President Muhammadu Buhari conveys sincere and heartfelt condolences to all Nigerians who lost relatives in the latest terrorist atrocities in Jos, Kano, and Zaria.
President Buhari joins them in mourning their loved ones who were brutally murdered in the suicide bombings and attacks that also caused horrifying injuries to others.
The President urges all Nigerians, however, not to be unduly disheartened by the seeming resurgence of terrorist attacks and atrocities in the country as his administration remains fully committed to overcoming the challenges of insecurity, terrorism and insurgency as quickly as possible.
Already, the intensified onslaught by the military on terrorists’ strongholds has led to significant seizures of weapons and vehicles, a blockage of their sources of arms and ammunition, and a decimation of their fighting men.
President Buhari assures Nigerians of the ability and readiness of the country’s armed forces and security agencies to contain the frantic resort by the terrorists to attacks on soft targets such as crowds and places of worship.
The President is convinced that with recent increases in troops deployment, improvements in the supply of arms and equipment to the military, as well as the ongoing effort to mobilize greater international cooperation and support, the end of Boko Haram and terrorism in Nigeria is in sight.
He calls on Nigerians to remain vigilant and report any suspicious persons to security agents as his administration continues to give the highest possible priority to eradicating Boko Haram and ensuring greater security of lives and property across the country.
Senior Special Assistant to the President
Though the bereaved child of the dead is truly worried and depressed, he’s not going to be buried with his mother. The raging storm in state of Osun shall subside and new living springs shall blossom.
Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola a.k.a ÀRÀ, shall live his dream for Osun.
It is unfortunate that workers’ salaries are delayed, it is most unfortunate that it is not a deliberate act or an act of impunity on the part of the governor. Right from the time he assumed leadership of Osun state, discerning minds could see that he is in a race against time, he is hyperactive to see Osun developed into a model state, as a transformed state and as a state that whoever succeeds him will have little to do in terms of capital expenditure but rather would just need to be maintaining structures and templates put in place.
“Aládáánwò kii l’ore.” The governor of ‘Hosanna’ just yesterday when he was implementing populist programs like ‘Opón Ìmò’, ‘School feeding’, ‘Model Schools construction’, ‘Multiple multi kilometer roads construction’ among many other altruistic projects to take Osun to next level has suddenly become ‘crucify him’ to the extent that some are working towards getting him impeached. His major disconnect is his administration’s inability to pay workers’ salaries, a malaise that is endemic in almost half of the states across the federation including the workers at the federal level.
Government is a collective. The leader provides leadership and direction. When the people are well informed and the government is open, there ought to be support, sacrifice and cooperation when there is a raging storm. It is in the spirit of this understanding I will like to appeal to the good people of Osun state who just last August approved the performance of their leader thereby renewing his mandate.
Unfortunate and harrowing as the non payment of salaries is, I will implore Osun people to make new discoveries that often come from adversity and challenges which will be an added value in the near future long after the storm is over.
The leadership of the government should be honest enough to present to its people the true state of affairs and if there is little disbursements that still come every month, the government can break the workers into groups or batches where some batches are paid in a particular month while it is the turn of other batches ins subsequent months until normalcy returns.
This is also a clarion call on wealthy people of the state origin, friends and believers of the developmental programs of the government to come to its aid by lending the state some money or buying the state’s farm produce through the government. Necessity is the mother of invention, I strongly believe some egg heads can come out with bail out options that will reduce pressure from the government.
Impeachment is not only a distraction, it is not an alternative at this difficult time.
I wish the people and government of Osun state a quick recovery and the grace to live the dream of ÀRÀ.
“Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to consider the recovery of over $7.5 Billion from oil and gas companies operating in Nigeria and another $11.6 billion from the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas as a major to shore up the nation’s coffers.” Daily Trust, June 10, 2015
Recovering this vast sums which I believe are gross underestimates from the fraudulent oil multinationals whose home governments PMB was trying to appease in Germany would make tremendous difference to the present financial quagmire Nigeria has found itself. It would be several times over any paltry ‘bailout’ from those countries and of course the bailouts will come with strangulating conditionalities!
Is anybody listening? or it’s going to be about the cloak and dagger politics of APC/PDP alone. At the end of the day, let’s all remember that this country is not about Buhari, Tinubu and the others, let’s face the issues, there is too much politics in this clime! And it just suits them well to be so diverted.
