Can Obj, Atiku’s CUPP Serve Nigeria A Hot Cup Of Coffee? By Fredrick Nwabufo

In Nigeria, alliance politics is a historical staple. In the 1960s, the NCNC and NPC forged an alliance to stabilise the newly independent country.  But the marriage segued from harmony to divorce.

The skirmishes among the political parties – NCNC, NPC and AG – heightened the political temperature of the country to a frightening degree, and eventually the military struck in 1966.

In 1979 (Second Republic), NPN (Shehu Shagari’s party) entered into a relationship of “convenient necessity” with NPP (Nnamdi Azikiwe’s party). The reason for the entente was so that the executive could get bills passed by the national assembly, where there was vicious opposition.

But corruption brought an end to the union. In 1981, members of both parties went for each other’s throats over access to government’s largesse. The military struck two years later.

In 2013, AD, CPC, ANPP and ‘nPDP’ emulsified into APC.  But a few years after the marriage, the party cannot keep its broomsticks together. The marriage was one of convenience; simply contracted for the sake of taking over power.

Now, it is obvious that the APC polygamous marriage was just for political expediency and not for delivering quality governance to Nigerians.

But we are back to where we were in 2013 with a new union of kindred political parties – Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP).

I will not write off the coalition yet because Nigeria deserves good governance and a better alternative at this point. The country is in an intensive care unit and needs urgent surgery.

But my only issue with the coalition is that it is an erratic response to a pungent malady. Obviously, the throbbing aim of the coalition is to take over power from the APC. No programme, plan or agenda of how to deliver good governance to Nigerians.

After taking over power what next? Are we going to return to an era of excuses and arrogant incompetence? And of ‘we are not performing because APC wasted four years?’

Nigeria needs a doctor. But we should not in a hurry take this patient to a Babalawo.

Again, I will not write off the coalition just yet, but I hope the 32 parties in the alliance will begin to show singularity in the agenda of how they will rescue Nigeria.

I hope CUPP, if it succeeds, will serve Nigeria the needed cup of elixir.

I hope.

Fredrick is a media personality.

He can be reached on Twitter: @FredrickNwabufo, Facebook: Fredrick Nwabufo

Obasanjo, We Made You President. You Did Not Make Me A Nigerian. You Are Our Creation; I Am Not Your Creation. You Must Listen- Adams Oshiomhole

Former Edo state governor, Adams Oshiomhole, while speaking at the June 12th investiture that held at the state house Abuja yesterday said former President Olusegun Obasanjo is nobody without Nigerians, stressing that he had committed any offence he should be arrested, just like he arested him when in power.

“He should be arrested if he has committed any offence. He arrested many of us. So, if we are celebrating Chief Gani Fawehinmi, we have compelling reasons to do so. In all of these, we didn’t pay any money to Gani or Falana. They defended us pro bono. Gani is not here today, but his spirit is here. Falana is here and today, I am standing. Even the president who was in charge then, he is now complaining that they want to harass him. He was harassing me and he got me arrested. He thought he himself would not be arrested? If I were the president I would arrest him. We are all Nigerians. I remember one day I told him, I said ‘President Obasanjo, we made you president. You did not make me a Nigerian. You are our creation; I am not your creation. You must listen’. But he thought he would be in power forever and he tried to take us on the way to Zimbabwe. He was a reluctant Head of State, became president for two terms and he wanted to do a third term because a cockroach licking palm oil would never lick enough”.

MKO Abiola: Between OBJ And PMB By Tunde Badru

Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola is a man who surmounted my struggles; right from birth. MKO lived up to Ola Rotimi’s famous quote of life struggles beginning at birth as the name Kashimawo means “let’s keep observing”; a name given to a child who is expected to be a still-birth (fetal death, natal death or death between birth to about 28 weeks after delivery), after the mother must encountered a few previous still-births.

