Wole Soyinka Urges Nigerians To Beware Of Obasanjo’s Coalition

Wole Soyinka has warned Nigerians to be vigilant and beware of former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s coalition party, saying that Nigerians shouldn’t be fooled into thinking their party was on a rescue mission to salvage the nation.

The Nobel laureate revealed that the coalition was formed by people who are enemies of democracy.

Recall that Obasanjo had formed the Coalition for Nigeria Movement, which he said was meant to salvage the nation from its present state. He even asked President Muhammadu Buhari not to contest next year’s election as he had failed.

Soyinka speaking at the 80th Posthumous Birthday celebration of late legal luminary and activist, Chief Gani Fawehinmi in Ikeja, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria, said Nigerians must be vigilant as democracy was in danger in the country.

The theme of the event is “Democracy for the Masses through Proper and Effective Governance.”

According to Soyinka, “all I have to say in connection with the theme of the event is vigilance. In this society and like others, there are people that whenever they smell anything decaying, they gather just as vulture. The theme of the event is most pertinent and there is no question whatsoever that democracy is in danger. It is not only the country’s democracy, the society is in danger.

“The question is, do we see it as an opportunity to do a rescue mission or do we see it as an opportunity to take advantage once again and continue our role, contribution in bringing the nation to its kneel? In other word, it is not new whatsoever that there is need for drastic action to rescue this country as a corporate entity and what I called the conglomeration of protocols that has kept us together which we place under the brick of democracy.

“I find it ironic that those who put themselves, the enemies of democracy, who have really taken the committed act, not just act, negligence; but actually inaugurated certain policies which contributed to our being at this point today are once again coming out and positioning themselves as saviours and messiahs.”

Soyinka, who was apparently referring to Obasanjo and his coalition added that the coalition was trying to present itself as the “sole possible rescue mission that this nation can even dream of, as nation of over 150 million. I found it very strange, because at the beginning of this movement, quote and unquote, rescue mission, there were two organisations that came out under different names. And there were names in there whom I considered worth following and encouraging others.

“The next thing I knew was that the movement was hijacked by the very people who laid the foundation for the collapse of democratic edifice. The next thing we discovered was they were forming coalitions. I was invited by one of the rescue missions to address them. So, I called them asking if they were the original people that I saw or the faction under which everyone is moving. I told them not to come near me. If you sign up to it, you will become one of those who are enemies of democracy in the country.

“They were those who inaugurated the so called, constitutional amendment programme, total charade, basically to assist them continue plan, which had been scuttled, known as tenure elongation, for which the entire national treasury was almost bankrupted.”

Soyinka said these same people had now come forward, forming coalitions to further confuse the people in a bid to find their way back to power.

“Suddenly, they are forming coalition all over the place; confusing people, especially the genuine leaders that we can trust. The answer to that is very simple. You need to look at their track record. Don’t allow yourself to be plunged into a zone of amnesia which one would conveniently forget unpleasant reality.

“We have had President in this country, some of whom inaugurated a never ending process which landed us under one of the most brutal dictator that this nation has ever known. We had others who supervised the sacking of democratic governance. And they called themselves God designated watchmen over the fortune of this nation.

“And suddenly, I see Nigerians flocking to them. They asked them to lead again. Even if they didn’t individually put themselves into power, they are already, smoothing the way, with their surrogate and stooges. All I am urging is that we should all be very vigilant. You can bash the ruling order of the moment. You can demand that you don’t want to wait for the next election.”

Also speaking at the event, human rights lawyer, Femi Falana charged Nigerians to be very very careful not to allow those who ruined the country to “claim that they are saviours of the people.”

Referring to Obasanjo, he said “This man ruled the country cumulatively for 11 and half years, including three years as a military head of state. He wanted to embark on third term before it was scuttled. He claimed to have solution to Nigeria’s problem.

“And that is why I am challenging him to name any of the country’s problems that he solved. He spent $16 billion to generate darkness for the country. This guy formed and took over the resources of the country under what he called blind trust. Nigeria is the only country where the sitting President and his vice established private varsities, refusing to fund the public institutions.”

A lawmaker, Senator Shehu Sani said the nation had exited military rule, but had not attained democracy yet, adding that “our nation is sick” as people were dying and being killed everywhere.

Sani said even though the nation was out of PDP’s misrule, it was yet to reach its promised land, adding that those who destroyed the nation were now back as born again, charging Nigerians not to vote for political parties, but for individuals with credibility.