In the late ’80s and early ’90s, the western neo-liberal institutions imposed series of killer economic programs on most African countries, as well as South America and a large swathe of Asia that came to be known as Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs). The late Prof. Bade Onimode, a foremost political economist called the SAPs ‘a declaration of war’ while late Prof. Aluko called it the ‘kiss of death’. Well, the same medicine is now being applied to the ailing economies of Southern Europe, with the most devastating outcome in Greece. But progressive Europe is fighting back:
THE DELPHI DECLARATION
On Greece and Europe
European governments, European institutions and the IMF, acting in close alliance with, if not under direct control of, big international banks and other financial institutions, are now exercising a maximum of pressure, including open threats, blackmailing and a slander and terror communication campaign against the recently elected Greek government and against the Greek people.
They are asking the elected government of Greece to continue the “bail-out” program and the supposed “reforms” imposed on this country in May 2010, in theory to “help” and “save” it.
As a result of this program, Greece has experienced by far the biggest economic, social and political catastrophe in the history of Western Europe since 1945. It has lost 27% of its GDP, more than the material losses of France or Germany during the First World War. The living standards have fallen sharply. The social welfare system is all but destroyed. Greeks have seen social rights won during one century of struggles taken back. Whole social strata are completely destroyed, more and more Greeks are falling from their balconies to end a life of misery and desperation, every talented person who can leaves from the country. Democracy, under the rule of a “Troika” acting as collective economic assassin, a kind of Kafka’s “Court”, has been transformed into a sheer formality in the very country where it was born! Greeks are experiencing now the same feeling of insecurity about all basic conditions of life, that the French experienced in 1940, Germans in 1945, Soviets in 1991. At the same time, the two problems which this program was supposed to address, Greek sovereign debt and the competitiveness of the Greek economy have sharply deteriorated.
Now, European institutions and governments are refusing even the most reasonable, elementary, minor concession to the Athens government, they refuse even the slightest face-saving formula there might be. They want a total surrender of SYRIZA, they want its humiliation, its destruction. By denying to the Greek people any peaceful and democratic way out of its social and national tragedy, they are pushing Greece into chaos, if not civil war. Indeed, even now, an undeclared social civil war of “low intensity” is being waged inside this country, especially against the unprotected, the ill, the young and the very old, the weaker and the unlucky. Is this the Europe we want our children to live in?
We want to express our total, unconditional solidarity with the struggle of the Greek people for their dignity, their national and social salvation, for their liberation from the unacceptable neocolonial rule the “Troika” is trying to impose on this European country. We denounce the illegal and unacceptable agreements successive Greek governments have been obliged, under threat and blackmail, to sign, in violation of all European treaties, of the Charter of UN and of the Greek constitution. We call on European governments and institutions to stop their irresponsible and/or criminal policy towards Greece immediately and adopt a generous emergency program of support to redress the Greek economic situation and face the humanitarian disaster already unfolding in this country.
We also appeal to all European peoples to realize that what is at stake in Greece it is not only Greek salaries and pensions, Greek schools and hospitals or even the fate even of this historic nation where the very notion of “Europe” was born. What is at stake in Greece are also Spanish, Italian, even the German salaries, pensions, welfare, the very fate of the European welfare state, of European democracy, of Europe as such. Stop believing your media, who tell you the facts, only to distort their meaning, check independently what your politicians and your media are saying. They try to create, and they have created an illusion of stability. You may live in Lisbon or in Paris, in Frankfurt or in Stockholm, you may think that you are living in relative security. Do not keep such illusions. You should look to Greece, to see there the future your elites are preparing for you, for all of us and for our children. It is much easier and intelligent to stop them now, than it will be later. Not only Greeks, but all of us and our children will pay an enormous price, if we permit to our governments to complete the social slaughter of a whole European nation.
We appeal in particular to the German people. We do not belong to those who are always reminding the Germans of the past in order to keep them in an “inferior”, second-class position, or in order to use the “guilt factor” for their dubious ends. We appreciate the organizational and technological skills of the German people, their proven democratic and especially ecological and peace sensitivities. We want and we need the German people to be the main champions in the building of another Europe, of a prosperous, independent, democratic Europe, of a multipolar world.
