June 12 and its new false interpreters

June 12 and its new false interpreters

by Louis Odion

Never known to be in the habit of turning the proverbial other cheek, it is a big puzzle that Chief Olusegun Obasanjo chose to absorb a sucker punch of volcanic severity on June 12 last week without as much as a grunt. Babagana Kingibe had baited him with a charge of complicity in the high conspiracy that aborted June 12.

Not that we did not know that before.

But afraid that his old skeletons might be unearthed finally, ordinarily voluble and perennially crusading OBJ uncharacteristically retreated into a cowardly silence to a claim that, considering his assumed brotherhood with MKO, would sound very abominable indeed.

Baba has no comment, whispered his spokesman to inquisitive newshounds.

Well, as an aside, it is perhaps a measure of the ethical flux pervading the land today that Kingibe, otherwise a June 12 renegade himself, could permit himself the liberty to so question the former president in the first place.

Let it however be noted that OBJ’s ensuing silence is also strategic. Replying Kingibe would inevitably usher an even darker question. Following his release from Abacha gulag in June 1998, he, with MKO Abiola still alive, famously forswore the prospects of any presidential aspiration.

So, in dodging Kingibe’s pointed challenge, OBJ, a master of political chess game, surely demonstrates a possession of enough native intelligence to anticipate possible apocalypse.

Let us, as a mark of charity, even concede OBJ’s earlier misspeak in Harare in 1994 that “Abiola is not the messiah” was a foible of the head and not the heart.

Now, the more monumental poser of history still left unanswered in the last twenty-one years: would the “Ebora of Owu” swear by the most potent deity of his native land that never did he under any circumstance ever say “So, what happens to MKO?” at some point to the conniving generals pressuring him to accept a draft into the presidential race before Abiola’s mystery death on July 7, 1998?

The old witch wailed last night; the child died the morning after.

To be sure, this writer is not ashamed to confess a partisanship, even fanaticism, whenever and wherever June 12 resurrects. The sensitivity thus aroused is not just civic, but also professional. Some of us were living witnesses to the momentous events before, during and after June 12. I was a politics reporter with Concord Press (owned by MKO) through the 90s and knew first-hand what it meant to function under constant threat of military bullet or detention and yet labored for months on end without salary.

So, as conscientious bearer of national memory, we certainly know the real soldiers of fortune, the double agents, who sought to profiteer from the sacrifice of others. Just as we can distinguish the fake labour activists in funny costumes who chanted “Aluta” in daylight but cavorted with the evil generals at night as informants on the payroll. Another authentic June 12 hero, Frank Kokori, already said enough in last Saturday’s Vanguard to make the surviving ones among this category of traitors regret all the blood money they collected from the military in the 90s.

Indeed, as immortal Shakespeare forewarned, truth crushed to the earth shall rise again. And Sophocles added poetically, there is danger in unnatural silence.

But while the shrewd chicken farmer of Ota keeps a crafty silence under the circumstance, some of his political slaves would rather resort to rehabilitating history and falsefying accounts, obviously to impress their idol.

Without shame or fear, one of them, Doyin Okupe, even lied that it was the north that blocked OBJ from duly recognizing June 12 or formally acknowledging Abiola’s colossal sacrifice throughout his eight-year imperial reign.

Really? So, was he also told to cajole all the South-west states (except Lagos under Tinubu) to stop observing June 12 as public holiday in Abiola’s honour once his PDP “captured” the region from Alliance for Democracy (AD) in 2003?

The truth is however imperishable: in his moment of power and glory, Obasanjo never seemed to realize that righting historical wrong is not a political favour to anyone, but a moral duty to community or country.

Already, the fact of his perfidy here has been corroborated by Ayo Fayose in a tell-all account published by The Interview magazine in 2017. As Ekiti governor in 2003 and one of the early beneficiaries of OBJ’s guerrilla politics, Fayose recalled he and other PDP governors in Osun, Ondo, Oyo and Ogun were coaxed by the then emperor of Aso Rock to worship only May 29 as part of a deliberate pagan rite to wipe June 12 from the nation’s memory.

Well, Okupe failed to clarify whether it was iron bar or raffia mat that was deployed to barricade OBJ from doing the needful on June 12. Were we to buy this argument, how ironic then that his master who couldn’t dare contemplate June 12 out of fear of the north, yet had the temerity to conceive and bid for treasonable Third Term that would have completely shut the zone out of contestation for presidential power for as long as it pleased OBJ.

But let it be said that the “north” cited couldn’t be that of Dangiwa Abubakar Umar, Shehu Sani, Mathew Hassan Kukah, Dan Suleiman, Jonah Jang and other men of conscience. Of course, the “north” the jobbing Okupe actually meant could only be that of now discredited generals who unchained OBJ from prison after Abacha’s demise and literally railroaded a fellow general to Aso Rock barely a year later.

The bug of revisionism afflicting Okupe would also appear to have infected Kola, the scion of the Abiola dynasty. The the word, outrage, perhaps best describes the reactions of many disciples of MKO to a slew of wild claims by Abiola’s heir in a Sun interview last week which tended to belittle the sacrifice made by others in defence of June 12 even as they inadvertently diminish the mystique of his illustrious dad.

Descending from the enigmatic Bashorun, Kola has, of course, always borne the yoke of high public expectation. Aside his muscular looks, it is rather difficult to identify his own talent. But it certainly can’t be oratory.

On the cusp of history at Aso Rock on June 12, 2018, for instance, Kola chose to delegate an epochal invitation to speak on behalf of the Abiola family to a more articulate Hafsat, his half-sister, after President Buhari’s formally declared June 12 a national monument and canonized his dad posthumously as GCFR.

Over the years, Kola has, at best, done very little or nothing to dispel the popular notion that he was at peace, even infatuated, with the very family the rest of us see as his dad’s chief enemy. (Some accounts even hinted marriage was on the cards.)

While boxing himself into such blissful detachment, he, therefore, would seem far removed to view reality like the rest of us.

So, when Kola then decided to come out of his shell and grant rare interview this year, we should have anticipated that a major disaster was about to unfold.

Well, NADECO activist and the revolutionary Army colonel, Tony Nyiam, has already gone a great length in another media reports to dispel the fallacy in the ridiculous claim that Tinubu only became radicalized into NADECO because Abacha refused to make him governor or commissioner in Lagos, to warrant dwelling further on that point.

Note, Nyiam cannot be called a Tinubu apologist. For he has consistently disagreed with Asiwaju since the latter teamed up with Buhari to found APC in 2014. But forthright Nyiam would not stand by and condone Kola’s crude revisionism against Tinubu because of today’s political difference. That would have amounted to a rape of history.

Nyiam is unlike Bode George, a grandpa who still relishes toddler’s fables and seems quite unaware of the shame – if not curse – in lying with hoary hair. Note, this “bread and butter” Admiral could not, in real terms, be counted among the generals who truly mattered then and his understanding of events was obviously shaped by hear-say from his master, Diya.

Perhaps, we should empathize with a man consistently worsted electorally in Lagos by Tinubu since 1999. He fancied a new career in politics after leaving the Navy on account of being the barefoot messenger of Dipo Diya who would later fall out of favour with their overall lord and master, despot Abacha. But despite all his desperate toil since, not once has BG been able to win even a polling unit in his ancestral Isale-Eko.

