We Have Significantly Surpassed PDP Performance – Osun APC

All Progressives Congress in the state of Osun has expressed confidence that ‘the economic and human development strides, which the Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola-led government has made in the last seven years, will be unstoppable with the people’s determination to sustain it’.

According to the party, Osun has come a long way in engineering change from a poverty stricken and backward community to a significantly  developing society of hard-working and progressive-minded people, doing everything that they can, to better their lots.

The party advised that, “The citizens of this state must not allow those who are backward-looking and selfish – especially political vultures, negatively disposed to progress – to mislead them into being careless about keeping pace with the developments and progress thus far achieved in Osun”.

This call for vigilance was contained in a statement from the APC Directorate of Publicity, Research and Strategy signed by its Director, Kunle Oyatomi and made available to the media in Osogbo.

The party stated that, “to understand the magnitude of what has happened in Osun under the leadership of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, the people have to take a serious look at what this state was some eight years ago, to appreciate what it is now.

“Osun was one of the poorest and struggling communities compared to many others in the country. Infrastructure was totally run-down; life was difficult, the human development index of the State was at best stagnant while economic activities were sluggish and unattractive to investors.

To worsen an already bad situation, environmental sanitation was horrible – so horrible that when the rains came, cities flooded, lives were lost and properties were destroyed. There was lamentation everywhere”, the APC recalled.

At the height of this tragedy’, the party continued in memory lane, “insecurity became the order of the day. Violence and murder rocked cities and towns, and the people were terrified.

Then a God-sent relief came in 2010. The stolen electoral mandate of 2007 was eventually restored and Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola became governor of Osun and the state came alive like never before.

The stimulus for a race to develop the state was electric’, the APC said, adding that, ‘what was thought impossible became a reality.

 

EDITORIAL: Enough Of Destructive Politics!

A properly functioning democracy runs on the framework of a democratic agreement amongst the contending factions of political society. This means that there are critical issues that have to be taking out of the rough and tumble of partisan politics.

In this way, there is a consensus on those things which lay the basis for sustainable development.

For this reason, the destructive attitude of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the construction of the Moshood Olawale Abiola International Airport located in Ido-Osun is unacceptable. The use of the word-destructive is deliberate and carefully chosen in describing the obstructionist attitude of the PDP in the state of Osun on this matter.

The completion of the airport is vital for the sustainable development of the state. This is why every right-thinking person should give kudos to the state government which last week entered into an agreement with Awol International Limited for the completion of the MKO International Airport located in Ido-Osun.

The agreement is well thought out and brilliantly innovative. The agreement in principle is to build the airport, operate and transfer it back to the state government, 30 years after.

The signing of the concession agreement on the completion of the airport will hasten the take-off of its operation within the next eight months.

Chairman of AWOL International Limited, Ambassador Nurudeen James Ogunlade, said the company will shoulder 100 per cent funding of the project.

He disclosed that the project will commence on 9th November 2017 while the first phase will be completed within eight months and put into use, adding that the entire project will be totally completed by 2019.

He said the airport when completed will serve local and international passengers as well as cargo services, saying this will complement the legacies of the present administration.

He said: “We are entering into an agreement with the State Government of Osun to fast-track the completion of the MKO Abiola International Airport having realized the zeal and effort being put into it by Governor Rauf Aregbesola-led administration.

What is far-sighted here is that we are seeing a commitment by the state’s helmsman Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola to turn Osun to an African Commercial hub. The company was chosen clearly has the sufficient level of experience to deliver the goods and its tie-up with the Turkish Exim Bank and Birary Group of Companies from Turkey will facilitate this.

Playing politics with a project of this magnitude is irresponsible. With the agreement in place, Aregbesola is sensibly playing the statesman.

As India’s first post-independence prime minister Jawarlah Pandit Nehru memorably observed, “a politician thinks about the next election, a statesman, about the next seven generations”, Ogbeni Aregbesola is thinking here about sustainable development to empower future generations yet unborn.

The Osun State PDP should do the same. Playing pranks with fundamental economic development initiatives may look good for the immediate electoral calculus; it, however, reveals an inadequacy of preparation for office.

We urge the government of the state of Osun to remain focused in the implementation of this laudable and fundamental economic initiative which is for the good of all. As for the PDP, being nay Sayers to every sensible initiative will only expose their inadequacies to an electorate already skeptical of their lack of preparation to govern a renewed, invigorated state of Osun.

Nigerian Election As Basis For Political Struggle

Destiny is not a matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.
-William Jennings Bryan American lawyer and statesman.
Moods come and go, but greatness endures.
-George H.W. Bush

The vote is the most powerful instrument ever derived by man for breaking down injustice.
– Lyndon Baines Johnson.