Germans know better than anybody else in Europe, where blind obedience to irresponsible leaders can lead and has indeed led in the past. It is not up to us to teach them any such lesson. They know better than anybody else how easy is to begin a campaign with triumphalist rhetoric, only to end up with ruins everywhere around you. We do not invite them to follow our opinion. We demand simply from them to think thoroughly the opinion of such distinguished leaders of them like Helmut Schmitt for instance, we demand them to hear the voice of the greatest among modern German poet, of Günter Grass, the terrible prophecy he has emitted about Greece and Europe some years before his death.
We call upon you, the German people, to stop such a Faustian alliance between German political elites and international finance. We call upon the German people not to permit to their government to continue doing to the Greeks exactly what the Allies did to Germans after their victory in the First World War. Do not let your elites and leaders to transform the entire continent, ultimately including Germany, into a dominion of Finance.
More than ever we are in urgent need of a radical restructuring of European debt, of serious measures to control the activities of the financial sector, of a “Marshal Plan” for the European periphery, of a courageous rethinking and re-launching of a European project which, in its present form, has proven unsustainable. We need to find now the courage to do this, if we want to leave a better Europe to our children, not a Europe in ruins, in continuous financial and even open military conflicts among its nations.
Delphi, 21 June 2015
The above declaration was adopted by nearly all participants in the Delphi conference on the crisis, on alternatives to euroliberalism and EU/Russia relations, held at Delphi, Greece on 20-21st of June. It is also supported by some people who were not able to be present. The list of people who signed it follows. In it there are not only citizens of EU countries, but also of Switzerland, USA, Russia and India. Many distinguished American scholars seem to be more sensitive as regard the European crisis, than the … political leaders of EU themselves! As for Russians, it is only normal and natural to bear a great interest for what is going on in EU, as EU citizens bear also an interest for what is going on in Russia. All participants in the Delphi conference share the strong conviction that Russia is an integral part of Europe, that there is a strong interconnection between what happens in EU and in Russia. They are categorically opposed to anti-Russia hysteria, which in fact is nothing less than the preparation of a new, even more dangerous cold, if not hot war.
Altvater Elmar, Germany
Member of scientific community of AΤTAC. Retired Professor of Political Science, Free University of Berlin.
Amin Samir, Egypt/France
Economist, President of the Forum Mondial des Alternatives
Ayala Iván H., Spain
Researcher, Instituto Complutense de Estudios Internacionales
Arsenis Gerasimos, Greece
Εconomist, ex-minister of Economy, of Finance, of National Defense and of Education, ex-UN official and ex-director of UNCTAD
Artini Massimo, Italy
Member of Parliament
Bellantis Dimitris, Greece
Lawyer, PHD in Constitutional Law, Member of the Central Committee of SYRIZA
Black William, USA
Professor of Economics, University of Missouri (Kansas City)
Cassen Bernard, France
Professor Emeritus, Université Paris 8, secretary general of “Mémoire des luttes”
Chiesa, Giulietto, Italy
Politician, journalist and author, ex MEP, president of the “Alternativa” association
Freeman, Alan, Canada/UK
Geopolitical Economy Research Group, Business School, Director
Gabriel, Leo, Austria
Director of the Institute for Intercultural Research and Cooperation (IIIC), Vienna, Member of the International Council of the World Social Forum, Coordinator of the NGO Committee for Sustainable Development of the United Nations
George, Suzan, France
Political and social scientist, writer, President of the Transnational Institute
Georgopoulos, Dimosthenis, Greece
Economist, sociologist, political scientist, Secretariat on Industrial Policy, SYRIZA
German, Lindsey, UK
Convenor, Stop the War Coalition
Graeber, David, UΚ
Professor of Anthropology, London School of Economics. Author of “Debt: The First 5,000 Years”
Hudson, Michael, USA
Professor of economics, University of Missouri (Kansas City), UMKC. President, Institute for the Study of Long-term Economic Trends (ISLET)
Irazabalbeitia, Inaki, Spain
Former MEP / responsible for International Relationships for the party ARALAR, Basque Country
Jennar, Raoul Marc, France
Dr. in political sciences, specialist on European law and on WTO regulations, writer of twenty books, among them “Europe, la trahison des élites”
Kagarlitsky, Boris, Russia
Director of the Institute for globalization studies and social movements (IGSO)
Kalloniatis, Costas, Greece
Phd on macroeconomics, adviser to the Ministry of Labour, researcher in the Labor Institute of the General Confederation of Workers of Greece
Kasimatis, Giorgos, Greece
Prof. Emeritus of Constitutional Law, University of Athens. Founder and Honorary President of the International Association of Constitutional Law, ex-advisor to PM Andreas Papandreou.