So, it is pointless attaching any weight to the words of the political eunuch of Lagos.

But, to me, even more disturbing is Kola’s reported allusion to Abiola’s high blood pressure. No one disputes that. His physician, Dr. Ore Falomo, already told us MKO had battled that medical condition for decades.

However, viewed against the certainly murky circumstances of Abiola’s sudden death on July 7, 1998, such unguarded comment by Kola will only profit those who would have the rest of us buy the juvenile fiction that MKO, who had endured four harrowing years in open grave called solitary confinement, suddenly became overwhelmed by excitement on the very eve of freedom, so much that he suffered cardiac arrest after sipping from a curious cup of tea offered by visiting American diplomats in a presidential lounge in Abuja.

In summary, illogical verbiage like this will only lend credence again to the notion held by some that Kola was perhaps too consumed by the hot pursuit of a love interest in Minna all through the 90s to have a clear understanding of what otherwise transpired right under his nose.

Credit: The Nation

The legend called M.K.O

The legend called M.K.O

By Yakubu Mohammed

Today marks the beginning of the celebration of Democracy Day on June 12. After about 25 years of ceaseless clamouring for the federal government to declare June 12 a national public holiday in honour of M.K.O Abiola almost to no avail, majority of Nigerians were astounded this time last year when, as if from the blues, President Muhammadu Buhari, formerly an unapologetic military dictator now a converted democrat, publicly recognised the injustice of the annulled June 12 election and took the bold and unprecedented step to rectify it.

So today has replaced May 29 as Democracy Day, which perhaps explains the lacklustre inauguration of the president some two weeks ago to commence his second term of office without the necessary pomp and panoply. Not even a word to fellow citizens, something to rouse them to a new sense of direction and some frenzy of patriotism.

May 29 has joined October 1, the country’s anniversary of independence, as mere footnotes in the national calendar. The debasing of the two hitherto very significant dates in our life is symptomatic of the honour we have decided to give to June 12 as a watershed in our democratic trajectory. For the first time we have had an unbroken 20 years of democratic practice, despite some of its glaring imperfections and some of its failures and foibles not to add the chicanery of its adherents.

But are they really its adherents? Some people will tell you to your face that we have democracy today without democrats. But that is beside the point. The fact is, mercifully, there are no gun-toting men on horseback, dictating the tune and running the affairs of the country. Today we can argue and debate and disagree, up to some point. Even in the media, especially in the unregulated social media, this democracy permits some licence to libel and defame and peddle obviously vile and pernicious wild rumour that can set the country ablaze.

We also have a handful of those who believe that this democracy is not complete without the free for all display of the power of the AK 47 by armed gangs going by the fearful nomenclature of bandits and kidnappers at home and on the highways and even at polling booths.

We also tend to believe that this current democracy can profit from some large dose of impunity and the impudence of reckless power, some bit of autocracy with some fascism looming large in many states. But this day, without any iota of doubt, is M.K.O Abiola’s day of glory. It is akin to Martin Luther King’s national holiday in America. Abiola is the single most important architect of the modern democracy. He won the June 12 presidential election in 1993 fair and square. But it was annulled. In pursuit of his mandate, he made the supreme sacrifice. The struggle to actualise that mandate, prolonged and sometimes vicious, eventually resulted in the return to democratic dispensation on May 29 1999 with political power ceded to the South West, the home region of Abiola.

That this democracy has endured for two decades and still counting is a testimony to the fact God has a hand in our affairs, despite our own obvious weaknesses and failures. But what lessons do we learn from the life and times of this great man, a true legend of our time?

As president Buhari said last year, we must all resolve to avoid the situation that led to the June 12 election fiasco. To do that we must all learn to live and play by the rules of the game. We must avoid a repeat of the litany of election inconclusiveness that we witnessed in the last elections.

Abiola might not have been a perfect human being or a perfect politician for that matter but his world views and personal examples synchronised very well with the true dictates of democracy and good governance with a premium on the well-being of the people.

Abiola left a legacy worthy of emulation by today’s leaders. His broad-mindedness was exceptional. So was his quality and practice of regarding every Nigerian, irrespective of ethnicity and religion, as a fellow compatriot worthy of trust and empathy. He was a true believer of merit and one’s worth, always inclined to give another man the benefit of the doubt.

Abiola might not have become president but his larger than life image came from his ability to triumph over base and primordial sentiments and an incredible sense of fellow feeling. I concluded that pen-portrait of this incredible Nigerian by saying he might not have been a very good politician – considering how very good Nigerian politicians are – he was definitely a good humanist, a man of the world who was courted by the high and the mighty.

Abiola, upclose
Very well known to the public is the fact that the man M.K.O was a typical grass- to- grace phenomenon. He was never shy to tell whoever cared to listen that like many Nigerians of modest background, he was born into abject poverty. Born on August 24 1937 in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola was the 23rd child of his father, Alhaji Alao Salawu Adenekan Abiola.

M.K.O, the brand that would later take the world by storm, was the first child of his father to survive, the first 22 having either died at birth or before they turned one year. His father, not one to succumb easily to fate, christened the new born-child Kashimawo – roughly translated to mean let’s wait and see.

His father lived long enough to see his son grow through poverty – drumming and dancing to pay school fees – to wealth, becoming the first Blackman to rise as the executive vice-president of ITT world-wide. Though he was stupendously rich, he did not allow that to enter his head. Philanthropy defined his life. He believed that the more he gave the more he had. But this man of legendry wealth was not unaware of his limitations. He had occasion to say: “I cannot give everybody money. I wish I could. And If I could, I would but I couldn’t. But I can give hope” And that was more lasting. The hope that Abiola gave was not the type given to Tantalus, unattainable, a mere mirage or a will-o’- de wisp. It was the hope that Nigerians missed by not having an Abiola presidency. What Nigerians missed also was his human touch, an incredible sense of empathy, feeling for others.

Though he could be brash when occasion called for it, but he couldn’t bear to see a fellow human being suffer. When there was a task to be performed he brooked no obstacle. No hurdle was too much for him to scale.

Now I ask: how many of our big men today would willingly give out their official cars to their paid staff to use on official assignment? Abiola would tell his captain to ferry any of his editors in his private jet for an assignment outside Lagos. I am an eye witness to his humility. On one occasion, I had the luxury of being flown, all alone, in his private jet to represent him at Enugu and, on another occasion, being flown with Dele Giwa, just the two of us, to attend a function in Abuja. That was the legend called M.K.O.