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.
-George Bernard Shaw.

The next election is fast approaching as horse trading has started between registered political parties and individuals seriously interested in participating in one election or the other. Thus, it is an election year in which many winners and losers will emerge. Eligible voters must realise that the type of government they have in vogue is the totality of their decisions.

Australia is a country with the highest voting turnarounds in the world. This is because the country insists that voting is a civil duty of citizens and not just a privilege. Any voter who failed to vote during an election and without acceptable reasons pays a fine. I wish such an enviable principle is established in our constitution for every citizen to accept voting as a civil duty and not just a privilege. Thus, if you did not exercise your voting right, then you should be told to ‘Shut-up’ when you dare criticise the running of government or join the group of people who say ‘politics is dirty’ a statement credited to Woodrow Wilson, Ph.D, LL.D, 28th president of United States of America (1913 – 1921). We must remember that the candidates who win elections have the power to change your life by the laws that they pass during their regimes.

In the future elections, we must vote for people that are considered as honest, with moral visions, concerned with clues of solving our social problems and will not ‘eat the national cake alone’. It is always advisable to find more about political candidates from friends, neighbours, internets, newspapers, and so on, before voting for them. It is a known fact that politicians are completely different human beings when it comes to requesting for votes from people. Some of their campaign slogans and promises are full of deceits, lies, dirty tricks, slanders and insults, including character assassinations; with the intention of mocking their rivals, that they consider as political ‘puppets’ just to win votes.

 

They play fast political games and come out loose with actual truths while using different tactics to portray themselves and party in the best possible light, portraying their opponents as fools who will lead the country to political ruin if elected. They have enough and unaccountable looted funds to advertise themselves in local and foreign newspapers, television programmers, magazines and as well organized social gatherings for distribution of money with dubiously acquired resources while their political rivals are masqueraded as enemies of progress. By so doing, the morality of politicians is grossly debased while intense campaign of calumny blinds people for the purpose of votes catching.

At the end of votes counting, electorates will see different alignments cropping up. The tension for seeking votes has gone and politicians calling themselves different names are now sitting at both sides of the political table to dine together while the poor voters are neglected like a dirty pond and without further recourse for decision making. The next brazen item on the political agenda is corrupt political bargains and betrayals at the electorates’ expense. Unfortunately, we could hardly find credible alternative in a highly traumatised political setting like ours. When we examine the past records of politicians knocking at electorates’ doors for votes, they are bunched under recalcitrant group of those making unending and unfulfilled promises with enticing envelopes to buy voters’ conscience. With this political development in Nigeria, we must be sorry for ourselves and the nation at large.

We are rightly informed that political elections are the sure foundation of democratic society to provide legitimacy to the government. Also, they are meant to give reasonable opportunity to the entire citizens to participate in the democratic process. From the perspective of electioneering process and candidates’ eligibility (qualifications, nominations, dispute resolutions, etc.), involvement of electorates cannot be pushed aside in a jiffy.

 

Therefore, it is the right time that Nigerian electorates stop regarding elections as mere window dressing national affairs that do not deserve their attention or participation. When electorates ignore sensible reasons to cast their votes, criminally-minded politicians can make dubious arrangements to ‘stuff up’ election boxes with ‘ghost votes’ or jettison the actual results to announce dubiously motivated and overwhelming victory. Nobody has the will to fight after the ruling government is swept from power following a free and fair election. This is not only peculiar to Nigeria but also advanced countries. In Japan (where Democratic Party that held power from 1955 to 2009), the government was defeated by the opposition and that situation resulted to serious in-fighting. Similarly, there was an election dispute in United States of American when the Republican party (1861 – 1933) was replaced by the Democratic Party. This teaches us that voting during elections is the right of citizens to change their leaders.

Today, there are many angry Americans are or in the ‘near state of despair’ with themselves on the last presidential election in which president Donald Thump won. Even though Sir Winston Churchill once commented that “democracy is the worst form of government”, we were told that other forms of government that were tried before have not been better. It has shown that democracy “is not just essential but also noble, and in fact, worthy of our devotion.” The African American federal appellate judge once noted that democracy is “becoming, rather unbecoming than being itself. It can easily be lost and never was it fully won. Hence, the essence of democracy itself is the eternal struggle.”

Our voting pattern is not different from what obtains in other democratic countries. People sometimes vote for their preferred parties while others vote for personalities. It is a known fact that voting consumes time and money that do not come easily to many people. Hard earned money is never easy to ‘waste’ on elections. The consequence is that many unpopular candidates are presented for elections because they can raise required funds for sponsorship.
To be continued tomorrow.
Okunrinboye wrote from Washington D C.

