulated and possibly produced before the inauguration of the legislature on June 9th. The effect of not getting that done led to so many push and pull factors that has left the party in crisis and produced legislative leaders particularly in the Senate that may not advance the policies and agendas of President Buhari as they should.

Why should Buhari take control of the APC? Because he is the defacto National leader of the party, being the President and major face of the party. In the United States (US) and United Kingdom (UK) where we copy most of our democratic norms from that is the simple logic adopted to enforce party cohesion, discipline and supremacy. Take a look at the website of the Democratic party in the US and President Barack Obama is listed as the leader of the party, followed by the Vice-President (Joe Biden), The Senate Democratic leader, House Democratic leader and then the Chair of the party. In the UK, on the Conservative party’s website David Cameron is listed as the UK Prime Minister and leader of the party.

If we choose to copy democratic norms from them, then we have to copy it properly not invent our own kind of democracy, as that would lead to chaos as we see at present in the APC. Like I said it was not a surprise to me as we saw many of that at the start of the opposition PDP’s locust years in 1999 when they first came into power, but you would think the APC had learnt from all that. If there are any influential members within the APC who want certain party members to be elected as National Assembly leaders they would need to present superior arguments and ideas to President Buhari as to why that particular member would best advance Buhari’s policies and agendas within the legislature, not by arm-twisting, shock tactics or mudslinging. While the Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara was duly elected by his colleagues, there remains question marks over Senator Bukola Saraki’s emergence as Senate President and having an opposition member as his deputy.

Such anomaly may remain for now for the sake of stability, but there is no way you would expect an opposition member to advance the agenda of President Buhari and the APC, hence my insistence that the president got it wrong in not calling the shots ahead of the National Assembly leadership elections. He should have fearlessly thrown his weight behind party members he would have preferred as leaders within both Houses as it’s strictly a party affair going by the constitution and rules of both houses, and as the defacto leader of the party he has every right to do so. If any influential member of the party preferred another candidate to his, then it has to be discussed within the party confines and superior arguments and ideas presented to arrive at the right choice. Nobody argues against superior ideas or arguments except a fool, especially when it’s done in a democratic-participative way but people can kick against autocratic dictation, self-seeking imposition, and political grandstanding.

At the moment the main national leaders of the APC are President Buhari, VP Osinbajo, Senator Saraki, Speaker Dogara and Party Chairman Oyegun in that order. Thus for Saraki to be able to work together with the VP who is his boss he needs to apologise publicly for calling him a ‘mere commissioner’ in the heat of the political gunfire exchanges before the Senate leadership elections on June 9th if indeed he said such words. Not only was that rude it demonstrates the typical lack of culture and chivalry that you find in most Nigerian politicians. The Senate though anomalous looks quite settled in terms of its leadership but President Buhari may still have a say on that should he choose too, especially if Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu (PDP) does the most honourable thing and resigns.

For the House of Representatives, asides from the normal election of Yakubu Dogara (APC) as Speaker, everything else has degenerated into a farce culminating in the fisticuffs seen on national TV on Thursday June 25th, with elected Representatives acting like kids on the American show “Kids Say the Darndest Things”. While one side were shouting like kids :“Dogara, Dogara” – which is half true as he is now a national leader of the House and the APC – the other side were chorusing back also like kids : “APC, APC” – which is fully true as the party must have supremacy in the choice of its legislative leaders, but they were all doing it in the wrong way and if the President had taken control of the party it should not have come down to such “Kiddies Show Time” like we saw on Thursday just gone.

It’s about a month President Buhari was inaugurated and so far so good he’s shown leadership in many respects particularly in putting Governors in their place in terms of not allowing them select upcoming Ministers and Advisers for his government. He’s demonstrated to them that he leads the party unlike the way it was under the PDP where governors led the party nationally, but he needs to now assert his leadership over the whole party and sort out the National Assembly crisis once and for all. Election of Assembly leaders is a party issue and the party’s wishes must take supremacy over anyone’s ambitions.