Credit: The Guardian

News Headlines Jun 11, 2019. Headlines From Nigeria’s Major Newspapers

News Headlines Jun 11, 2019. Headlines From Nigeria’s Major Newspapers

Compiled by

The Punch

9th National Assembly: PDP backs Ndume, Bago as APC insists on Lawan, Gbajabiamila
Generator fumes kill twins, eight wedding guests in Imo
Debt servicing gulps over 50% of Nigeria’s revenue — AfDB
Violence erupts in Lagos after Pillars, Rangers NPFL tie
Northern elite promoting poverty, says Moghalu
Kidnappers’ invasion of South-West and the conspiracy of silence
Alleged misconduct: I’ll appear before disciplinary panel Friday, says Malami
Man arrested in Ogun for snatching Uber car in Lagos
How UniJos law student emerged Plateau Speaker
Torino grab Aina for €10m
Cops chased kidnappers who targeted my convoy —Akeredolu
Garba replaces Bulkachuwa, tribunal hears 16 applications on Atiku’s petition today
I left my matrimonial home for fear of my life – Ex-gov Chime’s wife
Probe Amosun’s projects, Daniel tells Abiodun
Seven feared killed as cultists cause mayhem in Lagos communities
Herdsmen abduct woman, stepson in Ondo, demand N10m ransom
Orji’s son becomes Abia Speaker as states inaugurate assemblies
African countries lag behind in making democracy work – Jonathan
Buhari won 2019 presidential election amidst electoral violence —HRW
Man arrested in Ogun for snatching Uber car in Lagos
Seven feared killed as cultists cause mayhem in Lagos communities
Herdsmen abduct woman, stepson in Ondo, demand N10m ransom
Generator fumes kill twins, eight wedding guests in Imo
Collapsed wall kills siblings in Ondo
NIFST enlightens food vendors on hygiene
Police nab four for murder, cultism in Ekiti
Abia Police declares sergeant wanted over death of 21-year-old
Gunmen kill 200-level Plateau University student
Kwara shifts democracy day programmes to Friday
Six Imo lawmakers defect to PDP
50 countries for Abuja insurgency, banditry summit
Oando share price drops as SEC suspends AGM
NSE unveils new online learning platform
Meristem promotes wealth creation, healthy living
Stock market extends losing streak to six days
DBN to empower MSMEs with N100bn
Africa needs to generate more local wealth — Benoit
Violence erupts in Lagos after Pillars, Rangers NPFL tie
Ordega slams fan for criticising hairdo, make-up
Lead Forte, Queens College for GTBank Masters Cup final
Missing IAAF $135,000: I’m ready for probe, says Gusau
Ajayi devastated after AFCON exclusion
‘Suicide, kidnapping in varsities caused by frustration’
Edo varsity gets ICAN certification
Gunmen who attacked Plateau varsity killed our student — VC
Nigeria’s education needs urgent restructuring, says Babalakin
JAMB releases 15,490 withheld results
Prince Philip celebrates 98th birthday in private
Inlaks bags four integrated ISO certifications
Galaxy Backbone deploys infrastructure for e-govt master plan
Editorial: Ninth National Assembly’s bounden duty
EFCC, courts, stolen funds, and legal technicality
Untapped natural resource: The vital role of women in governance
Mr. President, it is time to get it right

The Nation

Abia police command declares killer-cop wanted
32-year-old Ogundoyin is Oyo Speaker
Four suspects paraded in Ekiti for alleged murder, robbery
Decision day as Ninth National Assembly elects presiding officers
Contractor charged with N75m bank renovation fraud
Man hangs self after tipper killed brother
Police parade 202 suspected cultists in Ikorodu
Gunmen abduct mother, stepson in Ondo
Beneficiaries of amnesty programme’ll transform economy, says Osinbajo
Onnoghen: NJC hails Buhari for accepting retirement
Election tribunal dismisses petition against Buhari’s victory
Tinubu: National Assembly turning into an exclusive gentleman’s club
APC to members: no nomination against Lawan, Gbajabiamila, two others
NERC to guard against misuse of $4.7b cash
Don’t use Standing Rules 2015, court orders senators
$4.7b capital boost coming for DisCos
NCC grants to varsities coming
Primitive and disgraceful
Heroes of June 12
UNICEF fights poverty with cash
Oando’s shareholders, SEC bicker over AGM
NNPC embraces Good Corporate Governance in recruitment
Only VIPs are now safe on Nigerian roads, says Akeredolu
Senate presidency: Ndume’s candidacy gives credibility to the contest, says Lawan’s group
BoI, devt agencies, others tour facilities for MSMEs in Edo
Trump may place new tariffs on French wine
Okorocha: CSO writes police on planned protest over issuance of certificate by INEC
2015 senate rule illegal, not fit for 9th assembly -Sen. Abdullahi
Breaking:Nwifuru re-elected Ebonyi Speaker
Mikel: Chukwueze, Kalu are talented
Nigeria 0-0 Zimbabwe: Rohr blames weather for draw
De Ligt laughs off Ronaldo’s Juventus ‘offer’
Nadal tells Thiem: you’ll win it one day
I won’t cry for loss to Nadal, says Federer
NCC grants to varsities coming
Oando’s shareholders, SEC bicker over AGM
LCCI faults SON over containers seizures on highways
Abia police command declares killer-cop wanted
Four suspects paraded in Ekiti for alleged murder, robbery
Contractor charged with N75m bank renovation fraud
Police parade 202 suspected cultists in Ikorodu
Gunmen abduct mother, stepson in Ondo
Breaking: JAMB releases additional 15,490 UTME results
Tonto Dikeh’s ex-husband gets new lover
Peruzzi under ‘fire’ for alleged physical assault of Twitter influencer
‘The Delivery Boy’ is Oscar Award material – Film critics


Buhari Signs June 12 Bill into Law
Osinbajo Reaffirms FG’s Commitment to New Vision for N’Delta
NJC Commends Buhari for Accepting Recommendation on Onnoghen
NNPC’s Strive for Greater Transparency
Nigerian Breweries Receives Monde Gold Quality Awards
Kidnappers Abduct Woman, Step Son in Ondo
Nigeria’s Foreign Trade Increases to N8.24tn in Q1
Heritage Bank’s Academy Gets Accreditation, Trains 300
Buhari in Closed-door Meeting with APC Senators-elect
No More Imposition of Traditional Rulers in Ekiti, Says Dep Gov
Airbus Mark 50 Years at Paris Air Show
Semi Ajayi’s Best Wishes for Eagles
Ikeja Electric Installs Prepaid Meters for Ikorodu Customers
Fintrak Boss Honoured
Rivers Govt Lauds Eunisell
UNEP Honours Dave Matthews Band, REVERB on World Environment Day
Roger Milla Tips Cameroon to Retain AFCON in Egypt
Unijos Student Emerges Plateau Assembly Speaker
Former Deputy Speaker, Oluomo, Emerges Ogun Assembly Speaker
Building a New Momentum for Ogun
NNPC’s Strive for Greater Transparency
Imoke Lauds Cross River Govt over Nigeria’s First Vitamised Rice Mill
Gervinho Remains Committed to Ivory Coast Despite AFCON 2019 Omission
Semenya Named in S’Africa’s World Championship Team
Govts, Organisations, Businesses, Individuals Should Reflect Climate Change in Decision, Says UN Report
The Ends Festival Showcases DJ Spinall at London’s Lloyd Park

