Jonathan, Do Yourself A Favour: Keep Quiet!

By Akin Fadeyi

Each time we mouth the cliche “our heroes past”, I wonder if we dig enough into the enormity of sacrifices made and how some of those heroes moved against established norms of debauchery for which they paid dearly – the supreme price.

Each time I introspect on the events of the 1970s, I shudder at the brutal murder of General Murtala Ramat Mohammed.

Dr. Yusuf Bala Usman, a historian of repute, in his seminal 1979 book For The Liberation of Nigeria had this to say: “Muritala was casual about his security”. “He distanced himself from imperial grandeur and did not move into the official residence of the Head of State in Dodan Barracks”.

But the one that piqued me most is premised on my discovery that Murtala “came to understand the essential features of Nigerian society especially the public institutions, and acted on this understanding to change them and make them serve the common people”.

Muritala thus constructed a model of contemporary Nigeria and mustered the courage to attempt to change it. General Mohammed established a link between the accumulation of wealth and public service. He was murdered while attempting to break that linkage, having realised that “abuse of public office was central to the chaos, indiscipline, confusion and whole underdevelopment of Nigeria”.

Simply put, AN ATTEMPT TO FIGHT CORRUPTION KILLED MURTALA MOHAMMED.

Muritala wasn’t perfect. He had his issues, ranging from hot temper to risk taking in a bizarrely daring manner. He was tough and described as erratic. But seriously, it is only a positively crazy man that can rule Nigeria. For this I’m at home with these weaknesses, and they cannot blight my admiration of him as a genuine Hero.

Fast forward to our era. I can’t help being bemused each time I hear Goodluck Jonathan say no Nigerian president can match his achievements. Then I’ll check what time of the day it is and wonder if it’s a weed smoking time. What achievements? Achievement of soiled hands? Achievement of looking the other way while the treasury was being looted? Achievement of alleged exploitation of Nigeria’s dire security situation to “clean out” the arms deal budget? There’s no other definition for blood money!

Jonathan is one peculiarly fortunate individual who sprang from obscurity and poverty and leapt into the rare ascendancy of a most coveted office. Despite being a minority, he beat the odds and became president. (Whatever “minority” means in a supposed state with equality).

One would therefore have expected him to practically “kill” himself in pursuit of a well-designed ambitious growth agenda, raise the quality of life of the people, confront corruption, and etch his name in gold. I dare say, he would have won his reelection without rigour. Instead, today, he has not just been sent out office, he’s struggling in defence of a very dark impression that he allegedly helped himself to some of Nigeria’s cookie jars.

Worse still, it’s obvious he fell for the sidekick tricks of his “domestic appendage”, a civil servant who today is shamefully laying claim to multi million dollars without answering the germane question of what manner of business brought such “blessings”.

So why is this man always throwing himself into space to defend such an administration full of heaving and sighing?

If you’re good, you’re good and your work will speak for you. The only thing speaking for the past administration are eye popping tales of unprecedented sleaze. Changing this narrative is a tall order.

Because of the circumstances surrounding our ethnic sensibilities, GEJ is already “granted immunity”. He therefore ought to maintain a stoic silence to earn some respect, not throwing himself in the ring every time to advertise a continuum of sheer chicanery.

GEJ put Nigeria in a quandary. And when the various chapters of the story of “our heroes past” are being written, to deserve a place at all, he will require unheard-of historical benevolence.

Akin Fadeyi is the Convener of the Corruption Not In My Country Project.

PDP’s Money-For-Votes Convention Questions Plan To Reclaim Power In 2019

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP national convention on Saturday has been described as height of corruption that can happen in any party politics, the All Progressives Congress has said in a statement.

 

The APC likened the opposition party to the leopard, which, it says, cannot change its spots, saying it would be counterproductive to have PDP back in power while the party failed to conduct an ordinary convention.

 

APC’s National Publicity Secretary, Bolaji Abdullahi said: “With rrevelations of how money-for-votes and systematic rigging was brazenly perpetuated during the National Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party, the All Progressives Congress is mindful of the popular axiom, ‘A leopard cannot change its spot.’”

 

The APC said the “abnormalities” that trailed the PDP National Convention have further exposed the PDP as “a party that is not ready or willing to change.”

 

“Indeed, the PDP has, once again, displayed itself to the generality of Nigerians that it is a party with corruption deeply rooted in its DNA.

 

“Again, it is tragic that the PDP which used to pride itself as the biggest political party in Africa has now been reduced to a regional party.