 

Obasanjo’s Administration Is The Worst In History- Uzor Kalu

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has been accused of lacking the moral standing to describe any government as being corrupt since his administration was the worst in the history of Nigeria.

Chief Orji Uzor Kalu said this while reacting to a statement credited to Obasanjo asking President Muhammadu Buhari not to seek a second term in office, said the former president was incompetent to stop President Buhari from seeking re-election.

He said this while addressing members of the All Progressives Congress, APC, at the house of a governorship aspirant and former Speaker, Mr. Femi Bamisile, at GRA in Ado Ekiti yesterday.

He said: “Obasanjo’s government is the most corrupt ever in the history of this nation. He had nothing on him when he became president, but before he left the Presidency, he was able to rebuild Ota farm and he also acquired farmlands across the country, built a legacy Library, a University and many other private projects.

“Nigerians should tell former President Obasanjo to stop writing frivolous letters. It was sad that someone who behaved badly by not listening to advice could talk like this.

“Let me tell you emphatically that President Buhari will contest again, don’t listen to letter writer like Obasanjo. Obasanjo has been President twice, so he should keep his letter in Ota for himself.

“If anyone will caution President Buhari, it should not be Obasanjo. That is why somebody like me is in Ekiti to tell our people not to listen to Obasanjo. He met the economy in coma, today President Buhari has raised the foreign reserve from $23 billion to as much as $47 billion, while the menace of Boko Haram has been defeated.

“So, some people are out to destabilize his government. We want Nigerians to embrace love, peace and show understanding,” Kalu advised.

On the comment credited to Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose, that the Kalu-led Peace Advocacy Team was not welcomed in the state, the former governor said: “Fayose is my boy, I’m his boss, he lived in my house at Victoria Island for three and half months and I fed him for that period. It was out of the madness that governors like Ayo Fayose will ask me, a bonafide Nigerian, not to come to Ekiti State.

“Fayose was in my state, Abia last week and nobody said he should not come, so I have declared war on him.’Even if I sleep on the floor, I will still defeat Fayose on any issue.

“I have declared war on Fayose, we must put an end to his thuggish attitude, he can’t just open his mouth and say whatever he likes, without giving consideration to the exalted office.”

 

“I know Buhari very well, He is not corrupt”, Orji Kalu

Orji Kalu, a former Governor of Abia State proclaimed that President Muhammadu Buhari will return in 2019 if he re-contests despite the series of attacks from former President Olusegun Obasanjo and others. In his words, he vouched for the President and claimed to know him well enough.

Kalu said this in an interview with journalists in Ile-Ife, Osun State, on Friday, after his peace and advocacy visit to the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi.

The former governor said Obasanjo, who spent eight years in office, was the least person competent to attack Buhari’s integrity, adding that the former President did not allow anybody to criticise him while in office.

He said, “Talking of integrity, Obasanjo is incompetent to criticise President Buhari. When I was the governor of Abia State, I wrote letters to President Obasanjo, criticising him and because of that, he swore to make life difficult for me. He is today writing letters every week, attacking Buhari.

“I know Buhari very well. He is not corrupt. He does not own property anywhere. Some people should not just put the country in crisis. Whatever they may have in plan, Buhari will return in 2019.”

The former governor said that Buhari had demonstrated that he loved the country more than Obasanjo and added that there was no way Nigerians would dump the President based on the series of letters written by Obasanjo to discredit him (Buhari).

Kalu also said that the Igbo could realise the ambition of producing Buhari’s successor in 2023, stating, “We can’t do it alone. Late Chief MKO Abiola came to my mother’s house in Abia many years ago seeking political support.

“While discussing with my mother, MKO said no one could clap with one hand. I will also adopt that adage. We Igbo can’t do it alone. The rest of the country should assist us to realise this ambition.”

Earlier, the Ooni of Ife thanked Kalu for promoting unity and peaceful coexistence among Nigerians.

Obasanjo Mourns Winnie Mandela

A former Nigerian president, Olusegun Obasanjo, on Thursday said Winnie Madikizela, the late wife of ex-South African President, Nelson Mandela, remains one of the greatest women ever produced by the African continent.

Mr Obasanjo in a condolence letter to the South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, said the death of Mrs Mandela “is a big loss, not only to her immediate family and country but to the whole of Africa.”