Daily Trust

6 lawmakers defect to PDP in Imo
Secondus: Presidency, APC arm-twisting N/Assembly officials
Why YPP endorsed Lawan — Sen-elect Ubah
Youths warn gov’ship aspirants threatening Bayelsa PDP
Dino Melaye can’t defeat me — Gov Bello
Eid odyssey to Beijing’s largest Muslim neighborhood
NPFL Super Six: Kano Pillars’ fans attack referee, Quadri Adebimpe
Why intervention funds don’t work – Mustapha Chike-Obi
Kogi: Pro, anti-Bello protesters storm APC secretariat
S/East PDP plotting to make Ekweremadu dep Senate president
Yakmut charges influential Nigerians to help develop sports
Super Eagles have first training session in Ismailia
Pillars, Rangers match end in chaos as Enyimba thump FC IfeanyiUbah 3-0
AfDB invested $1bn on African SMEs, others – Adesina
NNPC records N174.62bn petroleum products sales in March
SEC suspends Oando’s AGM slated for today
NAFDAC shuts unregistered honey company in Abuja
FCT police tighten security ahead of June 12 celebration
Fashion designer docked over alleged N50,000 fraud
Obasanjo, Fulanisation and Islamisation
Stitching the world together
“D-Day” celebrations in perspective
The NASS Leadership Question
State Police: Implications for national security
Company executives denounce abortion restrictions in New York Times advertorial
Police in Ogun arrest suspected Uber car snatcher
…arraign 2 over murder of footballer
2 students dead as hoodlums attack Plateau varsity
Editorial:: 74th UNGA President, Tijjani Bande
Governor Mohammed swears in SSG, Chief of Staff, others
Capt. Muye appointed as FAAN’s Director of Airport Operations
Wike appoints SSG, Chief of Staff
FG launches N100m research to curb soil salinity in Kano
How Adamawa, Kebbi communities benefited from €11m Oxfam project
Governor Obaseki assures of strategies to check use of harmful fruit ripening agents
JAMB clears 15,490 candidates accused of cheating, releases their results
Five major things that happened at The Falz Experience II
Mechanical engineers to partner with Warri refinery
OGP: Nigeria, African countries commit to anti-corruption, open govt
13th biz confab: NBA-SBL focuses on agriculture, jobs

The Sun

9th NASS leadership: Factors that’ll decide winners
… Tight security in National Assembly, ahead inauguration
Buhari: June 12 now Democracy Day
Stakeholders resolve NBC/AIT face-off
Lawan Vs Ndume: APC in fight of its life
Kalu: I’m in race for DSP as Buhari never endorse any candidate
…APC’ll gain more if he becomes DSP – Don
Kalu: I’m in race for DSP as Buhari never endorse any candidate
Plateau Assembly elects 33-year-old first timer speaker
JAMB releases more UTME results
Emir Sanusi: Anti-graft panel presses ahead with probe
Anti-Bello protests ground APC headquarters
9th NASS: Desist from self-serving utterances, chieftains warn APC scribe
Edo: Obaseki meets Oshiomhole, seeks truce
FG surveys 33,300 households in new anti-corruption fight
SEC suspends Oando’s AGM
Irukka Online launches latest WLA-210X speakers in Nigeria
Nigerians need to imbibe insurance culture to survive –Insurers Committee
Investors seek funding support to subsidise rural solar mini-grids power rural communities
Venus Williams to make Birmingham debut
Sharapova to return to action in Mallorca
AFCON 2019: Football fans laud Rohr’s decision to axe Iheanacho
9th NASS: Today is showdown
How we strayed from the path of democracy
NBC’s hammer on AIT
IGP Mohammed Adamu: A miscellany
Democracy Day: It’s justice at last, says Kola Abiola
8th NASS and educational legacy in Nsugbe
The killing of protesters in Sudan
AAU Ekpoma: The Prof. Onimawo feat in 3 years


9th Senate: I Am Hopeful Ndume Will Step Down ― Oshiomhole
Confusion Rocks Seaports As Customs Implement New CBN Exchange Rate
Security Agencies Able To Protect Nigeria, Buhari Assures
BREAKING: President Buhari Signs June 12 Bill Into Law
BREAKING: 33-Yr-Old Law Student, Abok Ayuba Emerges Plateau Assembly…
FG appoints new director of operations for FAAN
Man docked over alleged theft of motorcycle
JAMB says no candidate has more than one UTME result
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, elected as Kazakhstan president
BREAKING: 32-year-old Adebo Ogundoyin becomes Oyo Assembly Speaker
Borno needs 6,000 teachers to improve quality of education ― NUT
Kwara govt pledges to help KWASU realise its potentials
House Speaker: Youth group clamours for religious balance, charges APC to back Olatubosun
9th NASS: New speaker will emerge in hallowed chamber, not on national TV ― Bago
Ogun gov lauds Assembly members over peaceful election
NASS leadership: Endorsement of Omo-Agege can cause disharmony within APC, Kalu warns
AIB accuses Air Peace of not reporting incidents
Nwifuru, Obasi re-elected as Speaker, deputy of Ebonyi Assembly
Gunmen abduct woman, step son in Ondo
Oborevwori re-emerges as 7th Delta Assembly Speaker
Probe Amosun’s road contracts, model schools, Daniel tells Abiodun
Lagos pledges support for NYSC
NYSC DG appeals for speedy construction of new Lagos orientation camp
NJC applauds Buhari’s acceptance of Onnoghen’s voluntary retirement
Sanwo-Olu appoints Justice Alogba as acting Chief Justice
Former Deputy Speaker, Oluomo emerges Speaker of Ogun Assembly
2019 elections: Tribunal dismisses C4C petition against Buhari, as Justice Garba now heads panel
June 12: FG declares Wednesday public holiday
Buhari shocked by Sokoto banditry deadly attacks
Applicant docked for allegedly stealing handset
Permanent orientation camp: Lagos govt to involve corps members in construction work
Borno needs 6,000 teachers to improve quality of education ― NUT
Kwara govt pledges to help KWASU realise its potentials
Gunmen Kill 200-Level Plateau University Student
Oando Saga: SEC Defends Ruling To Federal High Court
MTN Nigeria CEO named ‘HR Champion 2019’
Moldovan President Suspended, Snap Election Called As Crisis Deepens
Thousands protest against extradition bill in China
G20 economies lay new principles for lending, borrowing
Bill To Create Chartered Institute Of Forensic Investigation Not Useful To Nigeria…
Senate Presidency: I have solid base among Senators-elect —Lawan
How PDP can produce next Senate President —Urhoghide
What ninth NASS should do in electing its leaders —ACF

The Guardian

Fresh pressure as Buhari signs bill declaring June 12 Democracy Day
Anxiety, intrigues as National Assembly picks leaders today
SEC suspends Oando Plc’s AGM
Tribunal hears objections to Atiku, PDP petition today
Wike swears in SSG, Chief of Staff, AG, others
Buhari welcomes Italy’s support to recover, repatriate stolen assets
Lagos breaks female dominance in judiciary, names Alogba CJ
Sanusi has case to answer, Kano anti-graft agency insists
JAMB releases additional 15,490 UTME results
FIFA beams light on Onome Ebi, other ‘record breakers’ at Women’s World Cup
Enyimba beats IfeanyiUbah 3-1, leads NPFL Play-Offs log
Gusau’s probe over IAAF’s ‘missing’ $130,000 may continue
‘Awoture Eleyae Athletics Championship will produce more stars for Nigeria’
Iheanacho lost his AFCON’s place due to low self-esteem, says Lawal
Falcons’ foreign coach has not made any difference in Nigerian team, says Mabo
Oxford, Cambridge alumni chart path to socio-economic growth for Buhari’s second term
Avoiding repeat of tainted national legislature as ninth Senate opens
Reading the government’s body Language
Editorial: Otedola, Chukwu and plight of national heroes
Forcados shutdown drags Nigeria’s production as OPEC’s May output shrinks
NEPZA’s N100b four-year budgets and Kano FTZ’s economic potential
Oando, SEC tussle drags stock market’s indices by 2.05 per cent
CCNN, Unity Bank, others lead NSE’s N48b loss
Environment: A neglected stuff in Nigeria
Creating a sustainable and accountable democratic system in Nigeria – Part 2
Time to let PenCom be
Christians, National Assembly leadership and 2023 presidency
‘Dietary supplements cause miscarriage, harm foetal development’
How injecting blood of young mice into older animals improved memory, learning ability
Drinking unsalted tomato juice lowers blood pressure, bad cholesterol
Common heartburn drugs raise risk of early death