 

“By frustrating (its) South West chairmanship candidates, it is unfortunate that the PDP has decided to punish the South West for not voting for the party in 2015.

 

“We urge members of the PDP that can pass the integrity test to join the APC so that we can, together, bring about the much-needed change the country deserves”. (NAN)

PDP Can’t Continue With ‘Imposition Of Candidates’ — David Mark

A former Senate President, David Mark, has called for a peaceful national convention on Saturday of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party.

Mr. Mark urged the delegates to right the wrongs of the party’s past by allowing the will of the people to prevail at the elective gathering.

In a message to the delegates, the senator admonished “true faithful of the PDP to try and restore the dignity of the party, urging them to shun ills such as imposition of candidates and impunity he said ruined the chances of the party in the previous elections.

“We have seen what the imposition of candidates caused us in the past. We cannot travel the same route anymore.

“I am sure we have learnt some useful lessons from our electoral misfortune in 2015. We now have the opportunity to right the wrongs of the past by allowing the will of the people to prevail at the convention,” he said.

While expressing confidence in the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa-led National Convention Committee to do a good job and return the PDP to the people, Mr. Mark enjoined party faithful to adhere to the rules of the game in order to guarantee a smooth convention “because only the rule of law and adherence to the principle of Democracy endures.”

Advising contestants for the various party offices to accept the outcome of the elections in the interest of all, he said: “Win or lose, we are still one family. All we need to do is put our house in order in the interest of the party and its members because I can see a bright future.”

Mr. Mark also welcomed former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and others back to the party and urged all those who defected to return home because “PDP is still the only national party and a home for all.”

The PDP National Convention on Saturday will witness the emergence of a new chairman, deputy chairman among other party officers.

Gunmen Abduct Plateau PDP Chairman

As pressure mounts towards the National Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), gunmen Wednesday evening abducted the Plateau State Chairman of the party, Chief Damishi Sango, along the Kafanchan-Abuja highway.

The former minister was said to have left Jos around 2pm for Abuja for the party’s National Convention when the abductors took him on the way.

It was gathered that the gunmen forced Sango’s car to stop and immediately whisked him away with his driver, abandoning the car on the road.

Since then, neither him nor his driver has been seen.

The state police command is yet to make any public statement on the abduction, but the state Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. John Akans, confirmed the incident Thursday morning.

PDP Is Ready for Pro-People Governance -Olawale Rasheed

A governorship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party in Osun state, Mallam Olawale Rasheed has affirmed that the party is ready for a pro-people government with a validated governance agenda.

In a statement issued on Tuesday and signed by the Chairman, Policy Committee of his Campaign Organization, Dr Arowolo Olusegun, the aspirant posited that the current leadership tussle within the party is “a temporary hiccup which in no way affects the policy and governance preparedness of the party once it secures the peoples’ mandate by September next year.

” We make bold to declare that the PDP is not only ready for governance but for pro-people leadership and programmes that will attend to the wishes and aspirations of our people. Our agenda is not just good governance but people-centered policies designed to restore the well being of the state.

“We are convinced that the goal of any responsive government is the welfare of the citizens. Our policies are thus tailored towards placing human development as major preoccupation especially as the current administration has relegated same to the backwater of governance.PDP governance mantra is power and greatest good to the public.

“We have sustainable alternative programmes and policies in education,health,youth development,infrastructure ,the real sector as well an action plan to rid the state of huge debt within a two term tenure. Our policy focus is about community and societal prosperity through pro-people programmes”,the statement noted.

The governorship aspirant posited further that the party’s policy plan will address issues such as accessibility and affordability of higher education,youth employment and employability crisis,sustainable workers’ welfare and diaspora support and integration,adding that “a validated local content plan on infrastructure development is already concluded.

“Most importantly ,we will embark on large scale open government initiatives.We will in practical terms embrace open budget,access to information,open procurement and strict transparency and accountability in government finance. In short,a PDP government will return governance to the people”,the statement concluded.

PDP Governors Will Not Impose National Chair – Okowa

The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP ) National Elective Convention Committee, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, on Tuesday dismissed reports that governors of the PDP have attempted to impose a national chairman on the party.

The Delta State governor said delegates for the convention from most states are known, stressing the party will ensure it gives a level playing field to all aspirants and ensure a hitch-free convention

He also expressed optimism that the party would be more united, following its upcoming convention on December 9 and emerge a much stronger force for the 2019 presidential election.

Governor Okowa stated these on Channels Television’s programme “Politics Today.”