MKO was born to Salahudeen and Suliyat Abiola, who are victims of real poverty; absolute not relative. Right from childhood, he had to fetch wood to afford education. The tale of MKO’s first encounter with fried eggs has been told countless times to described the level of poverty MKO passed through. When MKO got to his girlfriend, Simbiat Shoaga’s house, he was offered a meal and he asked what the meal is. MKO was told that it is fried eggs. He infamously asked, “Do they fry eggs”?

Philantropy

Within a relatively short time after then, MKO grew to become the richest man in Africa, surmounting another challenge, and fulfilling the prophecy of a good woman being behind every successful man. Of course, Africa has a long history of having great men who have amassed greater wealth than what MKO could garner; after all, Emperor Mansa Musa of Mali is reputed to be the wealthiest man to grace the surface of the earth. What Africa never had is a man with the generosity of MKO’s heart and hands. There was just no one near that.

MKO financed everything and everyone and left a golden mark on whatever he touched. Before the days of Globacom, MKO was the biggest financier of sports in Africa and Nigeria which famously earned him the moniker “Pillar of Sports in Africa”. MKO had a large and encompassing scholarship scheme and was a contributor to the erection of many mosques and churches in Nigeria. There is another tale about MKO, the like of which I have never heard again. One day, MKO was going on a trip and on his way he observed a gathering of Muslims. He stopped to observe what was going on and he was told that a fund-raising is being held for the construction of a mosque. The total fund needed was N5million. MKO donated N4.8million and went on his way. Those soliciting for funds did not know whether to continue with the programme or just put an immediate end to it.

As the Baba Adini of Nigeria, MKO had a Quranic Printing Press and hardly would anyone have to pay to get a Quran in Nigeria as all MKO’s Quran are printed and distributed freelyen masse. MKO facilitated the translation of the Quran into Yoruba language. He was a pioneer for Islamic philanthropy in Nigeria.

Politics

MKO’s public achievements and track record of altruism and volunteerism made him an easy choice for the number one position in the country during the June 12 elections 25 year ago. Even though SDP’s MKO won in all 5 SW states; that was the only election ever held in Nigeria where all manners of Nigerians discarded all manners of ethnic and religious garbs to vote for a candidate on the sole basis of merit, despite never previously holding a political office. I say this because as young as I was then, I knew that the NRC was also an equal rival in the SW then. This is evident in the loss of Lagos State to Michael Otedola. Because MKO was an easy choice to make, the election was an easy one to conduct and adjudged till this day as the only free and fair election ever held in this country. I could vividly remember some of the political activities that happened then.

Sadly, the evil genius living up to reputation will annul that election without uttering a valid reason till this day.

MKO had 2 choices, to stand up for the people and his mandate and suffer whatever consequence it would attract or to resign to fate and accept a lucrative contract from the demonic Abacha government. After one year of Abacha’s reign, MKO declared the inauguration of a parallel government and decided to fight for his mandate. His deputy, Babagana Kingibe would rather accept to become a minister under MKO’s tormentor. My heart bled hearing the same Kingibe speak on a day as glorious as this earlier today before being conferred with one of the highest honours in the land.

MKO would then be incarcerated for the next 4 years and lost his wife, his businesses and his freedom in the process in another struggle he surmounted till Abacha’s death on 08 June 1998. But a month later on 07 July 1998, MKO would pay for his tormentor’s death with his own life in a trademark revenge pattern employed by the Northern political class. Needless to remind us that Aguiyi Ironsi’s and many other Igbo people’s lives were cut short by this same class as an aftermath of the 15 January 1966 coup d’etat 6 months later, a coup which Ironsi never participated in.

Without disrespect to the Northern folks, the ability of the Yoruba race to pick itself up and move forward in the best interest of the country while embodying the greatest spirit of pardon is what distinguishes us from the rest of the country; and which makes me chin-up proud as a Yoruba man. What if Abiola had not averted another civil war in 1993? What if the Yoruba had been completely irritated by Abiola’s needless death in 1998 despite the fact that Abacha had died earlier? What if we had reacted to the murder of Ladoke Akintola and Ademulegun during the Jan 1966 coup? The forgiving and progressive spirits of the Yoruba race have kept this country going and when those spirits are finally extinguished, there would be no Nigeria again.