”Winnie was, without doubt, one of the greatest women to have walked the African earth. The death of a leader of Mrs Winnie Mandela’s stature is a big loss, not only to her immediate family and country but to the whole of Africa. History will record her vital contributions to the realisation of the dream of regional unity in Southern Africa, which would not have been possible without South Africa being free. By so doing, she has left a legacy of development and vision of unity which made the world a better place than she met it,” Mr Obasanjo wrote.

He also recalled the strides made by the deceased globally known as ‘Mama Africa’.

“It was Winnie’s high profile that kept fuelling the anti-apartheid movement inside South Africa and for which she paid a high price. She was arrested, she was detained, she was harassed and molested. It needs no recounting that, early in her life, she was deprived of the companionship of her husband, Nelson Mandela, for 27 years. During this period, she was solely responsible for bringing up her two daughters. At the same time, Winnie displayed to the whole world a most admirable strength of character, as she valiantly stood for her husband and the African National Congress (ANC) Movement and, in the process, assumed the stature of an icon of resistance to the evil of apartheid.

“The world also watched with horror how Winnie, after the release of her husband from prison, suffered awfully in the hands of her detractors who relentlessly continued to assassinate her character. Consequently, not only was Winnie unable to savour the affection in resuming the companionship, her marriage was tragically shattered. It is clear that only the toughness of Winnie’s personal constitution had sustained her from disintegrating into a nervous wreck.

“But Winnie’s commitment to the ANC as well as her devotion to serving the cause of the underprivileged remained undiminished. She was one of the significant figures that met with the Eminent Persons Group (EPG), of which I was a member, on South Africa against apartheid, and her testimony to the EPG made a significant impression on the Group and the final report subsequently produced for consideration by the Commonwealth. No doubt, all of these impacted positively on the social stability and democratic progress recorded thus far in South Africa.”

Mr Obasanjo talked about his personal experiences with the Mandela family.

​”On a personal note, I recall when Nelson Mandela came out of prison and I was in South Africa, Nelson Mandela invited me to his Soweto house where I spent a night and I had almost a whole night long discussion with him and Winnie, sharing reminisces with them. It was, indeed, a pleasant and memorable night.

“We mourn the death of this great lady and progenitor of contemporary Africa. We salute her legendary achievements in laying the foundation of modern day South Africa. As I urge you to take solace in the fact that Winnie lived a highly fulfilled life, rest assured that we stand with you and her family in this hour of great sorrow,” the ex-Nigerian leader added.

Obasanjo’s Tenure As Nigeria’s President Was A Calamity – Adebanjo

A prominent Afenifere Chieftain, Ayo Adebanjo has described former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration as a calamity.

The elder statesman said this in his autobiography titled ‘Telling It As It Is,’ which was publicly presented in Lagos on Tuesday.

In the book which was read by Professor Wale Adebamwi, the author took a swipe at former President Obasanjo. Adebanjo said if it were to be in a decent society, Obasanjo will not feature in public anymore, adding it amazes him how people give Obasanjo ‘undue prominence in spite of his known character.’

“As for Obasanjo, the author reserves his severest content. Obasanjo’s tenure as President, he declared was a calamity, adding that for all the negative things that people has about Obasanjo which he could not refute. If it were to be in a decent society, people like him will not feature in public light again. There’s more, when you read the book,” Adebamwi, the book reviewer said.

Adebanwi said further that the book is sharpest criticism for a fellow Yoruba leader. The author in the book described Obasanjo’s eight years in government between 1999 and 2007 as a civilian President as a tragedy and calamity, declaring that his scorecard was nothing to write home about.

“The man who carried on as if he was all-in-all failed woefully on all counts as President. His eight-year tenure (1999-2007) was a tragedy. His scorecard was nothing to write home about. What did he do in eight years? Before he came, we were buying fuel for N20 per litre, and crude oil was $23 per barrel. In 2007, under his regime, we were buying fuel at N75 per litre, and crude oil was between $65 and $75 per barrel. In the worst days of Abacha, one dollar was over N120,” Adebanjo wrote in the book.

In the book, Adebanjo did not only fault Obasanjo’s eight-year democratic rule. He raises the question of Chief Bola Ige’s decision to join the Obasanjo’s administration which he ranked as one of the gravest and one of the most fatal political errors ever committed by a leading progressive politician in Nigeria’s history.