Koenig, Peter, Switzerland
Εconomist / geopolitical analyst
Koltashov, Vasiliy, Russia
Head of the economic research unit of the Institute for Globalisation and Social Movements
Konstantakopoulos, Dimitris, Greece
Journalist, Writer, Coordinator of the Delphi Initiative
Koutsou, Nikos, Cyprus
Member of Parliament from Famagusta
Kreisel, Wilfried, Germany
Former Executive Director, World Health Organization
Mavros, Giannis, Greece
Member of the National Council for the Claiming of Germany’s Debts to Greece
Mityaev, Dmitry A. , Russia
Deputy Chairman of the Council for Study of Productive Forces of the Ministry of Economic Development and the Russian Academy of Sciences on Development Issues
Ochkina, Anna, Russia
Head of Department of social theory at Penza State University
Pantelides, Panagiotis, Greece
Economist, senior researcher, European Institute of Cyprus
Petras, James, USA
Bartle Professor Emeritus , Binghamton University
Ex-Director of the Center for Mediterranean Studies (Athens), ex-adviser to the Landless Rural Workers Movement of Brasil and the Unemployed Workers Movement in Argentina
Pinasco, Luca, Italy
National coordinator of Proudhon Circles-Editor for foreign policy of the journal “L’intellettuale dissidente”.
Radika, Desai, USA
Professor, Director of the Geopolitical Economy Research Group, University of Manitoba
Rees, John, UK
Co-founder, Stop the War Coalition
Roberts, Paul Craig, USA
Former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury for Economic Policy, Associate Editor, Wall Street Journal, Senior Research Fellow, Stanford University, William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
Sideratos, Aggelos, Greece
Sommers, Jeffrey, USA
Senior Fellow, Institute of World Affairs, Professor, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
St Clair, Jeffrey, USA
Editor, CounterPunch, author, Born Under a Bad Sky
Stierle, Steffen, Germany
Εconomist, ATTAC Germany
Syomin, Konstantin, Russia
Author, TV host at All-Russia State Television (VGTRK.com)
Tombazos, Stavros, Greece
Professor of Political Economy, University of Cyprus, member of the international “Committee of Truth on Greek Sovereign Debt” (debt auditing committee) created by the Greek parliament
Vanaik, Achin, India
Retired Professor of International Relations and Global Politics, University of Delhi
Corruption and oppression by government officials must be discouraged by all means if Africa is to attain self-dependence.
The influx of Africans into Europe and the Americas is a burden on the host economies and as has received abundant media coverage lately, is a worrisome cause of risk and death to the lives of intendent migrants.
Such unscreened and undocumented migration also poses a significant global security risk.
While all the suffering and loss in Africa cannot be exclusively blamed on corrupt practices of the nation’s rulers and legislative bodies, the prevailing graft is a major bane of Africa’s development and hindrance to its attaining self-reliance. We must be serious and committed to banishing corruption for nations in Africa to rise-up to their responsibilities to their citizenry and also for them to be of use in salvaging neighbouring nations.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation and a nation of immense wealth has remained stagnant, and rather than being a beacon, has increasingly become an economic and security threat to itself, its neighbours and the larger world.
Corruption in the executive, legislative and judicial branches has led a world top oil producer to the brink of economic, social and security collapse if not beyond. Thousands have died in north and south terror and as many as 5 million have been internally and externally displaced. Oil spillage has caused an environmental calamity in the nation’s Niger delta.
Oil wealth is Nigeria’s curse. Democracy thus far has been a nuisance to Nigeria rather than a help. Apart from elections never being free and fair, it is realised that Nigerian masses (who might vote these corruption committed officials) are ill informed, too poor and otherwise unprepared for democracy and constantly taken advantage of. The system cheats us and must be controlled by external processes. For 16 straight years of democracy, the open subversion and exploitation of the democratic institution by the executives and legislators in the full view of helpless masses has led to a state where a handful of government officials and their friends consume 80% of the nation’s wealth and the 170 million masses live off of 20%.