Daily Independent

Tokayev Wins Kazakhstan’s Presidential Election
Israel Will Not Allow Iran To Have Nuclear Weapons, Says Netanyahu
Alabama Gov Signs Chemical Castration Bill Into Law
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Buhari Signs N8.92trn 2019 Appropriation Bill Into Law With Reservations

Buhari Signs N8.92trn 2019 Appropriation Bill Into Law With Reservations

President Muhammadu Buhari, who on Monday signed the 2019 appropriation bill of N8.92 trillion into law, said adjustment of the budget by the National Assembly may affect its smooth implementation.

Speaking at the event which took place at the president’s mini-conference room, Presidential Villa, Abuja, President Buhari said the addition of about N90billion to the N8.83trillion he submitted to the legislature would make it difficult for government to realise its set objectives.

He, however, stated that the executive arm of government would dialogue with the forthcoming ninth National Assembly so as to make life much better for Nigerians.

“Of course, some of these changes will adversely impact our programmes making it difficult for us to achieve the objectives of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.

“Although I will be signing this bill, it is my intention to engage the National Assembly to ensure we deliver on our promises.

“I will therefore be engaging with the leadership of the 9th National Assembly as soon as they emerge to address some of our concerns with the budget,’’ he said.

According to the president, his administration will look at how to improve the budget process in order to speed up its consideration as well as return the country to the January to December fiscal year timetable.

He appreciated the Ministers of Budget and National Planning, Finance, the budget office of the federation and all other stakeholders that played key roles in producing the document.

President Buhari also lauded the leadership and members of the National Assembly for the efforts they put in passing the 2019 appropriation bill.

Earlier in his remarks, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma thanked the leadership of the National Assembly for their cooperation and support.

He also thanked the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osonbajo, Ministers and all members of the Economic Management Team for the various roles they played in producing the budget.

He said: “Because it is a collective endeavour, without their support, it would have been impossible to produce a budget.’’

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the dignitaries who witnessed the ceremony at the mini-conference hall of the president’s, included the Senate President Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives,Yakubu Dogara.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha and the Chief of Staff to the President, Malam Abba Kyari also witnessed the signing of the budget.

Others at the event were the ministers of Finance (Zainab Ahmed), Budget and National Planning (Udoma Udo Udoma), Information and Culture (Lai Mohammed) and the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Sen. Danjuma Goje,

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Sen. Ita Enang and his counterpart for the House of Representatives, Umar El-Yakub, were also at the event.

On June 6, 2018, Buhari signed the 2018 appropriation bill of N9.120 trillion into law.

Udoma said after the signing of the law that the budget would help the president to consolidate the achievements of previous budgets and deliver on Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017-2020.

He expressed satisfaction with the implementation of the 2017 budget, which saw the N1.5 trillion implementation of capital projects during the 2017 fiscal year.

He said the government would work hard to recreate the same achievement and generate the revenues required to finance projects and programmes that would significantly improve the economy.

NAN also reports that during the signing of the 2018 bill, the president further noted, with dismay, the cuts made by the National Assembly to the bill he originally presented.

He said the legislature made cuts amounting to N347 billion in the allocations to 4,700 projects submitted to them for consideration and introduced 6,403 projects of their own amounting to N578 billion.

The president said he only signed the bill because he did not want to further slow down the pace of recovery of Nigeria’s economy and further disclosed that he would send “a supplementary and/or amendment budget” to the National Assembly to rectify the critical issues he raised.

Atiku pays US lobbyist $30,000 to recognise him as ‘authentic president’ of Nigeria

Failed Nigerian presidential candidate lobbying US to recognize him as ‘authentic President’

By Raymond Arke

Enlisting the assistance of two high-powered Washington, D.C. lawyers, a Nigerian presidential candidate is looking for help in his legal challenge after his election loss. Atiku Abubakar, former vice president of Nigeria, lost in the country’s February presidential election to incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari. However, Abubakar swiftly filed a legal suit challenging the election results due to allegations of voting irregularities and violence.

Abubakar has ties to those in Trump’s orbit, having hired political consultants like Riva Levinson, who worked with Paul Manafort, and Brian Ballard, a major Trump fundraiser. Like many other foreign leaders looking to bolster their standing with Trump, Abubakar stayed at the Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C.

Abubakar joins opposition politicians like Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó in turning to lobbyists to garner American support. According to a FARA filings accessed using the Center for Responsive Politics’ Foreign Lobby Watch, on March 24, former Justice Department official Bruce Fein and his firm Fein & DelValle PLLC registered as foreign agents on Abubakar’s behalf.

Fein, the associate deputy attorney general in Ronald Reagan’s administration and general counsel to the FCC, played a significant role in the repeal of the FCC’s “Fairness Doctrine.” He also later worked with then-Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.) in drafting articles of impeachment against Bill Clinton.

Joining Fein in the effort is his partner at the firm, W. Bruce DelValle, who according to an online biography has a varied background tackling civil rights and constitutional law issues, litigating intellectual property and liability disputes, along with representing a number of sports and entertainment personalities.

The agreement notes that Lloyd Ukwu, who is described as “a Nigerian barrister and trusted confidant [of Abubakar],” is assisting “in the operations of the U.S. Situation Room.” Ukwu is a critic of Buhari and is the founder of a group called We the People of Nigeria which claims to be an advocate for “free and fair elections.” Ukwu recently led a delegation to meet with a variety of government officials in the State Department, Congress and “delivered a letter to the [acting] United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Jonathan Cohen, in New York to ensure the success of the Nigerian elections.”

According to the filing, Fein will be paid $30,000 over a 90-day contract to provide “legal, consultancy and public advocacy services to encourage Congress and the Executive” to wait on recognizing a winner of the Nigerian election until after the legal challenge is “impartially and independently resolved.”

Another filing lays out how the influence campaign will be conducted. Lobbyists will meet with members of Congress and their staff to persuade them to pass resolutions in the House and Senate “to forebear from a final declaration and recognition of a winner” until after Abubakar’s appeals are decided fairly and independently. Additionally, the firm will “draft articles and op-ed pieces” about the issues surrounding the Nigerian election and appear on television and other media programs.

In the contract, Fein’s firm is explicit in promising to “obtain official recognition that you are the authentic President of Nigeria based on an accurate counting of legal ballots.” The goal of the effort is straightforwardly described as “to convince the United States that your presidency would open a fresh and new chapter in Nigerian politics.”