OlusegunObasanjo

When the military finally agree to cede the leadership of the country to civilians, all political actors in the country decided to concede the Presidency to the South-West, as a compensation for MKO’s loss. Of the 3 political parties in the country then, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) largely accepted in the East and South-South presented Obasanjo (OBJ), Alliance for Democracy (AD) which was more favoured in the SW presented Olu Falae while the All People’s Party (chiefly a northern party) was sympathetic to AD’s Falae. OBJ won.

Throughout the 8 years of OBJ’s reign, nothing symbolic could be attributed to have been done by OBJ to honour the person whose name paved the way for his presidency. The height of the insult came when N1,000 notes were introduced in 2005. Everyone’s expectation was dashed when the notes were seen to bear the first 2 indigenous governors of the CBN, Mai-Borno and Isong, rather than the much favoured MKO Abiola. Where in the world would anyone place CBN governors on currency notes, no matter how bereft of heroes their country could be?

There would be fewer OBJections than support to the position that OBJ neglected the development of the SW in favour of the north throughout his 8 years. Self-serving to a fault, the height of his mischief was displayed with his stubborn commitment to a failed unconstitutional third-term bid. In every way possible, he failed the Abiola family, the Yoruba people and all those connected to the June 12 struggle.

Muhammadu Buhari

Buhari was a man who became president not mainly by his own merit by largely by the demerits of the excessively corrupt and impune preceding administration. As a president who enjoyed goodwill larger than any of his predecessors, Buhari was expected to right every wrong of the past administration, especially in the maintenance of fairness among all groups in the region; where the past administration failed. However, the last 3 years have shown the brazen display of the highest level of nepotism by a sitting Nigerian President.

However, since a fortnight ago when the administration clocked 3 years, a different kind of Buhari is emerging. The #NotTooYoungToRunBill was signed and another bill which separates the fund for the executive, the legislative and the judiciary at the state level was signed. The height of it was the recognition of MKO Abiola as the winner of 12 June 1993 election, which signals the beginning of the end of a 25-year old injustice. MKO was also honoured with the highest title in the land and will now be proudly addressed as Late Bashorun M. K. O. Abiola, Grand Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Gani Fawehinmi, a late activist-lawyer and frontier of the June 12 struggle was also honoured with the title of Grand Commander on the Order of the Niger. It is however saddening to see the treacherous Babagana Kingibe giving a speech on this glorious day and being conferred upon with the title of GCON as well.

OBJ vs PMB

OBJ’s exemplar constantly reminds me of the need to right my wrongs in my youthful years, rather than when I am out of vogue. OBJ, since out of office, has always been on the forefront in causes that are of immense benefits to the country. His letters to failing political leaders have been sincere, well timed and have helped raised political consciousness in the country. Recently, he has sponsored the emergence of a third force to help wrestle power from the two major political parties (which he helped raised anyway) which have been holding the country to ransom.

Despite the fact these efforts can be seen as brilliant, they are hardly accepted by the majority because of Obasanjo’s antecedents and disposition when he was in power. He is seen now as trying to be the opposite of what he was then and so he is easily dismissed as being mischievous. Buhari has capitalised on this fault and is righting OBJ’s wrongs one by one starting from the power sector. I associate with OBJ’s third force because I believe that the time is ripe for it. However, it would not be a surprise to see it fail as a result of people’s distrust in OBJ while opting for a man of Buhari’s remarkable personal discipline, despite being a woeful performer as a president.

Watching today’s investiture of award on the late MKO brought me so much emotions and the personal feeling that a wound is being stitched in my heart. And Buhari giving a highly inspiring speech, the like of which he has never made before, nearly made me forget about everything that I felt he did wrong. Listening to Kola and Hafsat Abiola explain what this means to their family and how MKO would have reacted to it had he been alive nearly brought tears to my eyes. If by chance, I ever get to vote for Buhari in 2019, it would probably start from this reason.

SHAME ON YOU, OBASANJO.