 

 

 

Source: The Guardian

Osun 2018: PDP Plots Hate Campaign Against Aregbesola, APC

To launch itself back into the heart of the people of the State of Osun ahead of the 2018 governorship election, some characters in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were alleged to have decided to launch hate campaign against Governor Rauf Aregbesola and the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.

A source within the PDP in one of the faction said the party has concluded arrangement to whip up community sentiments against Aregbesola and his party with a view to getting towns and cities to reject them in 2018 at a meeting held with leadership of the newly inaugurated Caretaker Committee.

PDP sources who spoke with OSUN DEFENDER on condition of anonymity confessed that the newly elected Senator Ademola Adeleke and two wealthy Nigerians in Lagos have been contacted to bankroll the project.

According to the PDP sources, the PDP has also set up a committee to work on aggrieved members of the APC, particularly the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Lasun Yusuff and Alhaji Fatai Diekola with a plan to get them to continue undermining the leaders of the APC and causing crisis.

The PDP sources disclosed that the party could not win election in the state with fair campaign, hence it has resolve to recruit people and engaged them to smear Aregbesola’s image and discredit his achievements in the state.

The hate campaign is said to be centred on ongoing projects, religious and community crisis, among others.

According to the PDP sources at the meeting, the PDP concluded to set discontent for the APC by selling messages of hate, peculiar to a locality, to the people with a view to getting members of the public in such locations to hate Governor Rauf Aregbesola and the APC.

Specifically, the hateful messages are to be designed to stress a problem in a locality is meant to whip up community sentiment against Aregbesola and the APC in towns and cities.

For instance, Governor Aregbesola is to be held responsible and made the scapegoat of any wrong in any town or city using uncompleted projects in such place as a deliberate wish of the governor and the APC.

According to the sources, the PDP is working seriously to ensure that Aregbesola and the APC lose the strong base it has in Osogbo, the state capital by watering down his love in the heart of Osogbo residents.

To achieve that, the PDP allegedly resolved to sell a story that Osogbo is being marginalised in the Aregbesola’s administration with too little number of appointments and that the governor is victimising prominent Osogbo indigenes who are members and supporters of the APC.

The PDP also resolved to discredit the Aregbesola’s achievement in Osogbo by watering down their essence and dissuading indigenes of the city from commending him on the ground that Osogbo deserved more infrastructural development than what it is on ground, compared to the votes given to the governor.

The medium learnt that the PDP has been recruiting people to carry out the hatchet job.

For Iwo Federal constituency, the PDP sources disclosed that the dilapidated Osogbo/Iwo road was chosen to launch the hate campaign against Aregbesola and the party.

The story to tell the people of the Federal Constituency, according to the sources, was that Aregbesola deliberately refused to reconstruct the road as a mark of lack of concern for the plight of the people of Iwoland.

It was also gathered that the PDP members resolved to play devil’s advocate by telling the people of Iwoland that Aregbesola did not treat the Secretary of the State Government, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti well and attempted to frustrate him out of office.

“They wanted to paint a picture that Aregbesola does not like Iwoland and that is why the SSG is being marginalised by his administration”, said the sources.

The sources also said that the PDP allegedly concluded on embarking on campaign of calumny with the ongoing Gbongan/Osogbo road dualisation which has gone on for more than two years which was initially earmarked for it.

“At the meeting, the party concluded to poison the mind of the people of Gbongan, Ode-Omu and other communities that the Gbongan/Osogbo road is serving. The people engaged for the job will be telling the people that Aregbesola has bastardised the economy of the area with the non-completion of the road”, the source disclosed.

It was gathered that the PDP has begun move to source for fund to implement these strategies.

Senator Ademola Adeleke, who is representing Osun West Senatorial District at the Senate, two other people in Lagos and one of the recently inaugurated caretaker committee members have been penciled down as financiers of the project.

Here Are Wole Soyinka’s Words Concerning 2019 On-Going Campaign

One of the Africa’s best writers, Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka has made public his view concerning the campaign of politicians for the 2019 elections at Freedom Park where he unveiled 10 Nigerians writers who would be leaving for Lebanon  in a cultural exchange programme, The Sail Project, between The Wole Soyinka Foundation and Cedar Institute, University of Lebanon.

The Professor of Comparative Literature said it is too early for the country to begin to talk about the next election when the incumbent is two years into his first term. He also spoke about the clamour for a second term by loyalists of the President saying;

“Why are we talking about a second term for heaven’s sake? I don’t understand this. We have hardly gone half-way or barely gone half-way and people are already talking about positions.

“I refuse to be part of that discussion and absolutely refuse to be part of that discussion,” 

Speaking on the need for reconstruction and how Nigerians should not be manipulated by issues that are brought up on purpose to deviate their attention he added;

“when people use words like restructuring, reconfiguring, you can call it reconfiguration, you can call it return to status quo, you can call it reformulating the protocol of association, you can use those long words, but, you can use a single word like restructuring, it doesn’t matter. Everybody knows what we are talking about.