The filing also asserts that the lobbying effort will demonstrate that an Abubakar presidency is “the will of the People.” It warns that if Abubakar is denied a victory, problems like genocide, poverty, corruption and strife will “undoubtedly continue.”

Abubakar himself has a rocky legal history. A Senate subcommittee report on foreign corruption cited Abubakar as a case study regarding his transfer of millions of dollars into the U.S. through shell companies. He was never prosecuted. In 2009, the FBI alleged that Abubakar demanded bribes from former Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.), who was convicted of corruption charges. At one point, Jefferson stored $90,000 in cash for Abubakar in his freezer.

The U.S. has long had close relations with Nigeria and is the country’s largest foreign investor. American troops work alongside the Nigerian military in an international effort against the Boko Haram terrorist organization. Additionally, the incumbent Buhari visited the White House and met with President Trump in 2018.

Fein did not respond to a request for comment.

Courtesy www.opensecret.sorg

Several ‘flaws’ identified in Atiku’s presidential election ‘server result’

Several ‘flaws’ identified in Atiku’s presidential election ‘server result’

Atiku Abubakar

Abdulaziz Abdulaziz
The computation of presidential election results filed before the elections petition tribunal by the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, shows that all accredited votes cast in 33 states of the federation were shared between him and President Muhammadu Buhari.

Mr Buhari was declared the winner for a second term of four years with 15,191,847 votes to defeat Mr Abubakar who polled 11,262,978 votes. The two got lion share of the 27,324,583 valid votes recorded in the election.

Over 1.2 million votes were also voided in the course of the election.

However, excerpts of court filings published by PREMIUM TIMES give Mr Abubakar’s state by state breakdown of votes which, he claims, placed him ahead of Mr Buhari with 18,356,732 against the incumbent’s 16,741,430 votes. The result is exclusive of figures from Rivers State.

The Flaws
Mr Abubakar’s purported result implies that no invalid votes were recorded in the 33 states, and none of the 71 other presidential candidates obtained any score.

In three states; Abia, Bauchi and Cross River, the documents show that the two candidates collectively got votes higher than the number of accredited voters.

Mr Abubakar claims that he obtained the results from the server of the electoral commission, INEC.

The document is included in the petition filed by Mr Abubakar in a suit seeking his declaration as the validly elected president.

The purported result shows that Mr Abubakar defeated the incumbent president by a margin of 1.6 million votes.

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has dismissed the alleged figures as a product of the opposition’s “hallucination.”

Mr Buhari’s campaign later accused Mr Abubakar and the PDP of gaining illegal access to the INEC server.

An analysis of the alleged INEC server result by PREMIUM TIMES show that the figures given as total accredited voters in at least 33 of the 36 states and the capital, Abuja, show a clean sweep of the entire figures between the two major candidates.

A different result
Contrary to Mr Abubakar’s computation, INEC’s official result obtained from the electoral commission’s website show that all the 73 candidates who participated in the election scored some votes.

The result showed that 71 other candidates in the election shared the remnants of 869,758 valid votes collated.

The person who came a distant third in the election, Felix Nicholas, of the Peoples Coalition Party (PCP) scored a total of 110,196 votes.

He was followed by Obadiah Mailafia of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) who polled 97.874.

Gbor Terwase of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) clinched the fifth position with 66,851 votes.

Candidates with least scores are Angela Johnson of Alliance for a United Nigeria (AUN) with 1,092, Abah Elaigwu of Change Advocacy Party (CAP) with 1,111 and Edosomwon Johnson of the Nigeria Democratic Congress Party (NDCP) with 1,192 votes.

The Atiku result
In Mr Abubakar’s home state of Adamawa, where INEC officially declared Mr Abubakar winner with 412,266 against Mr Buhari’s 377,488, Mr Abubakar claims that he got 646,080 out of the total 815,680 accredited voters with Mr Buhari scoring 161,600. The result show only the two got all the possible votes.

In Akwa Ibom, Messrs Abubakar and Buhari, according to the computation, received all the votes by the 925,370 accredited voters with Mr Abubakar polling 587,431 votes ahead of Mr Buhari’s 337,939.

It is another clean sweep in Enugu as Mr Abubakar claimed that the state’s 965,940 accredited voters gave him 698,119 as against 267,821 for Mr Buhari.

The 1,169,303 voters accredited in Sokoto State, according to the purported result, all shared their votes between Mr Abubakar (552,172) and Mr Buhari (617,131).

Mr Abubakar’s 442,380 votes allegedly polled in Taraba and Mr Buhari’s 188,389 votes put together represent 630,769 total accredited votes for the state.

Yobe’s 750,745 accredited votes, Mr Abubakar claims, were shared in total between him and Mr Buhari who got 443,904 against Mr Abubakar’s 306,841

In Zamfara, the result shows that total accredited votes of 792,796 were shared between Messrs Abubakar and Buhari with the former having 379,022 while the latter got 413,774.

Aside the exactitude between summation of figures for the two candidates and the number of accredited voters, there are other issues that are either arithmetic errors or over voting.

In Abia, for example, 853,050 were recorded as “accredited voters (actual)” but the sum of the votes allotted to Messrs Abubakar and Buhari alone, outshot the accredited voters by 10,000.

Mr Abubakar, according to the result, polled 664,659 while Mr Buhari obtained 198,391.

It is a similar case in Bauchi, where the total for Messrs Abubakar and Buhari’s purported votes outnumber total accredited voters by 287 votes.

Mr Abubakar claims 187,668 votes a far cry from 854,037 the document said Mr Buhari obtained. The summation comes to 1,041,705 while the document gives the total accredited voters as 1,041,418.

In Cross River, the document shows that votes obtained by the two leading candidates amount to 691,640 which is higher than the 690,890 accredited voters’ figure by a total of 750 votes.

Tribunal Continues Sitting
The presidential election petition tribunal has continued to hear Mr Abubakar’s petition against Mr Buhari’s victory.

On Monday, the tribunal granted Mr Abubakar and the PDP the permission to serve the petition on Mr Buhari and the APC through substituted means.

State Registered Voters Accredited Voters (Actual) Atiku Abubakar Muhammadu Buhari
ABIA 1932892 853050 664659 198391
ADAMAWA 1973083 815680 646080 169600
AKWA IBOM 2119727 925370 587431 337939
ANAMBRA 2447996 1157378 823668 333710
BAUCHI 2462843 1041418 187668 854037
BAYELSA 923182 466264 332618 133646
BENUE 2480131 670252 529970 140282
BORNO 2315956 1131496 281897 849599
CROSS RIVER 1527289 690890 572970 118670
DELTA 2845274 877572 778369 99203
EBONYI 1459933 857608 565762 291846
EDO 2210534 1212781 677937 534844
EKITI 909967 373263 154032 219231
ENUGU 1944016 965940 698119 267821
FCT 1344856 786151 419724 366427
GOMBE 1394393 799302 684077 115225
IMO 2272293 909428 485627 423801
JIGAWA 2111106 1084753 539522 545231
KADUNA 3932492 1430145 961143 469002
KANO 5457747 2068140 522889 1545251
KATSINA 3230230 1715836 160203 1555633
KEBBI 1806231 1074456 493341 581115
KOGI 1646350 935787 504308 431479
KWARA 1406457 732816 353173 379643
LAGOS 6570291 2526203 1103297 1422906
NASARAWA 1617786 726691 344421 382270
NIGER 2390035 1080526 576308 504218
OGUN 2375003 920198 438099 482099
ONDO 1822346 818215 451779 366436
OSUN 1680498 685033 337359 347674
OYO 2934107 1000608 527873 472735
PLATEAU 2480455 421299 273031 148268
RIVERS 3215273 ******** ********* *********
SOKOTO 1903166 1169303 552172 617131
TARABA 1777105 630769 442380 188389
YOBE 1365913 750745 306841 443904
ZAMFARA 1717128 792796 379022 413774
TOTAL 84004084 35098162 18356732 16741430

Credit: Premium Times

Rohr invites 23 players for Seychelles, Egypt

Rohr calls up 23 players for Seychelles, Egypt

Super Eagles Coach, Gernot Rohr has invited stand-in team captain Ahmed Musa and 22 other players for matches slated this month, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) said on Monday.