He said: “I believe that the National caretaker committee of the party is doing a lot to ensure that things are put in place, as for the national planning committee that I lead, we were inaugurated this afternoon and we have held our inaugural meeting. We do know that in any elective convention, all kinds of views do come into play but ours as a planning committee is to ensure that we deliver a convention that is credible and in which all the processes are such that will be blameless. We will deliver a free, fair and transparent primary; that is our aim.

“For the reconciliatory process, we’ll be looking up to the party leadership to deal with that. But the major task is for us to deliver a convention that is truly credible and all can attest to. That will enable us to heal faster, and unify faster after the convention.”

Reacting to reports that the chairman of the electoral panel, who is also the former governor of Benue State, had declared support for a candidate, he said: “I’m not aware that he has declared support for any particular candidate but even if he has any sentiments for anyone, he will not be in a position at all, on the convention day to do anything that is unjust. We are going to adopt the open secret ballot system of voting.

“We have also put in place a credible team to ensure reconciliation of party members who may feel aggrieved going forward after the convention,” he added.

On the defection of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Governor Okowa said there is strength in numbers and that the party would always welcome as many persons as possible.

“We believe that as many persons that come into the PDP is good for us because it would help to strengthen the party because politics is one that is inclusive – the more persons you get into the party, the greater the strength of the party. So we will welcome him into the party just as we will look forward to many more persons who will want to come over to join us as a family. It will be a welcome idea because it will help to strengthen us going into `2019,” he concluded.

Atiku Meets PDP Leaders At Wadata Plaza

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has arrived the national headquarters of the Peoples Democratic Party in Abuja.

Accompanied by a large crowd of supporters and praise singers, Atiku was received by the Spokesman for the party, Prince Dayo Adeyeye.

Atiku is currently meeting members of the National Caretaker Committe of the party led by Senator Ahmed Makarfi.

Meanwhile, supporters of Atiku are busy dancing and singing his praises within and outside the party headquarters, also known as Wadata Plaza.

Ben Bruce Speaks On Atiku’s Defection To PDP

Senator representing Bayelsa East, Mr Ben Murray Bruce has declared Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as the Nigeria’s next president following his formal return to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Atiku who had defected from the All Progressives Congress made known his intention to rejoin his former party, PDP through a Facebook broadcast on Sunday.

Senator Bruce in his tweet said it was time Buhari was removed, adding that PDP had a good retirement plan for him come 2019.

He wrote “Just [email protected], the next President of Nigeria, #Atikulatelyannouncing he would return to my party, [email protected]

“We in the PDP already have a good retirement package for President @MBuhari.

“Time to #ChangeTheChange.”

 

National Convention: PDP Removes Ex-Govs, Deputies As Automatic Delegates

The Peoples Democratic Party has removed former governors and former deputy governors produced by the party as automatic delegates to its national convention.

The national convention of the party holds in Abuja on Saturday.

It was gathered that the step was taken to make sure that the outcome of the convention was not subjected to another round of legal crisis that could overturn actions taken at the convention.

The Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee of the party, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, was said to have taken the matter to the Thursday’s PDP National Executive Committee meeting in Abuja.

According to a document obtained by our correspondent in Abuja on Sunday, Makarfi said there was the need to remove the former governors and their deputies as automatic delegates to the convention because of the ruling of an Abuja High Court.

Makarfi’s memo was titled, ‘Ammendments /Addendum to NEC approved guidelines for conduct of ward, LGA, State, Zonal congresses and the National Convention, effective November 10, 2017.’

The memo was dated November 30.

In the memo, Makarfi stated that in “paragraph 6.1 (13), page 11 of the guidelines, former governors were listed as delegates to the national convention in view of Section 33 (1) of the PDP Constitution, 2012, which came into force as a result of amendments to the party’s constitution at the December 10 to 12, 2014 national convention.

“Since section 47 (6) of the PDP Constitution 2012 achieved at the 10-12 December 2014 national convention was nullified by an FCT High Court in FCT /HC/CV /1867 //2016 Jero Vs. PDP on the grounds that the amendment did not follow laid down procedure,  in particular,  that it was not registered with the Independent National Electoral Commission within the period prescribed by law, it is necessary to remove former governors and former deputy governors produced by the party who are still members of the party as delegates to the national convention.”

Makarfi called on NEC “to approve the deletion of paragraph 6.1 (13) at page 11 of the guidelines which made former governors and former deputy governors produced by the party who are still members of the party (as) delegates to the national convention.”

It was gathered that the NEC voted in favour of the memo and removed former governors and former deputy governors produced by the party as automatic delegates to the convention.