Tunde Afrika Badru (Dat Iwo-Boi) writes from Iwo in Osun State.

FG Dismisses Obasanjo’s Claims

The Federal Government has dismissed former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s allegation of frame-up and impending arrest as groundless and the concoction of a mind worried by guilt.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, gave the government response in Lagos today, saying the Buhari Administration will not be distracted by frivolous allegations from any quarter, especially those cleverly choreographed to divert attention from a widely-acclaimed presidential proclamation and to shore up support for a waning and egotistical cause.

The Minister said the administration is too busy trying to clear the mess of 16 years and build on its unprecedented achievements over the past three years than to waste its energy and time on framing up anyone or dwelling on issues that are not grounded in fact.

He said while those who have skeletons in their wardrobes should be afraid, even of their own shadows, innocent persons need not worry about any investigation, whether real or imagined.

”This administration will never engage in a frame-up of innocent citizens. That is neither in the character of President Muhammadu Buhari nor in that of his administration. Only the guilty should be worried. To paraphrase an African proverb, a man who has no wife cannot lose an in-law to the cold hands of death.

”The administration is also strongly committed to the tenets of democracy, including freedom of speech and the right to dissent. But we understand that those who, in their time, were untethered to those principles would find it hard to believe,” Alhaji Mohammed said.

The Minister said it was curious that the frame-up and witch-hunt allegations came a day after a major presidential proclamation reversing some past acts of injustice was made, to the relief and acclamation of a long-expectant nation.

“I am Ready to Face an Independent, Objective and Credible Panel”, OBJ

”Apparently, the impact of this proclamation was too much to bear by those who, through acts of omission or commission, helped to deepen the wounds inflicted by the blow of injustice that followed the annulment of an election that was widely acclaimed to be free, fair and credible, hence they felt the need for a red herring that will distract the nation.

”Added to that is the frustration brought about by the fact that the contraption they have so much hyped as a freeway to power has failed to gain traction. Faced with this double tragedy, even the strongest of men may begin to succumb to a figment of their imagination. They may start crying wolf where there is none,” he said.

Mohammed said the unprecedented achievements of the Buhari Administration are also enough to cause sleepless nights, with the attendant symptoms that include phantasm, for those who had better opportunities to make the country great but floundered on the altar of narcissism.

Source: NAN

“I am Ready to Face an Independent, Objective and Credible Panel”, OBJ

Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has said there were plans by the Nigerian government to arrest him over phoney charges.

Obasanjo, who led Africa’s most populous country from 1999 to 2007, supported President Muhammadu Buhari’s ascension to the country’s top post, has emerged one of his most potent critics in recent months.

“Impeccable security sources have alleged Chief Obasanjo’s name is on their Watch List and that the security of his life cannot be guaranteed,” Obasanjo’s media aide Kehinde Akinyemi said in a statement on Friday.

“According to these informants, many of who are in the top echelon of the Nation’s security management and close to the corridors of power, the operatives are daily perfecting how to curtail the personal liberties of the former President and hang a crime on him.”

Obasanjo alleged that there were plans to seize his International Passport, lock him into detention indefinitely and also cause Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to re-open an investigation into the activities of his administration using false witnesses and documents.

“It is said that another plot being hatched is to cause the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to re-open investigation into the activities of Chief Obasanjo’s administration using false witnesses and documents,” Akinyemi said.

“This will be a re-enactment of the Abacha era in which Chief Obasanjo was one of the principal victims.”

The statement came after weeks of heated exchanges between the two leaders. They were disunited after Obasanjo accused Buhari of nepotism and lacking an understanding of the “dynamics of internal politics”.

Buhari responded recently by accusing his predecessor of frittering away $16 billion on phoney electricity projects.

The former president insisted he was ready to face “an independent, objective and credible panel of enquiry to account for his stewardship in Government and beyond.”

The Friday statement also referred to the ongoing travails of the Senate president, Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara as a way to destabilise them for the next general elections.