“Number two, there are those who try to divert direct attention away from the main issues by mounting platitudes, cliches like it is the mind that needs restructuring, you know who I am about. This constant process of restructuring the mind is both an individual exercise as well as theological exercise. People go to churches and mosques to have their mind restructured; they go to school, they go to extra-mural classes to have their mind restructured. Restructuring the mind is not the issue, nobody is saying the exercise of restructuring the mind should not be undertaken; anybody who indulges in self-examination is already engaging in mind restructuring.

“I find it very dishonest and cheap; time selling, trivializing the issues, when I hear the expression that it is the mind which needs to be restructured. Who is arguing it? Who is denying that? It is not a substitute, why are you bringing it up?

“We are talking about the protocol of association of the constituting part of a nation, we are talking about decentralization, that is another word.

“This country is over-centralised…So, individuals should not now try and sidetrack the issue and say concentrate on that rather than this. Are you saying that you cannot reconstruct the mind and reconstruct the nation at the same time?

“My take on it and my express advice to the citizenry is that they should not allow themselves to be sidetracked. Call it whatever name, what we are saying is that this nation is long-overdue for reconfiguration. That is the expression I chose to use now.”

Soyinka was also of the view that it was wrong for president Buhari to say  the unity of Nigeria is not negotiable. He noted that it was another was another attempt to ‘sweep the issue under the carpet,’ and insisted that no one talked about dismembering the country.

“We know there are movements for secession;  let Buhari and others go and address this separately. This should not be mixed with the demand of a nation for reconfiguration. People should stop answering the demand for secession by pretending to answer the demand for reconfiguration.

“Secession should be a different thing.

“To try and suggest that the moment you say ‘restructure,’ you are calling for disintegration, is for me, intellectually dishonest, that is not the issue at all.

“The issue of outright secession is totally different. Even if it is only one state that is left, that state has a right to say, ‘listen you people, let us restructure this state.’

“The protocols which have gone into the making of this state are no longer valid or have been distorted along the way or have been abandoned and we want to go back to the original set of protocols that created what we call this national entity. In other words, there are choices all over the place, you can say you want to re-invent the wheel completely or you can say you want to go back to the original protocol of association, whichever way,”

Assessing Buhari’s administration in the last two years, Soyinka said that there were gaps, citing the issue of security as a case study. He said: “The average citizen feels less secure now than it did few years ago, that is evident. When people talk about state police, there are reasons for that; when they talk about bringing policing right down to the community level, they know what they are talking about. This is part and parcel of reconfiguration or reconstruction.

“The economy, there is a big question on it right now; fortunately everybody admits that we went through a very bad patch; right now, is the question of have we come out of it or not? In fact there is no question about it. The past few years have been years of internal economic disasters for the average citizen, but it is a question of who laid the seed? When and where and how were the seeds laid for the agony this nation is going through the last few years?”

As Political Thugs Go On The Rampage

 

Political thuggery is on the resurgence and it appears the law enforcement agencies are either unable or unwilling to confront it. Let it be said with every emphasise that this is dangerous not just for democracy but also for the physical safety of the Nigerian state. If immature and irresponsible politicians are allowed to advance their desperate quest for power and territorial control by every means at their nefarious disposal, anarchy may take over this land and too much damage may be unleashed on the country in no time. This must never be allowed to happen.
In Kaduna the other day, political thugs armed with dangerous weapons invaded the Nigerian Union of Journalists’ secretariat venue of a press conference by two federal legislators, unleashed violence on journalists, vandalized property and chased the conveners of the conference away, thereby preventing them from speaking their minds freely and fairly, on a delegates’ election held previously by the state branch of the All Progressives Congress (APC) party.

In Lokoja, political thugs, up to a hundred in number, invaded the Kogi State House of Assembly while it was in session, beat up everyone in sight and especially concentrated their assault upon a particular legislator and his aides.

It is noteworthy that in both cases, the harm was extensively done in spite of the presence of the police and officers of other security agencies. By every measure of common sense analysis, it would be difficult not to suspect collusion. The security officers at the venue of the Kaduna incident reportedly claimed to have allowed the assailants into the venue because they presented themselves as journalists. How come then that they went in with dangerous weapons undetected? Given the personal battles and politics of intolerance in the APC in Kaduna State, it would be unprofessional for security officials to be undiscriminating in allowing just about everyone into an event, especially the press conference by a factional group. In Lokoja, it is sensible to expect that the premises of the state’s house of assembly are fenced as well as guarded with a reasonable number of security personnel especially when the house is in session.How can it be, therefore, that three vehicles with a hundred unauthorized persons would drive through, disembark and move unchallenged in such number into the hallowed chamber? It is reported that security personnel ‘watched helplessly.’ Really?