The author, however, describes Chief Ige as brilliant, one of the greatest Awoist.

“We were opposed to Ige joining Obasanjo’s cabinet but he accepted the appointment oblivious of the fact that Obasanjo was not inviting him in good faith. Bola Ige didn’t need Obasanjo, it was Obasanjo who needed Ige.

“However, how a man of such superb and enviable endowment could join the cabinet of one of the most perverse figures in our political history is a question that the author attempts to grabble with in this book,” Adebamwi added while reviewing the book.

CNM Accuses Buhari’s Govt of Security Corruption

The Coalition for Nigeria Movement led by former President Olusegun Obasanjo has asked Nigerians to be wary of President Muhammadu Buhari’s government as it has corrupted security agencies ahead of the 2019 general elections.

It said the statement by a former Minister of Defence, Lt. Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (retd.), that the military was colluding with unscrupulous individuals should not be dismissed.

The spokesman for the CNM, Mr. Akin Osuntokun, said this while responding to allegations by heads of security agencies that there was a plot by some groups to disrupt the 2019 general elections.

The Directors-General of the Department of State Services, Mr. Lawal Daura; and National Intelligence Agency, Mr. Ahmed Rufa’I as well as the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin, had raised the alarm over the plans by some groups to disrupt the processes leading to the 2019 elections.

The evil plan, according to them, was for the groups to create a stalemate during the elections.

However, Osuntokun told one of our correspondents that the security heads were acting out the script of the All Progressives Congress.

He said, “It all sounds funny to me. I don’t know any group that meets that description but why would anyone want to disrupt the 2019 elections? The only people that would want to disrupt the elections are the APC which has sensed its imminent defeat.

“If what Gen. Danjuma said is true whereby our protectors have become murderers, then it means they are the ones that should be feared. They are the ones that should be suspected.

“If you can extrapolate from what Gen. Danjuma said, that means Nigerians are at the mercy of the government or the army that is colluding. The people we should fear are (those in ) the government.”

Osuntokun said it was unfortunate that the heads of security agencies were serving a ‘conspiratorial parochial agenda’ as they were protecting the President’s ethnic base.

He added, “Where is the need to reserve the command of the Nigerian military and security services exclusively for the ethno-religious base of the President if it is not to serve a conspiratorial parochial agenda?

“The only group that fits this description of a fictitious fifth columnist agenda is the government itself.”

Security services shouldn’t cause panic –NCP

The National Conscience Party asked Nigeria’s security services to wake up to their responsibilities and should not try to cause panic to achieve pre-arranged objectives.

The National Chairman of the party, Dr. Yunusa Tanko, said this in a telephone interview with Saturday PUNCH, in Abuja, on Friday.

He was reacting to the news that the nation’s security chiefs had raised the alarm over threats by unnamed groups to scuttle the 2019 general elections.

Tanko said, “That is very unfortunate. I wouldn’t want to say unprofessional; I only hope they are not raising a false alarm as part of a gimmick to short-change Nigerians.

“Security people do a lot of things; I don’t think it is fair for them to send panic or create fear among Nigerians. They are in the government; they are trained and paid to protect us.

“They have the capacity to deal with threats if they know these individuals or groups and they have evidence. What is stopping them from apprehending them?

“It is completely unnecessary for our security officials to try to create a situation of panic. As ordinary citizens, we don’t have the information and capacity they have. If they are now throwing it back to us, what do they expect us to do?

“Who do we move to for protection? It is their duty to ensure that the election is free and fair and not to send fear into the hearts of Nigerians.”

Speaking in a similar vein, the National Chairman of the Labour Party, Alhaji Abdukadir Abdulsalam, urged Nigerians to remain vigilant and ensure that nothing untoward was done by any individual or group to scuttle the 2019 elections.

Abdulsalam who also spoke in a telephone interview noted that Nigerians owed it a duty to themselves and the nation to remain vigilant while the institutions of the state live up to their responsibility.

“We expect our security officials to do their jobs by ensuring a peaceful atmosphere before, during and after elections.

“We should not become a nation that each time an election is coming we begin to raise security concerns. It does not portray us as a serious country.”

FG must act fast –CACOL, CD

Two civil societies, the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership and the Campaign for Democracy have said that the Federal Government must not treat the alarm raised by the security chiefs on the 2019 elections with kid gloves.

The civil societies said the government must reshuffle the military and other security agencies to bring in fresh and efficient hands, devoid of political and economic interests.