“We are currently in a nation where the Number Three citizen is currently being harangued and the Number Four citizen is facing similar threat within the same Government they serve. There is a groundswell of our nationals that live in fear that they could be hounded, harassed, maimed or even killed as the battle for 2019 takes this worrisome dimension.”

However, the former president said his doors were still opened for the present administration’s for any private consultations and also affirmed he would continually express himself openly for the best interest of the nation.

“That channel of private engagement remains open and continues,” he said.

Eedris Abdulkareem Blasts Obasanjo Again

This will not be the first time Veteran Nigerian rapper, Eedris Abdulkareem will come after Former President Olusegun Obasanjo in a song, but this time it seems the “Nigeria Jaga Jaga” hit maker is set to destroy the image of Obasanjo.

He released a new song titled ‘Letter To Obasanjo’ where he called out the former president saying he’s the ‘problem of Nigeria’. In the song produced by Mr Lekki, Eedris accused Obasanjo of corruption and killing the people of Odi.

Eedris has however vowed to release Nigeria Jaga Jaga (Part 2) in the coming weeks.

When reporters reached out to him for comments on his new song, he said, ‘Obasanjo served has a military president and also a civilian president he had the opportunity to correct the wrongs in Nigeria but he became a dictator that privatised and sold all national properties and monument that belong to Nigeria to himself and his partners in crime. He was selfish and wanted third term by all means so he killed democracy and rule if law.  His administration recorded too much killings and assassinations. He’s very selfish and wanted to rule nigeria forever’.

‘Obasanjo is the king of corruption, remember operation feed the nation belonged to Nigeria but he sold it off to himself. Where is nitel and Nigerian airways? Trust me he has all the answers’.

OBJ And The ‘Ogboju’ Syndrome By Louis Odion

“Ogboju” is no ordinary term in Yoruba speak. It describes a false bravado by the daring in pursuit of often dubious end. It happens when the marauder is, for instance, audacious enough to turn around and blame the very crime on their supposed victim.

More and more, we are witnessing the “Ogboju” syndrome in the simmering Buhari/Obasanjo tiff. With the president suddenly breaking his own custom of silence last week by insinuating hanky panky in the multi-billion dollars power projects executed under Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s watch as president, it became clear the infantry General from Daura is simply no longer willing to turn the proverbial other cheek under relentless assault by his senior professional colleague.

Since drawing the first blood with the “letter bomb” of January, OBJ has characteristically not allowed any opportunity or platform pass without peppering PMB further with invectives least expected of a statesman of his pedigree and stature.

But PMB’s own fireworks would appear to have commenced in earnest. Not only has the anti-graft agency responded by dusting up the reports of earlier probe of the $16b power deal, the Presidency further stirred things up weekend with a detailed reminder of how public institutions like the police and DSS were dragooned by OBJ to “topple” elected governors in pursuit of political vendetta. We were reminded how, in many instances, subdued state lawmakers were herded from EFCC detention camp to the assembly and made at gunpoint to impeach governors, even without a quorum.

Added to the foregoing is the whispering campaign in town linking OBJ to an alleged multi-billion dollars contract proposal involving the Mambilia power project said to have been scuttled by Buhari.

But for once, usually prolific OBJ is yet to find his fountain pen to confirm or deny this. Rather, he has since been on the back-foot, seeking portions of his latest memoirs, My Watch, as enough defence on the $16b power charge. Now, the wily witch-doctor is being force-fed generous portion of own bitter portion.

While PMB may not have fully lived up to the promise of 2015, let it however be stated that that is not sufficient alibi for OBJ to now seek to indulge his habitual narcissism by resorting to some “Ogboju” and, in the process, inflict the most brazen assault on national memory. For, as they say, that the deer suffers adversity of having its visage disfigured by a boil isn’t enough reason for the domestic fowl to appropriate the toga of the tale-bearer.

True, Buhari’s albatross in the past three years would undoubtedly include the issue of lopsidedness in appointments that have seen the South-East and South-South virtually alienated and the fact that the nation’s space remains haunted by the restless ghosts of the innocent slaughtered by genocidal herdsmen.