Again, in both states, the respective governors have blown hot, as usual, ordered the police to apprehend and punish the perpetrators. But, expectedly, the victims are not impressed. They not only do not believe the sincerity of their states’ chief security officers, they even accuse the governors of complicity.

That some members of the APC would engage the services of thugs to harass and intimidate their opponents reveals much about this party, its disturbing lack of internal democracy and the disappointing deficiency of integrity in its leadership.

This party promised a ‘change’ from the strong-arm tactics of the Peoples Democratic Party government it replaced. Alas, like many other promises yet to be kept, many APC politicians display levels of political immaturity, personal intolerance of one another, fiendish pursuit of self-interests on the one hand, and disdain for the interests of the electorate on the other that the question cannot but be asked: where is the change promised?

 

That members of a political party cannot, with maturity and mutual respect, disagree, discuss, and negotiate their differences, and reach a win-win agreement for the sake of the party and the higher good of the electorate is a clear indicator of party members lacking in discipline, a party leadership not in control, and a party in need of soul-searching with a view to finding cohesion.

It should be observed that character deficit underlies the operating methods of most Nigerian politicians. As good men shy away –or chicken out-from taking on leadership roles, unprincipled, aggressive men and women seize –not assume- the leadership space and foist upon society their unique but warped values- including, of course, recruiting and arming hooligans to cow opponents.

The Nigerian environment is slowly turning into a lawless jungle where kidnapping, murder for ritual, political, and revenge reasons. Where armed robbery, violent ethnic and religious conflicts are now increasingly complicated by political brigandage. In the face of these, Nigerians cannot but ask in bewilderment where the law enforcement apparatus is and where the government that is constitutionally charged to secure the state and the people is! For the sake of the peace, progress and prosperity of the country, safety of the citizens, and, in the not too distant future, the fate and fortune of the party, the All Progressives Congress must address these concerns, put its house in order and lead Nigeria the way the country should be led.

Macron and Nigerian Youths’ Leadership Bid, By Ayo Olukotun

“Nigeria can keep ignoring her youths, but Nigerians cannot do without us. They may have the money and power, but we have the voices and the votes.” – Social entrepreneur and youth activist, Toyosi Akerele-Ogunsiji

For French citizens reeling under the whiplash of former President Francois Hollande’s disastrous rule, last Sunday’s Presidential election came as a burst of fresh air in a setting that was desperately scorched and blighted. The woes, soaring unemployment, repeated terrorist attacks and a badly managed economy were well advertised during the recent campaigns, which saw France groping for renewal and fresh direction.

For many around the globe, the defeat of the extremely conservative Marine Le Pen of the National Front Party, who campaigned on an anti-globalisation and a ‘France First’ agenda that was reminiscent of President Donald Trump of the United States, was welcome relief.

For Nigerian youths basking in an emergent demographic advantage and contending against centuries of rule by the aged, the victory of 39 year-old Emmanuel Macron has accelerated their increasingly vocal drive for the top position.

Recall that when 31 year-old Mark Zuckerberg, the Founder of Facebook, reportedly worth over 40bn dollars came calling in 2016, his endorsement of the innovativeness and creative hustle of our youths resonated with them and led to fresh demands for inclusive politics, with affirmative action to redress the skewing of the political field in favour of old men and women.

Earlier on, Nigerian youths took the Muhammadu Buhari administration to task for its failure to appoint young men and women into his cabinet. The justification provided for the omission by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo that the youths lacked outstanding political talents did nothing to appease an increasingly restless social category staking claims to national leadership.

Toyosi Akerele, social entrepreneur and post-graduate student at Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA, conveys the sense of disillusionment and outrage that Nigerian youths increasingly articulate about their marginalisation in the scheme of things. It is pertinent, therefore, that Macron’s upset victory against an establishment set in its ways, has given impetus to Nigerian youths increasingly calling for a rearrangement of the political space.

In the last few days, the social media have been awash with discussion of the prospects of our youths creating a political movement in the mould of Macron that will power one of them to office in 2019. It is even more remarkable that Macron’s political movement, created barely 12 months to his election, became the vehicle of his political ascendancy and election. Nigerian youths are chanting, in response, why can’t we repeat the Macron miracle here? Before delving further into this animated discussion, this columnist craves the reader’s indulgence to offer a short take.