Its leaders must be the ones that would advance the policies and agendas of the President and their party as it’s Buhari and the APC who would suffer for it in 2019 should it all go pear-shaped on the legislative front. No one is calling for a rubber-stamp legislature, but at the least its leaders must share the same vision as the President especially if they belong to a similar party. Wherever they disagree on policies and agendas, it must be because they have superior ideas to that of the President and the party, or would want the Judicial arm to give interpretation to certain policies. That is the beauty of democracy – check and balances and full democratic participation by every arm of government to better the lots of the country and its citizenry.

President Buhari has between now and July 21st when the House of Representatives reconvenes to show leadership and sort out the mess in the National Assembly, putting to bed its needless leadership crisis and take control of the APC, at the moment he’s not shown enough leadership on that front and it would surely affect his policies and agendas for millions of Nigerians hoping for a new way of life in our country.

Ola’ Idowu a researcher writes in from the UK.

Osun State: metaphor for unpaid salaries – By Bolanle Oke

A bird's eyes view of Osun under Aregbesola
A bird’s eyes view of Osun under Aregbesola

ABOUT two months ago, a female retiree of the Osun State public service called to complain about unpaid workers’ salaries, and wanted this writer to wade in, as an advocate of the masses.

After another caller came up with the same issue, it became imperative to find out what was going on in Osun State. The state truly owes about six months’ salary backlog, and the workers have become restive as a result.

The Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, attributes the unpaid salaries to the state’s dwindling revenue. For instance, he revealed, revenue from all sources in 2012, including the Federation Account; internally generated revenue; and other accruals, like value added tax, from the Federal Government, yielded N28.4 billion, whereas total wage bill only was N31.6 billion, leaving a deficit of N3.2 billion. The same scenario was repeated in 2013, with a deficit of N10.4 billion.

It turned out also that dwindling oil revenue has made it difficult for the Federal Government, and 24 (some say 28) of Nigeria’s 36 states, to pay staff salaries. The initial cause of the palaver was the increase of minimum wage to N18,000, unilaterally entered into by the President Goodluck Jonathan Government with the labour unions. It became a kerfuffle when the price of crude oil plummeted, and reduced the revenue that accrued to the nation.

The Nigerian Governors’ Forum, led by former Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, alleged that another cause of the problem was the Federal Government’s squandering of funds due to the states from the Excess Crude Account. But former Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, countered that the money was actually paid to states.

Things have gotten so bad that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is unable to meet $2 billion cash call obligations to its joint-venture international oil corporation partners. Indeed an IOC source alleges that the Federal Government totally mismanaged available crude oil revenue, and misappropriated money meant to execute projects and activities that were not included in budgets approved by the National Assembly.

Some argue that some state governments embarked on ambitious projects.

But government is about providing services to the people – and paying some cadres of the citizenry to perform it. And there are some services that the people didn’t ask for, but must be provided nonetheless: You don’t ask for the military or police forces to protect you, before government provides them anyway.

The same goes for social services like hospitals, schools, and traffic control that will have adverse effect on society if not discharged. You will have a hard time faulting an Osun State Government that fulfills its electoral promises by feeding about 254,000 pupils daily, and providing jobs for about 3,000 cooks, and giving farming and agribusiness a shot in the arm, through the ‘O’ MEALS Elementary School Feeding and Health Programme.

Neither can you really fight a plan to refurbish the old Osogbo Aerodrome, to provide a hub to freight agricultural cargo from Osun and adjoining states. The airport comes with a repairs hanger where military, private operators and commercial airlines can repair their aircraft. The network of roads around the airport also makes for easy flight connections for passengers and farming cargoes.

But the sudden drop of oil revenue scuppered the whole thing, bringing unpaid wages in its wake. Because the problem of unpaid wages of government workers is a universal phenomenon in Nigeria, many suggest downsizing of staff. That fails to recognise that employment of workers is also a legitimate social service expected of every government.

This then brings up the argument that state governments must be allowed to independently negotiate minimum wages with labour unions. If the Federal Government will not pay the salary bills of states, it should not negotiate wages on their behalf. Allowing each state the autonomy to negotiate its minimum wage with labour goes by the name, ‘fiscal federalism.’