The CACOL Director, Debo Adeniran, said, “That alarm by security chiefs is a manifestation of the ominous sign of distrust between the serving and retired military officers.

“These are ominous times and the government must not fold its arms. It is a warning that should be taken seriously and everyone who is investigated to have such plans against the 2019 elections must be arrested and prosecuted, no matter whose ox is gored.

“They should be rounded up and made to sign an undertaking for the 2019 elections.”

Meanwhile, the CD President, Usman Abdul, said, “We will not condone any act of sabotaging our democracy. We call on the President to allow those security chiefs who are due for retirement to go. The President must bring in those who are capable of steering the course of the 2019 elections.

“Given these security alerts, the government must not let the 2019 elections go awry. There must be an action immediately and one of such actions is the removal of whoever is deemed inefficient.”

News Source: PUNCH

Chibok Girls’ Parent Cry Out To Obasanjo For Help

No fewer than 30 parents of yet-to-return Chibok girls had arrived the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, to visit a former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.

The dreaded Boko Haram sect had invaded Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State and took away 276 pupils on April 14, 2014.

Some of the girls had regained their freedom while others are yet to be released by the terrorists.

The parents had appealed to Obasanjo to use his regional and global influence and work with the federal government to ensure their daughters were also released to reunite with them.

They added that this call became necessary as many of the Dapchi girls had been released by their abductors.

Details later. (PUNCH)

CNM Now Has 3 Million Members – OBJ

A former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, on Thursday, said the Coalition for Nigeria Movement, has recorded over three million membership, ahead of the 2019 general elections.

He disclosed this at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, while fielding questions from women at the 14th annual lecture of the Women in Management, Business, and Public Service.

 

Obasanjo said the CNM was making an inroad into the grassroots across the country, but he reiterated that he would pull out if the movement metamorphosed into a political party or became partisan in any form.

He said, “The Coalition for Nigeria Movement is penetrating to the grassroots. And presently there are over three million members who had registered.”

While answering another question on whether he would write another letter on a burning national issue concerning women marginalisation in governance, he replied that he would write another letter but it will take a while before putting pen to paper.

He said, “After my last letter, it will take sometime before I write another one.”

Obasanjo Encourages Women To Participate More In Politics

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has called on Nigerian women to play more prominent roles in the nation’s politics.

The former President said this on Thursday while delivering a keynote speech at the annual Women in Business conference in Lagos State.

This year’s edition of the conference has the global theme ‘Pressing for Progress’, with a special focus on ‘Women in Politics and Nation Building”.

With less than one year to the general elections, the former President believes the progress of any country is equal to the quality of women in that nation.

He, however, noted that power won’t be easy to get by the female gender unless they roll up their sleeves and fight for a place in the political space.

Obasanjo further called on the government at all levels to ensure adequate measures are put in place to guarantee the quality participation of women in politics.

He also disclosed that the Coalition for Nigeria Movement has registered more than three million members.

According to the former President, the coalition is working hard to stop a type of leadership that will engage only kith and kin in the affairs of government in the country.

2019 Elections: Olusegun Obasanjo Holds Series Of Meetings

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has been holding a series of meetings with his associates at different locations. In one of such meetings, which held at Protea Hotel, located at 42/44 Isaac John Street, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos, Obasanjo was said to have met with 35 political parties under the aegis of the Coalition for New Nigeria.
Others at the meeting included the Co-Chairmen of the Nigerian Intervention Movement, Mr. Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), and Dr. Jhalil Tafawa-Balewa, one of the children of Nigeria’s post-independence first Prime Minister, Alhaji Tafawa Balewa.

According to reports, Obasanjo, the immediate past Governor of Kano State, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso and some political parties have been meeting to strategise for the 2019 elections. A former Governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke; a former Governor Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola; and a former Special Adviser to Obasanjo, who is the spokesman for the CNM, Mr. Akin Osuntokun, also attended the strategic meeting.

Some of the political parties represented at the meeting included the Social Democratic Party, Labour Party, Alliance for Democracy, Democratic People’s Congress, Action Alliance, Progressives People’s Alliance, Democratic Alternative and National Conscience Party.

Others, who attended the Lagos meeting, were Mr. Kenneth Udete, who represented Action Alliance Party; and Mr. Okey Chukwuendu, who represented the All Grand Alliance Party.