The Eagles will host the Pirates of Seychelles in their final match of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers on March 22 and Egypt’s Pharaohs in a friendly on March 26.

Ademola Olajire, NFF’s Director of Communications, said in a statement that defender Kenneth Omeruo of CD Leganes of Spain has been invited alongside regulars Leon Balogun, Abdullahi Shehu and William Ekong.

Midfielders Oghenekaro Etebo and Wilfred Ndidi, as well as forwards Odion Ighalo, Alex Iwobi and Moses Simon were also called up.

Rohr has also invited to camp Flying Eagles’ defender Valentine Ozornwafor, as well as well as former FIFA Under-17 World Cup winner Victor Osimhen and Denmark-based Paul Onuachu.

All invited players, alongside technical and backroom crew, are to report in the Delta State capital on Monday, March 18.

Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (Anorthosis Famagusta, Cyprus); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Katsina United); Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa)

Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Valentine Ozornwafor (Enyimba FC); Chidozie Awaziem (Caykur Rizespor, Turkey); William Ekong (Udinese FC, Italy); Leon Balogun (Brighton & Hove Albion, UK); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany)

Midfielders: Semi Ajayi (Rotherham United, UK); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, UK); Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City FC, UK); John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nassr FC, Saudi Arabia); Victor Osimhen (Charleroi SC, Belgium); Moses Simon (Levante FC, Spain); Henry Onyekuru (Galatasaray SK, Turkey); Odion Ighalo (Shanghai Shenhua, China); Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, UK); Samuel Kalu (Girondins Bordeaux, France); Paul Onuachu (FC Midtjyland, Denmark)


2019 Presidential election: In reality, a Buhari-Obasanjo showdown

In reality, a Buhari-Obasanjo showdown

Duro Onabule
Officially, the 2019 presidential election in Nigeria is between incumbent Muhammadu Buhari and ex-Vice-President Atiku Abubakar. But in reality the contest is between Muhammadu Buhari and his former Commander-in-Chief and one of his predecessors, Olusegun Obasanjo. Long before Atiku’s entry into the race, not to talk of his picking up the presidential ticket on the platform of PDP, Obasanjo had thrown his challenge to Buhari, dismissing, in the process, his (Buhari’s) merit for the routine second term. The nearer the election drew, the more confrontational, the more daring, sometimes, the more reckless and the more hypocritical Obasanjo became.

This irritant (as he was described by retired Lt. General Alani Akinrinade) became so repulsive that the former Chief of Defence Staff, in a well-advertised open criticism, had to fault Obasanjo’s judgement (in effect, criticism of Buhari) as no less deplorable as Obasanjo’s past record.

That, it emerged, was just only one in the series of drama recorded in the build-up to the elections. The hope, if not the excitement, raised by the registration of some 90 political parties since dwindled into near farce. Similarly, it was proper that Buhari signed into law the so-called “not too young bill,” which, it was hoped, would encourage the agitators to justify their case. Otherwise, bedlam might have been let loose against those “denying them” their rights. Unfortunately, the two measures only succeeded in exposing the lack of seriousness and desperation for cheap political aspiration of those concerned. Forty so-called newly registered political parties declared support for and endorsed the candidacy of President Buhari while another 40 of the parties similarly opted for PDP’s presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar. Was that all the purpose of registering such a large number of political parties or reducing the age for qualification for holding public office?

No less ridiculous in the build-up to the elections were the disgraceful antics of the so-called cultural organisations – Afenifere, Ohanaeze, Northern Elders Forum, Arewa Consultative Forum, etc, as they, one after the other, refused to be outdone in endorsing, or even openly split to endorse their preferred candidate out of the only two who seriously lasted the race – President Muhammadu Buhari as the APC and former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar.

What is more, these cultural organisations, over the years, neither served community interests nor failed to earn notoriety for backing wrong causes. In 2014, a splinter three-man faction of Afenifere endorsed former President Goodluck Jonathan on the excuse that he would restructure Nigeria. The same Goodluck Jonathan who, for most part of his six-year tenure totally rejected all agitation for restructuring. Similarly, in 2006, Ohanaeze, under the leadership of Chief Joe Irukwu, was the only group which openly supported Obasanjo’s third term (a euphemism for his life presidency) agenda. Therefore, there is nothing new or alarming in the latest bogus endorsement of presidential candidates.

Some members of Northern Elders Forum (have) alleged that the endorsement announced for PDP’s candidate, ex-Vice-President Atiku Abubakar was a decision without any mandate or meeting of the general body of the forum. Therefore, the Arewa Consultative Council discarded its long-standing convention and announced the endorsement of APC’s candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari. All these cultural groups are merely seeking relevance just like the self-promoting pollsters in and outside Nigeria. Accordingly, neither President Buhari nor former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar should be buoyed or demoralised by these tricksters. Ordinary Nigerias will determine the outcome of these elections. As a repeat, Nigerias already made up their mind and won’t be influenced one way or the other by any “yeye” endorsement from any quarters. Imagine foreign-based pollsters already somersaulted in favour and against the two leading candidates – Buhari and Atiku.

The 2019 election will surely shatter long-standing myth, which, during the campaigns, assumed a more puzzling dimension. There was the tumultuous crowd at Kano for the campaign of each of President Muhammadu Buhari and former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar. Hot debate ensued on who of the two pulled more crowd. In fact, the PDP was so alarmed by Buhari’s crowd and had to dismiss the feat with the allegation that the APC imported foreigners from neighbouring Niger Republic. Then the PDP also attracted such huge crowd, which raised counter-allegation whether PDP also imported indigenes of Niger Republic. Whichever was the case, did the Kano crowd in either case necessarily comprise voters for Buhari and Atiku, respectively? As was Kano, so it was in Kaduna, Zamfara, Borno, Katsina, Taraba, Kebbi, Sokoto, Adamawa, Plateau, Bauchi, etc.

Campaigns for the elections, compared to the past, have also been rated as the least expensive. Past elections featured free flow of loose, unquestioned and unexplained funds all over the place. All the same, Atiku Abubakar spent more on advertisements on electronic and print media. Buhari, on the other hand, enjoyed the benefit of incumbency with the Ministry of Information highlighting the tenure achievements of the President, as well as various organisations and state branches of APC drumming support for Buhari’s party, the APC, which controls come 24 states.