Most readers are familiar with the despairing refrain that the teacher’s reward is in heaven. Two eminent Nigerians, former Minister for Education, Dr Oby Ezekwesili and Vice Chancellor of Federal University, Oye Ekiti, Prof. Soremekun, obviously do not think so. Last Thursday, Ezekwesili advocated the prioritisation of the quality of teachers as a key to rehabilitating the education sector. She said, “The quality of the teachers in a classroom determines what the student learns, no matter how sophisticated the school is”.

What then, is the approach to raising the quality of teachers? Soremekun, a former Fullbright Scholar and professor of International Relations, partially answered this question, when at the maiden convocation of FUOYE, three retired principals were conferred with honorary degrees. The academic explained that his university decided on this mould breaking policy, because, to quote him, “We are de-emphasising the mercantilist and cash-and-carry mentality of giving honorary degrees to the rich and powerful. There are many people contributing to the development of this country, but nobody is recognising them”

The event found a responsive echo in the venerable principals, who said that the honour indicates that the teacher’s reward is no longer in heaven. Having blazed a trail, FUOYE should even go further to create a forum where the wisdom and discipline of committed teachers, such as those honoured, can be imparted to the present generation of teachers and lecturers who have much to learn from them. Meanwhile, the institution deserves kudos for setting an edifying example.

To return to the main discourse regarding our youths, it should be pointed out that much can be said for the emerging political culture of electing young men and women as leaders of nations. Before Macron, the youngest president to rule France since Napoleon Bonaparte, we had Justin Trudeau, who was elected at the age of 43 as Prime Minister of Canada in 2015. There was also David Cameron, who at 43 became the British Prime Minister but left office last year in the wake of BREXIT. Many will also remember Alexis Tsipras, who became the Prime Minister of Greece three years ago at 40.

To be sure, there are also old men and women who vie for political office as the case of Trump who is 70 years and Buhari who was elected at 73 years, indicate. It may well be, however, that the balance of evidence is increasingly on the side of relatively youthful leaders, who have the energy to drive and see through important political changes.

In the case of France, even if Macron’s opponent, Le Pen had won the election, the country would have had a President who is 48years old. It must be said that youth is not necessarily a predictor of performance or good governance, as there had been young politicians who performed very well and others who performed woefully. Much cited on the African continent are the distressing cases of Yahya Jammeh, who bacame the Gambian President at 29 years, but had to be forced out of office earlier this year by an international upheaval. There is also the case of Joseph Kabila, President of Democratic Republic of Congo, who took office in 2001 at the age of 29, but whose rule and self succession can hardly be seen as exemplary.

Fundamentally, the prospects of youths making landmark political changes are functions of factors, such as their intellectual capital, as this relates to ideological conviction, moral stamina, preparation for office and the power of institutions to act as checks on their tendencies for impetuous interventions.

Indeed, several commentators have suggested that Macron is too ideologically vacuous and nebulous, regarding programmes, to turn France around. But time will tell. As far as Nigerian youths are concerned, they should bear in mind that the young men and women who emerge as their country’s leaders are not greenhorns but have a period of apprenticeship.

Trudeau leveraged on his father’s political dynasty, while Macron cut his political milk teeth as a protege of Hollande, who appointed him as Minister for the Economy and Information Technology. This suggests that our youths must double down on their periods of training at the feet of the established, even if they end up overthrowing all that they stood for.

Finally, if the youth leadership project must fly, it will have to wrestle successfully with the demons of religious, ethnic and geographical polarisations that have acted as brakes to the nation’s ascent to greatness. That said, this columnist wishes the youths success in their journey to political primacy.

Answering The Resignation Question By Saratu Abiola

Nigeria is a complicated country, isn’t it?

For one thing, nothing is ever as it seems. Here is what we know: we know that our president is sick but we are not quite sure the nature of his illness; if he’s groaning in agony in bed or walking gingerly around the Villa recuperating. The cause of his illness is unknown, but it was serious to have him in the UK for weeks on end and see him looking even skinnier on his return. We know that he has missed Friday prayers at the mosque; that he has not showed up to the past couple of Federal Executive Council meetings; that he has not been seen in public recently. We also know that Aisha Buhari has told us that her husband’s condition is not “that bad”, which obviously means that it is. Besides, according to our constitution, a medical panel assembled by the National Assembly will have to deem the president unfit to continue in office, and that has not happened yet. Given the inability of our National Assembly to do any substantive work on anything these days, it also probably will not happen.

See? Complicated.
It is tempting to draw a neat parallel between what we are currently seeing and what happened under now-late President Yar’Adua, but there are some key differences to keep in mind here. For one thing, Nigerians are a lot more aware of the dangers ahead, and a lot quicker than we were because we sadly have some experience with this kind of thing. Also, this time, when our president travels abroad for treatment, whatever we think of the fact that he is travelling for treatment, he has handed over formally to his deputy. This means that there has been less talk of a power vacuum. Another important difference is that, President Buhari is not the first northern president who has faced dire health issues, and there are political interests who are already working on counter-messaging. The propaganda machinery is already in motion to allege all sorts, even that the President has been poisoned in Aso Villa to make him sick. Such talk will only serve to galvanize regional interests and send the country hurtling towards an even messier, more hate speech-filled election season in 2019.