A source, who attended the meeting, told our correspondent that Obasanjo emphasised the need to work together ahead of the 2019 general elections.

The source, who is close to Obasanjo, told SUNDAY PUNCH that the coming together of the various interest groups and individuals had become necessary as that was seen as the only way to defeat the ruling All Progressives Congress in the 2019 elections.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the source said, “The meeting was summoned by Obasanjo. He noted that both the APC and the Peoples Democratic Party have failed Nigeria and there is a need to come together. He said his association, Coalition for Nigeria Movement, and the NIM should form a merger.”

When asked why Kwankwaso was invited to the meeting despite being a member of the ruling APC, the source noted that Kwankwaso had always been an Obasanjo loyalist.

“Have you forgotten that Kwankwaso was appointed the Minister of Defence by President Obasanjo in 2003? The former governor was not invited because of his ties with the APC but because he also has a huge movement known as the Kwankwasiya in Kano and its environs. Kano is a very strategic state,” the source, a top member of one of the groups, stated.

“The meeting is not just a political one but an attempt to come up with a unified ideology and strategy for 2019.”

The source explained that Obasanjo stressed the need for the parties present to prove to Nigerians that they were different from the APC and the PDP, saying Nigerians were tired of the two parties.

When asked why the meeting was kept secret for so long, the source said Obasanjo insisted that such strategic sessions remained clandestine.

When contacted on the telephone on Saturday, Agbakoba confirmed the meetings with Obasanjo.

Agbakoba, who is a co-chairman of the NIM, said the meetings would continue to hold.

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria stated, “What I can say is yes, that is true. We are exploring the option of working together and those conversations are still ongoing and we have a mutually-agreed agenda that we will have to make an impact in 2019.

“And that we will not be supporting the APC or the PDP. We have agreed on that but we have not agreed on who the candidate would be and other minute details.”

When asked if the presence of old politicians like Kwankwaso and Oyinlola in the meetings would not undermine the quest for change, Agbakoba said NIM would be circumspect.

The former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, added, “I can confirm that Kwankwaso was there and Oyinlola was there, but for us, our concern is that Nigerians need to see a new political plan and we told them in clear terms that if we are to work together, it would present a challenge if the Nigerian voting population see the same old people and then there would be no change. So, that’s where we are.

“It will be difficult in my view for us to be supporting the same old people who left the PDP and went to the APC to come and join us. It will be very difficult.”

Attempts to get a response from Kwankwaso about the meetings were futile.

Calls to the mobile of his spokesperson, Rabiu Bichi, were not returned while a response to a text message sent to him on the subject was still being awaited as of the time of filing this report on Saturday night.

Attempts to speak with Osuntokun proved abortive as he neither returned calls to his mobile on Saturday nor responded to a text message sent to his telephone.

Efforts to get Oyinlola to speak on this were unsuccessful. Calls to the former governor’s phone rang out several times while he had yet to respond to the text message sent to him on the same issue as of the time of filing this report.

 

Fayose, Obasanjo Make Suprise Appearance At Council Of State Meeting

  • Jonathan, Dogara, IBB Absent

Former Nigerian leaders, Goodluck Jonathan and Ibrahim Babangida, are notably absent at the meeting of the National Council of State holding today at the council chambers of the presidential villa Abuja.

The meeting, which started some minutes after 11 a.m., is being chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo arrived late for the event.

He hurried into the council chamber at about 11:12a.m. after the national anthem and opening prayers were offered by former Head of State, Yakubu Gowon, and former chief justice of the federation, Mohammed Uwais.

Mr. Obasanjo headed straight to greet Mr. Buhari, forcing journalists who were already leaving the room to rush back and capture the moment.

It would be the second public meeting between the two leaders since Mr. Obasanjo urged President Buhari to quit in 2019, dismissing his government as corrupt and incompetent.

The speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, who is also a member of the council is also absent.

An unusual face at the meeting is the governor of Ekiti state, Ayodele Fayose, who is attending a meeting chaired by Mr. Buhari for the first time.

The Secretary to the Government of Federation, Boss Mustapha, called for a minute of silence in honour of former CJN, Dahiru Musdapher, who died recently.

Among those attending the meeting, apart from the governors and former presidents, are the Senate President, Bukola Saraki; former Chief Justices of Nigeria, Mariam Mukhtar, Mohammed Belgore, Mohammed Uwais and Idris Kutigi.