However, investigations by our correspondent showed that the issue was already being addressed in a fresh amendment being proposed by the party to its constitution.

The proposed fresh amendment was said to have been sent to state chapters of the party and might be one of the issues to be addressed at the convention on Saturday.

Meanwhile, aspirants contesting different offices at the convention, especially the office of the national chairman, have continued their campaigns.

The aspirants who are running for the office of the national chairman are Prince Uche Secondus, Prof. Taoheed Adedoja, Prof. Tunde Adeniran, Chief Olabode George, Chief Gbenga Daniel, Mr Jimi Agbaje, Mr. Segun Adeyemi and Senator Rasheed Ladoja

Adeniran said on Sunday that he was ready, adding that he had covered all the six geo-political zones of the country.

Speaking through his Director of Media, Mr. Taiwo Akeju,  Adeniran said, “We are ready for the convention having covered all the six geo-political zones.  We have nothing to fear,” he said.

Also, Secondus praised the enthusiasm shown by Nigerians to the plan by the party to return to power in 2019.

Speaking with our correspondent on the telephone, Secondus also said he had no issues with the names of those that would conduct the convention, which had just been released.

“We must all have faith in members of our party to conduct an internal election.”

PDP Is Too Disorganised To Rule Osun People – APC

By Toba Adedeji
As State of Osun 2018 gubernatorial election preparation is at the top gear, the All Progressives Party (APC) has maintained that Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is too disorganized and maladjusted to rule the people.
According to the statement made available to OSUN DEFENDER over the weekend by the Party’s Director of Publicity, Barr. Kunle Oyatomi also alleged that the orientation of PDP is ‘greed’.
Oyatomi stated that, “The intractable power struggle within Osun PDP is symptomatic of the greed and inordinate ambition of an individual within the party, who wants to be Governor at all costs regardless of the fact that he is politically spent, unpopular and technically unqualified to run for that office.
Oyatomi was of the Opinion that the bigwig of the Party (PDP) is suffering from deficiency in leadership acquirement.
He said, “The rank and file of Osun PDP leadership appears to have no idea what they want to do to make the State better. The only thing they have been doing in the last seven years is to concoct and spread lies against the person and actions of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.
“PDP has even lost the ability to articulate a substitute plan to that of Aregbesola-led APC government. Truth is that the PDP has no plan because it is empty; so there is nothing to articulate anyway,” Oyatomi said.
 
He argued that the Party is so empty saying, “One of their leaders the other day was engaged in a debate on air with APC official over what legacy either has to its credit in Osun. This PDP leader sited payment of salaries to workers as PDP’s best social legacy throughout the seven years they were in power.”
“When the PDP governed Osun between 2003 and 2010, the salaries paid to workers was slightly over N100 billion. But since 2010 till now, (also seven years period), Aregbesola has paid workers over N220 billion; which is twice as much as the PDP could afford.”Oyatomi concluded.
It could be recalled that Adagunodo faction of PDP, State of Osun recently showdown reneged harmonization template signed in Abuja which led to attack by Faforiji group saying, Adagunodo faction leaders lack management.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Political Apathy And Its Consequence In Our Society

 

First and foremost, indifference to political activities and electoral processes have contributed immensely to the problem we are facing in Nigeria today. The situation of political apathy is now becoming heightened and this can have negative effect on the entire society at large.

Political apathy did not just come into existence, but it is triggered by some phenomena among which is the bad political leadership plaguing the country. Most of our political leaders today are not ready to do anything for the society. They are just there to satisfy their selfish interest and to enrich their pocket. Since people are not benefiting from the political system, many have eventually made up their mind not to get involved in voting and other political activities.

The second circumstance that definitely brings about political apathy is the non-fulfilment of promises that were made during their manifestoes. Many people rely on these promises, but they were rather disappointed. People have come to know that all political promises are mere lies and propaganda, and as a result of these, many people are discouraged to participate in politics.

Another fact is that, the way elections are usually being conducted bring about chaos, intimidation, harassment and some other social unrests that created fear in the mind of the electorate and due to all these acts, many have died while others have sustained critical injury. So, I think these also contributed a lot to people’s hatred towards politics.

To ameliorate this issue of political apathy, I would urge our political leaders to change their selfish attitude for good and caring one to better the lots of the society.

Our political leaders should also try to fulfill various promises they made during campaigns and try to restore the confidence people have in them.

I will also implore the people or those that are indifferent to politics and election to get politically socialised and participate because it is our right and obligation as responsible and active members of the nation. Not participating in elections can only worsen the situation because it will breed unqualified and non-eligible representation.