It is easy to say that Vice President Osinbajo should take over as president, that he should nominate a deputy and keep things moving. After all, he has somehow managed to retain his aura of ‘capableness’ and while keeping his smile intact, and even crack a joke or two when the camera pans on him. The trouble, however, is the small issue of our recent history. There is no need to rehash here how much trouble it was for our then-Vice President to become our Acting President. I have not forgotten how the country seemed to be at a standstill until then-Acting President Goodluck Jonathan evolved into a presidential candidate then won. Then-Acting President Jonathan was essentially a “lame duck”, to borrow from American political parlance, until he won the presidential election. Moreover, any kind of resignation at this point from President Buhari will lead to jostling for who will be a President Osinbajo’s Vice. One senses that whoever gets selected as Vice President to a President Osinbajo will face fierce political opposition, meaning that we might face a political standstill where almost nothing will be done but political posturing until 2019.
Our experience with recent elections tells us that when the political situation is tenuous, nothing of note happens: not investments, not signing of much needed legislation, nothing. If you think nothing of note is happening now, even less will happen if Osinbajo is to take over as president. A “lame duck” president will only signal political uncertainty. There will be doom and gloom predicted ahead of the 2019 elections, and once again Nigeria will be a hot ticket for international journalists looking for some election-related excitement.

And what will happen if we simply maintain status quo? Well, basically what we are seeing now: A Presidency not operating at full capacity, bobbing and weaving like Anthony Joshua, away from the electorates’ reasonable questions as to the health of its president, with the determination to remain opaque.
This political calculation is tiring, because Nigeria has entirely too much work to do. Our economy is a shambles, our internal security leaves a lot to be desired, our healthcare and education are in dire straits, we have a humanitarian crisis that has created mass displacement of millions of Nigerians, and that is just a short list of what currently ails us. Ensuring clear leadership at the top is key for the country and it seems obvious that the President should resign if he needs to. But as usual, there will be no clean sailing if those clamouring for resignation get what they want.

Ganduje Targets Kwankwaso’s Support Base

The dynamics of 2019 politics has started in Kano State in spite of the fact that the contest is about two years away. And in this light, many cards are already on the table. One of such cards is the notion of “Four- Plus- Four”, which represents a metaphor for the incumbent administration of Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje to remain in office beyond 2019.

Proponents of this notion, who are largely among the ruling political elite, are not unmindful of the plurality of political values in the state and the quality of opposition against their aspiration.

They recognize that unlike in 2015, when they rode on an easy and largely uncontested ride to the Government House in the state, the 2019 scenario presents a different, dense and unpredictable cast.

They acknowledged the rivalry poised by the Kwakwassiyya tendency and the potency and virility of the threat.

Yet, they have an abiding faith in their performance and in their ability to overcome the circumstances, no matter the potency of their adversaries and their historical grip on the politics of the state.

In this light, they are working on a couple of strategies to scale over whatever opposition that may come their way in the quest to accomplish and objectify the notion of “Four Plus Four”.

Observers have since recognized a deliberate culture of feminism in the state. This experience, which is gaining popularity by the day, invariably scales up the position of women, and makes them a vital component of the ‘Gandujain’ politics.

While not disregarding any other group in the state, the Ganduje administration has undoubtedly sought the heart of women in the state, lobbied them in a way that no previous administration had done in the state.

To be fair, the role of women in Kano politics has never been lost to imagination. It is true that right from the days of political matriarchs such as Hajia Gambo Sawaba, Hajia Asabe Reza, Hajia Rabi Mato and up to the present times of Hajia Najatu Ibrahim and Hajia Baraka Sani, Kano women have been heroines in their own political rights. They have been a voice that has melted into the huge bellies of the famed political radicalism of the ancient and historical city.

With their huge numerical value, estimated in millions and far higher in number than their male counterparts, whoever wins their hearts, no doubt wins the day.  That is apart from the fact that they play a strategic role as opinion moulders in their respective families, swinging political options in favour of their preferred candidates in some ways.

This may have informed the position of the administration to reserve a special place for them in the scheme of things in the state today.  The administration of Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has not been pretentious about its feminist posturing.

From inception, it has associated with them, a result of which it appointed no fewer than three women Commissioners into the state executive council. This is aside the fact that the administration had thought it wise to appoint several women as Special Advisers, Senior Special Assistants and Special Assistants in the state.