But each time they read or hear OBJ lampooning Buhari, I am quite sure most – if not all – of those old enough to understand things while the two-term President held sway must find themselves choked by the stench of hypocrisy, unnerved by the sheer sanctimony of OBJ’s guttural chord.

Suddenly, OBJ and his people now, for instance, want us to believe Buhari had many skeletons locked up in the PTF closet. But speaking on the same issue in January 2015, these were OBJ’s reactions to speculations against then candidate Buhari: “When we looked into it (PTF), there was really nothing amiss except that that organisation went from road-building to mosquito-net buying and all sort of things. Although there was an investigation, its report was not of any material importance. I thought that I should say it… (hoping) people will face issues rather than triviliaties.”

Suddenly, the free-flowing eulogy of yesterday has bitter jeremiad today.

While now dismissing both APC and PDP as “wrecked vehicles”, OBJ speaks as though the rest of us are the proverbial Bourbons afflicted by incurable amnesia. If nothing at all, he should, at least, accept responsibility for nourishing the umbrella party on the diet of impunity in its first eight formative years.

When his last-ditch desperation to grab power after Third Term came to grief in 2006, he orchestrated the rigging of the party’s constitution to proclaim himself “Life Leader” and “Head of the Legislative Agenda” in a poor imitation of the ANC model in South Africa.

As imperial president, the party leadership was made to grovel and worship at his feet.

Those who rebelled soon met sour ending. When Audu Ogbeh as national chair summoned courage to publicly disagree with him on some state policies, the then imperial majesty at the Villa personally penned a philippic. Thereafter, the resignation letter of the insolent chair was allegedly extracted at gun-point behind closed doors!

We also see OBJ’s “Ogboju” in continued denial of third term, despite overwhelming exhibits.

The same mindset is also on display whenever and wherever presented a platform to pontificate on corruption. Apparently, his guiding philosophy is: do as I say, not as I do. Who, for instance, will forget the abominable spectacle of dirty undergarments exposed over PTDF when OBJ and his deputy Atiku Abubakar chose to fight dirty.

Through the public hearing conducted, we heard how funds meant to develop the oil sector were converted to purchasing SUVs for OBJ’s concubines.

Yet, Saint OBJ continues to sermonize on morality in public office. But when he ruled, his own queer lithurgy did not see any iniquity in auctioning prized national assets and allocating oil blocs to newly incorporated Transcorp where he had personal interest euphemistically classified as “blind trust”.

When poor varsity teachers downed tools in protest of poor pay and underdevelopment of tertiary education in the country back then, sharp-tongued OBJ soon descended on them as saboteurs and hypocrites who would send their own kids abroad while shutting the school gates against the children of the poor at home. His own solution: he hastened the setting up of his own “world-class” university in Ota, obviously as alternative to those denied by ASUU.

We also saw OBJ’s “Ogboju” in commandeering industry captains and state governors to raise a whopping N7b for his personal presidential library in Abeokuta on the eve of his exit. Meanwhile, the National Library mooted in 2002 amid national fanfare never really got off the ground.

Asked recently by the Yoruba service of the BBC about the prospects of enlisting in OBJ’s political movement, Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, was unsparing. Thumping his temple in a supreme gesture of denunciation, he retorted jocularly: “Then, I should have my head examined by a psychiatrist.”

So, when they say millions have enlisted behind OBJ today, the big puzzle is whether the queue passes through the street sheltering the psychiatrist’s studio Soyinka insinuated.

 

For Ajibade @ 60

Sani Abacha’s gun-toting goons came for TheNews lead writer Dapo Olorunyomi. But in an extraordinary show of leadership by responsibility, editor Kunle Ajibade volunteered himself to be taken away instead, following a scathing cover story the magazine published on what would become known as the phantom coup of 1995.

Of course, that self-sacrifice marked the beginning of Ajibade’s journey to Abacha’s gulag for three harrowing years in defence of truth and liberty. He chose not to keep cowardly silence in the face of tyranny.