But the Federal Government is too big, to the detriment of states and (especially) local governments. The real interface between the state and the citizens is more at the local government level. Shouldn’t the revenue allocation formula be restructured to the advantage of local councils?

Indeed, the day of argument for fiscal federalism is here. It is imperative for the Nigerian state to recognise that those who provide the resources must be first partakers in its yield. That must explain why the Niger Delta, whose soil provides the oil and gas that have provided the major source of revenue for the country, complain about being schemed out of the returns from the petroleum resources.

The Ijaw have therefore expressed a desire for self-determination, having noted that the treaty of 1914, between the Ijaw and the British colonial powers, lapsed in 2014. Fair-minded Nigerian patriots must not ignore this heart cry of the Ijaw – or other nationalities for that matter. All people of goodwill must strive to achieve a more honest interpretation and implementation of the protocols of democratic and federal governance in Nigeria.

More to the point: State governments that owe salaries must certainly demonstrate the will to pay. They could restructure payment schedules (the way bankers do), and then seek to re-negotiate more realistic minimum wage regime with labour. This way, accrued wage bills are settled, and a future without financial booby-traps, charted.

And it is not enough to blame the states for unpaid salaries. The Federal Government may have to immediately initiate a rescue plan to pay the salary arrears, to stem the human suffering, before asking the state governments to go and sin no more.

•Oke works for the Osun State government.

Culled From The Guardian Newspaper

Never Compare! Tinubu Towers Above Saraki – PDP Chieftain Hon Adekoya Dare Alaba

Ambode ,Tinubu and Fashola
Ambode ,Tinubu and Fashola

Lately it is common news in columns and pages of social media to read venoms,vituperations and verbal attacks on the person of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and these barbaric acts started immediately after his Party APC won the elections and became a ruling party the attacks to me
are irrational, inhuman, baseless and unreasonable.

But before I’m tagged a Tinubu apologist let me quickly state here, and it is a fact in public fora that l defected officially, openly, and publicly from APC to PDP on January ff21st and till now l have got no reason to regret that action nor do l have plans of returning to APC either now or in the nearest future or am l writing this to curry the favour of Tinubu? the answers to the above questions is NO, but I’m writing this on good conviction with open and objective mind maybe because l cut my teeth as politician with the progressives from the SDP days to AD to ACD to AC to ACN to APC.

To worsen matter is the latest comparison of Saraki with Tinubu this is disgusting and nauseating, apart from the fact that Tinubu first became a Senator 23 years ago, long even before Saraki thought of coming into politics, Tinubu would have even been a Senate President at his first attempt if not for his respect for his party, and even in 2015. Using an clean and acceptable channel, his loyalist still became the country number two man.

In my entire lifetime l have met Tinubu closely just on three occasions and those were in my days as member of ACN Ogun State Working Committee and none of the meetings went beyond handshakes but on those times l have seen in Tinubu the great leadership traits that reside in the best of men, Firm, Focus, Kind, Charismatic and decisive, hence even in my wildest dream l never believe that vilification and persecution can come as result of being an arrowhead to a
successful outing hence the campaign of calumny and the pull him down project which is coming at quite alarming rate against Tinubu beat my imaginations.

The criticism against Tinubu can be classified into three groups, namely:

(1) Those who feel he is too greedy and corrupt and that he want to have his hands and eyes in everything

(2) Those who feel it is his family that is getting everything, they will tell you Tinubu was a Senator/Governor, his wife is a Senator, his daughter is an lyaloja and his in-law was a House
of Rep member.

(3) They are those who feel he is overbearing, overambitious and a region leader.

Before l tackle these groups appropriately and one by one, my personal investigation showed that these smear campaign to crucify Asiwaju at all cost are been sponsored,masterminded and spread by his hitherto beneficiaries people he installed as governors deputy governors and cabinet
members but who envy his new status as the kingmaker with APC victory they became his overnight
traducers, detractors, albatross and nemesis and they are actively collaborating with outside enemies in harbouring bitterness against their erstwhile benefactor and in the process they are involving in backbiting, subversion, treachery, undermining, lies, deception, greed, avarice,
covetousness,morbid and inordinate ambition all in attempt to be relevant in Buhari government.