Recently, there has been an explosion of women empowerment initiatives and programmes in the state. A few are worth emphasizing. Not too long, the state government said it was ready to offer employment to over 1000 women National Certificate of Education(NCE) graduates, who would teach in the various public schools in the state.

To match words with action, the governor, few days ago, directed these applicants to proceed to their respective local government areas for verification ahead of their enlistment.

But that is not all. Something previously unthinkable in a conservative setting as Kano is about to happen. The government has indicated its resolve to send out a set of youthful women for training in auto mechanics as well as in its related areas. According to the governor, the beneficiaries would be trained alongside their male counterparts at Peugeot Automobile Nigeria Training Center in Kaduna.

The governor explained that the training was part of his administration’s strategies to expose the women to requisite skills necessary for them to be self -employed, and be in a position to afford a comfortable lifestyle for themselves and their families.

He recalled that about two weeks ago, the state government recruited many female persons among its new tax officers adding that his administration has initiated various empowerment programmes for various categories of women in the state since he assumed office.

“Women empowerment helps women to stand on their own, become independent and also to earn for their family which stimulates the economy”, he stated.

According to the governor, “to empower a woman means to reduce poverty. Sometimes, the money earned by the husband is not sufficient to meet the demands of the family. The added earnings of women help the family to address the issue of poverty”.

Ghosts Chase Brazil’s President From Residence

Brazil’s President Michel Temer blames bad vibes and even ghosts for driving him from his sumptuous official residence in the capital Brasilia.

A Brazilian news weekly reported, Temer surprised Brazilian politics watchers this week with the revelation that he has decamped from the Alvorada Palace.

He moved with his former beauty queen wife and their seven-year-old son down the road to the smaller vice presidential residence.

The modernist Alvorada, which means Dawn and was designed by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, would be a dream home for many.

It has a huge pool, football field, chapel, medical centre and vast lawn.

But Temer, 76, and his 33-year-old wife Marcela, find the cavernous, glass-fronted building spooky.

“I felt something strange there. I wasn’t able to sleep right from the first night.
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“The energy wasn’t good,” Temer was quoted as saying by Veja.

“Marcela felt the same thing. Only (their son) Michelzinho, who went running from one end to the other, liked it.”

“We even started to wonder: could there be ghosts?” he reportedly quipped to Veja.

According to a report in Globo newspaper, Marcela Temer brought in a priest to attempt to drive out any evil spirits, but to no avail.

The Temers then moved to the still luxurious but smaller Jaburu Palace nearby.

Temer knows it well: this was his residence when he served as vice president until last year when then president Dilma Rousseff was impeached for breaking budget accounting laws.

That automatically put Temer in the top job and in the Alvorada. No one filled his vacant vice presidential post, however, meaning he can now take his pick of palaces.

The house moving comes in the middle of a severe political crisis for Brazil, with many of Temer’s allies face potential corruption probes.

The president himself is battling a case in the electoral court where he is accused of having benefited from illegal donations when he and Rousseff ran together in 2014.

Osun 2018: Aregbesola Is Free To Choose His Successor – Hon Adelakun

A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun State, Hon Adeoye Adelakun, has said that Governor Rauf Aregbesola is free to choose his successor in the 2018 gubernatorial election in the state.

Adelakun who appeared on a private radio programme monitored by CityMirrorNews in Osogbo on Monday, said Aregbesola has the right to choose the next person to lead the state.

According to Adelakun, choosing his successor will help Aregbesola to build on his legacies as well as ensure continuity in government.

The Osun Central Senatorial leader of the APC maintained that the governor as an individual could nominate a candidate of his choice but would be subjected to primaries.

Adelakun who spoke on the chances of zoning to be the decision of the party in the elections, pointed out that strategies would be fine- tuned to make for hitch-free primaries before, during and after.

He said: “We are going by due process….That is why we have said that nobody should signify his intention yet….Right now, nobody has told me he wants to contest.”

“Everybody can come out to be aspirants in the party, there is no harm, trust me, we will follow due guidelines.”

On whether Aregbesola wants his chief of staff, Gboyega Oyetola to succeed him, Adelakun said “the governor has not told me his choice, so, let him say it first before we know what comes next.”

The APC stalwart added that election into the local governments in the state would be conducted before the governorship election, saying that Aregbesola was keen to perform the exercise.

 

“People have been saying that Governor Aregbesola is a sole administrator of the state with no cabinet, I can assure you that very soon, there will be elections, everybody knew what hampered us not to do it, but I know one thing, the governor is ready to conduct the elections.”

On the formation of Aregbesola’s cabinet, Adelakun said the party is making efforts to conclude issues on the prospective nominees for the state executive council.

Credit: City Mirror News