Each branch of government and each public parastatal has been left to carve out humongous, ‘jumbo’ pay packages while leaving the masses to less and less. Our representatives supervised this process across parastatals busy carving out their own outrageous emoluments.
Economic Terrorism By Nigeria’s Legislators
The consumption of wealth has not only been a distraction to officials, but also intoxicating, with legislators cutting up as much and more than $2 million (N400 million) per annum, they have forgotten their duty to represent their constituencies; even those from terror ridden areas have totally disconnected with home. Indeed the legislators prefer to sponsor and facilitate terror and chaos to keep the masses distracted and incapable of facing and combatting legislative and executive looting.
$2 million a person per year is a lot of money by all standards and across all borders, we must agree.
The National Assembly budget in Nigeria has been N150 million per year; that is about $1 billion per year for just 469 assemblymen in two congresses. Whereas 80% of Nigerians live under $700 per year, with 100 million Nigerians being destitute, earning less than $360/year or a dollar-a-day. Almost N1000 / $5 is taken per head for 170 million Nigerians by these ‘lawmakers.’ This is colossal looting of unseen proportions in human history. Indeed a crime against humanity.
It took Nigerians four long years to achieve some meaningful repair at the top, with the recently concluded March presidential elections demonstrating the will of Nigerians to rid the nation of plundering administrators. But while the elections delivered change in the sacking of a family of PDP presidents who had institutionalized corruption and dredged government and big business railroads for the funnelling of billions of dollars public money into the hands of a few, Nigeria’s congress, its legislative arm remained unchanged and unrepentant.
Making global headlines for signing 46 bills in 10 minutes, the legislators who barely pass 100 bills in four years have utilised their unchecked power and bargains with the previous corrupt executive leadership to secure for themselves irrevocable powers, life immunity, humongous wages and stupendous pensions. These are the untouchables of Nigeria. Legally kept in secrecy, the National Assembly $1 billion budget is not even open to public review.
There are few channels of redress for Nigerians. Unlike with the corrupt presidencies where we simply voted them out, with the legislators, it is only they that can vote themselves out. It is only the lower House that can vote to scrap the senate and to cut the number of representatives by half as Nigeria desperately needs. Even if a referendum was an option, we all know the effect of throwing looted billions in campaigns on the economy and people of Nigeria. Looted wealth corrupts absolutely. Nigeria is yet to recover from the flooding of the economy with stolen billions by the incumbent in the past presidential election.
Therefore we call on all nations, African and European; we call on the United Nations and all global bodies to empathize with the Nigerian suffering and dying masses and live up to their responsibilities to the human cause.
We request sanctions on Nigeria’s legislators. We ask for travel restrictions and the freezing of their accounts and assets. Nigerians ask you to help us with these shameless lawmakers who have given themselves immunity within our country.
We ask for your help against these lawmakers who could pass no bills to help the thousands of abducted and violated girls and boys in the northeast. We ask you to sanction these thugs who failed to hold the nation’s army chiefs to task and watched as they continued to violate international laws of engagement and perpetrate war crimes while alienating the local indigenes and empowering terror.
We ask for broad-reaching sanctions against Nigeria’s lawmakers past and present till that body is radically limited and put under check.
For your attention: below is a list of implicated senators, who Nigerians more commonly call, legislooters. Several are indicted for various financial crimes; some are wanted globally for crimes including drug peddling and laundering. Some have even been charged with terrorism. Our Independent Electoral Commission, INEC permits these violators and others with fake or even no diplomas and degrees to be listed on the ballot. There is an additional list of 360 Representatives, not appended due to length.
We have begun protests against the corrupt senate in Nigeria and around the world, and will continue to do so at the Nigerian senate and the nation’s consulates abroad to remind you all of your obligations to protect Nigeria’s democracy and its people, the helpless victims of a grand broad day light, billion dollar legitimised legislative fraud. Protests is the only tool we have at our disposal as we cannot resort to violence or retaliatory economic terror.
We count on your action.
Dr. Peregrino Brimah; http://ENDS.ng [Every Nigerian Do Something] Email: [email protected] Twitter: @EveryNigerian
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!
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.