According to Harold Lasswell: Politics is who get what, When and How? but do we call this Pull-Him-Down Project too politics? What is the basis of this forceful hand twisting power struggle and involuntary retirement push? though there is nowhere where power is giving out and up a la carte but there is suppose to be some decorum in this elite game but how successful
they will be in this their pursuit remain to be seen in unfolding scenario, because Tinubu l know is a planner, a deft fighter, a consummate strategist, and a political warrior with lots
of experiences at his arsenal.

Or how can people who few years back are known as celebrated sycophants, military apologists and bootlickers will have their memories and eyes shut down by inordinate ambition to compete with
Tinubu politically or have they forgotten Tinubu antecedent, struggle and efforts to bring in this CHANGE in government. l remember Tinubu in those military days when he put his life on line with others to fight the military juntas just to achieve the democracy we are presently enjoying, what of his days in exile,shuttling and roaming many countries capitals using his money to sponsor NADECO and Radio Kudirat or should we talk of when he returned to Nigeria with just $2,000, 5 shirts, 3 jackets and 3 trousers while all his properties were already confiscated by military government?

Or should we talk about his days in SDP in 1992 then he could have become the Senate President if not for his party and Abiola interest in the Presidency which led to Iyorchia Ayu becoming the
Senate President Or is it in 2003 when PDP swept the whole South West but for his political sagacity he remained the last man standing, He was the Governor who was picking his Commissioners and Special Advisers from other Southwestern States so that he can use them to plant his party again in the States and like mustard seed planted in the midst of thorn struggling to survive, from Alliance for Democracy he moved and formed Action Congress and
merged with ACD and from there to ACN and from the only surviving state which was Lagos ACN got five other States making six, most of the people Tinubu started AD with had fallen by roadside.

In ACN he used all his energy, honour and charisma and merged with other like-mind progressives and formed APC and for the first time in the history of Nigeria he brought the dream and aspirations of the late sage Chief Awolowo to manifestation with opposition becoming the ruling party in the country.

Who can count the number of people Tinubu has made Governors, Deputy Governors, Commissioners, Special Advisers, Chairmen and Board members, Party Leaders and Excos,Contractors? or many he had given appointments in LGAs and LCDAs and lately he just made another of his loyal follower a Vice President of this great country, and most of these people are people he never knew from
Adams but through recommendations or do people expect him to give appointments to unloyal members? but is it wrong to give to your households the largesse you give to outsiders if they are qualified?

In Yorubaland it is even sacrilegious to send other people’s children an errand you can’t send your own children, what is wrong in Tinubu wife being a Senator or his in-law being in the House are they not Nigerians? Dont they pay taxes? Are they not qualified?

Even Jesus said “Food that is made for children should not be given to dogs” ln 1963 ln Action Group days Chief Awolowo was the Party Leader and was the Party gladiator, ln 1979 same Chief Awolowo was his Party Leader and Party Presidential candidate while his son Oluwole also contested and won a seat in the House of Assembly in Lagos did the world come to an end?

In 2003 in Kwara State, Chief Olusola Saraki made his son Bukonla Saraki the current Senate President the Governor, he made his daughter Gbemisola Saraki the Senator, His son Laolu Saraki the Presidential Adviser to Shehu Musa Yaradua and his son Ope Saraki a Special Adviser to the Governor on Students Affairs, and the earth remains, in U.S the names like Bush, Kennedy, and Clinton continue to dominate national politics, in India, politics is incomplete without
mentioning Gandhi, so what of the Ribadus, Yar’Aduas, Obasanjos in Nigeria? so why will Tinubu case be an exception?

Though naturally human being love men who are like candles who give light others to others while its bottom is in darkness, or like sewing machine who sew clothes for others while it is naked, To the second Group l want them to know that Politics is the biggest investment in the world and
it is highly expensive and capitally intensive and on its own politics is a big industry, and to be a successful player and politician you must be a professional, a bourgeoisie or a capitalist.