Indeed, the chronicle of popular resistance of Nigeria’s military despotism of the 80s and 90s is incomplete without acknowledging the likes of Ajibade who showed courage under fire.

As he turns 60s, here is saying happy birthday to one of Nigeria’s journalism icons.

 

Much Ado About Ekwueme’s Medical Bill

Wherever he is, Nicolo Machiavelli must be chuckling at the little drama unfolding today east of River Niger – Anambra specifically. Men, said the 15th century Italian philosopher, tend to forget the passing of a beloved more quickly than the loss of patrimony.

Machiavelli’s words are playing out in the aftermath of Dr. Alex Ekwueme’s death. What started as a gossip soon after the former Vice President was buried in his native Oko town in February finally blew into the open when Emmanuel Chukwuma, the Archibishop of Enugu Ecclesiastical Province and known counselor to the Ekwueme’s family, pointedly accused Federal Government officials of “playing smart” with the funds approved for the burial.

Of course, that put the Dr. Chris Ngige (who was the deputy chairman of the FG’s burial committee), on the spot.

Obviously intent on appropriating some political mileage, Ngige had reminded everyone that the government of which he is Labour minister had been gracious enough to relieve Ekwueme’s family of all the financial burden. But since the family had paid the same bill and collected receipt, it was only natural that those in the know quickly exchanged suspicious glances following Ngige’s claims.

Checks at the London hospital eventually brought some relief. Contrary to insinuations, it was confirmed that FG actually wired the said £200,000 directly to the hospital, but only after the bereaved had already paid in November. On receipt of the transfer, the hospital did the right thing by transferring the same amount back to Nigeria’s Central Bank.

What would now seem the new bone of contention, according to a Saturday Sun report, is that whereas the CBN is ready to pay in Naira, the Ekwueme family prefer Pound Sterling they disbursed to the London hospital. Small matter, you may say. But the devil is actually in the details. Of course, as a matter of sovereign pride, the government’s banker should not be seen engaged in any local transaction with forex. But the unspoken displeasure of the bereaved would likely be the fear of being short-changed when “official rate” is applied. Of course, CBN will calculate by official rate. By the time Ekwueme family approach the black market, the  naira cash received would certainly command far less than £200,000.

Hmmm.

I am not Disturbed by Obasanjo- Atiku

Presidency Aspirant and Former vice president, Atiku Abubakar has dismissed the threat made by the former president, Olusegun Obasanjo that he would never be president when he is alive, saying he is not God.

Speaking in a BBC Hausa programme monitored in Kaduna on Saturday, Atiku maintained that he was never disturbed when he heard that Obasanjo made such statements.

According to him, the former president is not God, saying, if it is the Will of God that I will be a president who can be challenged God’s Authority.

Atiku also shed more light on his controversial house which was alleged it was auctioned by the United States authorities, saying, the house in question was not his property but belonged to his wife.

According to him, ‘all my wives own houses and this particular house that people are talking about is not mine but belonged to one of my wives and she sold the house and was not auctioned as it has been reported.

He also disclosed the rift between him and Buhari attributing it to the inability of President Buhari to control issues in the All Progressives Congress (APC).

“After 2015 general election, I met the president. I told him the activities of the party have been crippled and there is a need for restructure. Also, I advised the president on issues concerning his administration. I said to him, if things continued like this, I will quit, but Mr Buhari turned deaf ears and remained mum.

“If Nigerians can recall, we initiated the Economic and Financial (Crimes) Commission (EFCC). I’m the person that sourced from the takeoff funds for the EFCC.

“In this administration (Buhari’s), there are people that are untouchable, they are doing things that are not in order but they are being shielded by the government. If elected Nigeria’s president, my administration will not spare any personality. When I was in (at) the helm (of affairs), none of my relatives or friends was found wanting.

He also said that if he becomes president he will investigate the eight years the government used in fighting the insurgents saying, ‘ If elected Nigeria’s president, I will investigate how the government was unable to defeat Boko Haram. The federal government ended the civil war in 30 months but it is now 8 years it can’t defeat a group of boys who are not trained.

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.