I’m always surprised when people talk of Tinubu’s wealth and investments, for one, most of his businesses are here in Nigeria giving employments and creating wealth and saving our country a lots of capital flight,can same be said of other politicians? What about his giving culture, no
journalist or pro democracy activist during Abacha junta won’t attest to his generosity infact if it were possible for humanity to return excesses like we have in budgetary situation Tinubu would have too much kindness return back to him.

Lately too I’m surprised at the many overnights disciples of Buhari,where were all these people during the APC Primary and campaigns? if not for Tinubu, Buhari could not have been the President today or was is not the same Buhari who had contested three times previously but then
nobody seems to remember all these his publicise integrity and anti corruption stance until APC repackaged and gave him publicity hype, It was the same Tinubu that used his overwhelming influence to move the National Convention from Abuja to Lagos.

I was an APC National delegate in the December 10th convention and l also doubled as State
Coordinator for Atiku Abubakar for the convention. I must confess that if not for Tinubu there was no way Buhari would have won the Primary election because most of the delegates from the Northern States were there for Atiku and Kwankwaso and we in Atiku Camp were already smiling in
anticipation for victory,lt was the same Tinubu that use his overwhelming influence (which is now called overbearing) to twist and wipe the delegates from the entire South zone in line for
Buhari it was a day l learnt a New Political trick, Hon Abike Dabiri (another Tinubu loyalist) who was the compere, set the tune for Buhari’s victory that night when she introduced Buhari and eulogised him by calling him “an Anti corruption Czar” thereby indicating where Tinubu interest
was, then Tinubu was not overbearing.

Also during the Presidential campaign and tour of States all the VIP we were seeing with Buhari are Tinubu, Fashola, Fayemi, Bamidele, Mamora, Oyegun, Osibajo and other Southerns,we are all these overnight power blocs and Fulanis blocs, so truly success has many relatives.

To worsen matter is the latest comparison of Saraki with Tinubu this is disgusting and nauseating, apart from the fact that Tinubu first became a Senator 23 years ago, long even
before Saraki thought of coming into politics, Tinubu would have even been a Senate President at his first attempt if not for his respect for his party, and even in 2015. Using an clean and
acceptable channel, his loyalist still became the country number two man.

Let me conclude this write up by quoting from MKO Abiola’s autobiography: “To Make Whole
Again” He said when he bought his first helicopter in 1976 and used it to carry his father from Lagos to Abeokuta he said his father asked him “How many people in this country has private helicopter? and he said he replied his father that presently it was only him,he said his father then told him “This is a novel idea you will need to exercise a lots of patience because people
will always hurl stones and pebbles at tree that has fruits”.

So to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu You are a big tree with lots of fruits so you need to exercise lots of patience as stones and pebbles will be thrown at you because opposition ruling in this country is a novel idea,so you are a pacesetter, My personal advise is for you Asiwaju to critical study this “is Southwest real cut for the the government at the centre (Federal) ? because being in the mainstream has never paid us,won’t it be better if the country is restructured and each zone is allowed to develop at its own pace? Think of this, and to all Tinubu critics and detractors the indisputable fact remains that “Tinubu did not come into politics as a poor man” and you must start to learn how to believe in Luck or what will you call the success of those you don’t like, though to me, Tinubu may not be a saint but he is a
GREAT Man, Time and posterity will vindicate you Asiwaju.

– By Hon. Adekoya Dare Alaba

Real Reason For Buhari’s Invitation By Obama: Atiku, OBJ Panick

Major General RTD. Ishola Williams
Major General RTD. Ishola Williams
Many political pundits have applauded the invitation of President Muhammadu Buhari By POTUS Obama against 20th July 2015. Feelers from the villa has however indicated that the US has hinted PMB about hidden and ill-gotten funds acquired by Nigerian politicians and their proxies stashed away in US banks has been tracked and may be handed over to PMB administration.

This alleged promises by POTUS Obama was what pundits say were responsible for PMB’s optimism when he, in turn, declared to APC Governors during their meeting with him that he would recover Billions that were stolen in the next three months.

The US and other countries were enthused with the peaceful conduct of Nigerian elections and the peaceful handover of power. How far the US and other allies would go is not known and remains a matter of speculations. Meanwhile finger-pointing has been going on in expectant political circles. Former Rulers OBJ, Atiku and GEJ and some of their prominent cronies and proxies are being speculated to be in this American dragnet. Our sources within the Villa say panic is already triggered in the camp of PDP big wigs with hefty American Dollars in their foreign accounts.

The US was said to have brokered a “recovery pact” with certain high target politicians and some former ruling party moguls return substantial part of the loot or risk exposure and seizure. many are reported to have quietly agreed to return part of their loot, and that is what informs the Buhari trip to Washington next month.

Retired Major General Ishola Williams, an anti-corruption crusader and Transparency International Chairman, when he heard the news of POTUS invitation to Buhari and the probable reasons for it, was quoted to have said: “…I am dancing with the music played by this good news to start a busy weekend…”

“Radio Biafra is an avenue for those with a siege mentality to vent, it must not be banned or sabotaged” – Kayode Ogundamisi

Biafra Protests
Biafra Protests

The call for a ban on Radio Biafra is an irritating distraction for the following reasons.

1. Biafra Radio operators are guaranteed free speech and do not operate on Nigerian airwaves, they are free to agitate for the State of Biafra so long as they do it without violence, call to violence or promote violence against persons, or promote ethnic war against others.

2. Agitation for the State of Biafra is not a crime as individuals/groups can advocate for a right to self determination, what would be wrong is for them to dismember themselves from the territory of the Federal Republic of Nigeria without the consent and agreement of the other federating units. Biafra agitators would have to wage a war against the Federal Republic of Nigeria to do that and would have to be prepared for the consequences (Positive or Negative) of such action.

3. Banning Radio Biafra would just be playing into the agenda of the operators who are making a kill financially from those who buy into whatever agenda they promote, a ban will increase the funding and drive sympathy to the platform.

4. Radio Biafra and other voices should be encouraged to speak openly rather than drive agitators underground.

5. MASSOB (Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra ) is a good example of how lame the power base of Biafra agitators are, like most other pretentious platforms, Radio Biafra will end up like MASSOB and should be left to be.

6. Best way to counter the narrative of those who operate Radio Biafra is to treat ALL Nigerians equally irrespective of region, religion, tribe, sex or political affiliation, if that is done, platforms such as Radio Biafra would remain an avenue for those with a siege mentality to vent and let the steam out and they must be allowed to let it out in a peaceful way.

REBUTTAL – SKYE BANK IN AUTO LEASE FRAUD

SKYE Bank
SKYE Bank
We financed the Purchase of a Honda Vehicle on behalf of a customer sometimes back. When the customer defaulted in re-payment the officials, of the bank re-possessed the said vehicle and the customer filed an action in court against the bank.

In addition to the law suit, the customer made defamatory publication against the bank in the blog-sites whose addresses are contained hereunder.

http:www.shybellmedia.blogspot.com/2015/03/exclusive-skye-bank-in-auto-lease-fraud.html?m=1

AND

http:www.mikeangelonews.com/2015/03/dastardy-acts-acts-of-skye-bank-uncovered-laptop-jewelries-ipad-stolen-from-customer

The suit has been referred to mediation at the Lagos Multi-Door Court and parties have been able to settle and the terms of settlement signed.

As one of the conditions for settlement, the customer has taken down the offending publication in one of the blog-site (Shy-bell Media) but the other one remains active (Mike Angelo News) as the customer claims that she cannot reach the owner of the said blog-site. The customer has further made a Counter publication in Vibe Ng to whittle down the effect of the offending publication -: http://www.vibenigeria.com/re-skye-bank-in-auto-lease-fraud/

In the light of the above, it has been agreed that the said Counter publication be published in more prominent blog-sites which have a larger audience and which have the capability of going Viral. This is to serve as a damage control to our battered public image.


Best Regards,
Ugbegua George Odianose
Digital Analyst
The Quadrant Company
32 Ladoke Akintola Street, GRA, Ikeja
Lagos – Nigeria
Mobile: +234 7056 567 587
E-mail: [email protected]
Web-site: www.quadrantcompany.com