The elections have also put the political future of particular members of National Assembly on the line. Not the least affected are Senate President Bukunola Saraki and House Speaker Yakubu Dogara. Both attained stronger political worth after quitting their former PDP party to help install the newly-formed APC. Both then sneaked into their respective National Assembly leadership positions and incurred the wrath of the APC leadership. Mutual anger and distrust, which ensued, compelled their return to the PDP. Unfortunately, especially for Saraki, the failed attempt to obtain PDP’s nomination for the presidential election badly halted his political rise not only at the national level but also back in Kwara State. Saraki may just make it back to the Senate but he is unlikely to be re-elected Senate President. Even if Saraki wins Kwara for Atiku Abubakar, such political feat may not stop Buhari from attracting more than the nominal 25 per cent votes. But winning Kwara for Atiku Abubakar remains a major task.

Saraki’s counterpart in the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, is more vulnerable even to be re-elected to the House. It will be a major shock in the election if Dogara wins Bauchi State for Atiku Abubakar. Akwa Ibom is another state of interest for two main reasons. Former governor of the state and ex-minority leader in the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, who quit PDP, must prove his political worth to the APC while the party’s candidate, President Buhari, not only needs the electoral spread but also a substitute for the loss of any state his party may suffer in other parts of the country.

With APC completely out of every race in Rivers State except the presidency and with the big turnout of party enthusiasts for both Buhari and Atiku Abubakar, there is the inevitable battle for political supremacy between former governor of the state Chibuike Amaechi and his successor, Nyesoni Wike. Victory for one – that is, President Buhari or former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar – will be a near fatal political dent for the other.

Of major interest to observers are the home states of the two topmost candidates, each drawing about the heaviest crowd in the other’s state. Whatever may happen, Buhari will most certainly win home state, Katsina, in a big way since his party, APC, controls the state, and for a home lad, victory could never be less forthcoming. On the other hand, Atiku should also feel at home in Adamawa, except that with a risk. Adamawa is controlled by Buhari’s APC, a hangover from Atiku’s APC days. How far that may affect the results of the presidential election in the state is enough to cause sleepless nights in some quarters.

Benue and Plateau states, ordinarily, a year ago, appeared “no go” areas for Buhari. Miraculously, the same Buhari drew the largest crowd in Plateau during his campaigns. His mere appearance from his vehicle was enough for the people. Way back in 2015 at Maiduguri, it was the same show.

What can now be said of Benue State? Largely, owing to the hot and cold blowing of Governor Samuel Ortom, even his own political survival now depends on remarkable fortune. One moment, according to Governor Ortom, President Buhari is unacceptable and only short of evil, while the next moment, in Governor Ortom’s assessment, President Buhari “is our leader. He owns Benue State and can do whatever he likes with the state…” etc. Including shock victory reverberating even over the governorship race? Disagreement with erstwhile political god-father and former governor, Senator George Akume, the seeming undeclared kingmaker of Benue State who installed ex-Governor Suswam and after a fall-out similarly installed Governor Ortom as Suswam’s successor. Buhari’s possible victory in Benue State, if recorded, may just have dug Governor Ortom’s political grave. The situation will be clearer in the next 96 hours, especially if, in an addition to Buhari’s victory in Benue State, kingmaker Senator Akume also sails home in a return trip to the Senate.

Taraba State presents the conventional Chinese wisdom of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend. After serving as Minister of Defence in former President Obasanjo’s civilian administration, General Theo Danjuma became virtual mutual enemies and parted with such acrimony that he derisively reduced Obasanjo to “Aremu of Ota.” Danjuma also jointly endorsed Buhari’s victory in 2015.

But the same Danjuma since emerged as champion of Taraba State’s interests against the murderous cattle herders killing unarmed Nigerias along that part of the country. In fact, Danjuma advised Taraba indigenes to defend themselves. Danjuma also has not dissociated himself from the allegation of some Christian leaders that Buhari was plotting Islamisation of Nigeria. For that different reason, Danjuma is on the same wave length with his former boss Obasanjo in the battle to vote Buhari out of office.

That is the particular showdown presented by election results expected in Taraba State. Buhari drew unexpected large crowd at the campaigns. Yet, Taraba is under the control of opposition PDP. Is Buhari’s popularity in Taraba State stronger than the political/electoral influence of son of the soil, Theo Danjuma? Nigerians can’t wait too long for the results.

In this election, the entire South-East still seems impregnable for Buhari. For unstated reasons and despite overtures or even political baits, there remains the group political hostility. Construction of Second Niger Bridge, construction and re-construction of broken-down federal highways and offer of the Presidency to South-East in 2023. On the other hand, may be ideal for democracy or Nigeria will slide or creep to one-party state. It is usually a political choice guaranteed under the Constitution.

Credit: The Sun

U-turn! Imohimi Edgal remains Lagos Police Commissioner

Imohimi Edgal remains Lagos Police Commissioner

By Odita Sunday

There was mild drama on Tuesday afternoon as the new Commissioner of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, came to take over from Imohimi Edgal only to be told that the scheduled handover would no longer hold.
Edgal had been transferred from the Lagos State Police command to the Force Headquarters, Abuja, as the Commissioner of Police in charge of Explosive Ordinance Department (EOD).

A handover was scheduled for 3:00 pm and CP Egbetokun had stormed the command with his convoy and met Edgal who was prepared for the handing over.

It was gathered that as they were having a closed-door meeting, a phone call believed to be from the newly-decorated Inspector General of Police, Adamu Mohammed Lafia, came in and directed that the handing and taking over should be cancelled till further notice.

Edgal, who briefed the press in company with Egbetokun, said: “Gentlemen of the press are you here for the handing over and taking over? Are you here because you love me or you are eager for me to leave? Well, there is a directive that the status quo should remain till further notice.”

Egbetokun, who came with his chair and other personal effect and his personal staff left the command. He only said: “We are government agents and we are always taking directives.”

As Edgal was leaving Abuja, to meet with the new IGP, Abubakar Mohammed Lafia, there was a gunshot salute.

Source: The Guardian

Buhari approves Adamu as acting IG as Idris bows out today

Buhari approves Adamu as acting IG as Idris bows out today

by Precious Igbonwelundu

Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) Abubakar Adamu Mohammed Lafia has been named as the acting Inspector-General of Police (IG).

Adamu’s appointment reportedly got the blessing of President Muhammadu Buhari, who met with IG Ibrahim Idris, who is expected to bow out of service today after attaining the retirement age of 60.

The appointment came following opposition from some quarters against possible tenure extension for IG Idris, who has also attained the statutory 35 years in service.

It was gathered that the acting IG was selected by the president among three names submitted to him after weeks of shopping for Idris’ replacement.

AIG Adamu, The Nation gathered, is a course mate of Force Secretary AIG Taiwo Lakanu and former Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) boss Ibrahim Lamorde.

Until his appointment, the Lafia, Nasarawa State-born Adamu was serving at the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS).

It was gathered that the officer, who, like Idris, spent many years working with the United Nations (UN) and the International Police (INTERPOL), will be officially announced today (Tuesday).

Confirming the development to The Nation, a source close to IG Idris said the decision was taken yesterday.

The source said: “It is true but the announcement has not been made yet. Oga (Idris) retires on Tuesday (today) having clocked 35 years in service. He has done well for the police and brought in many innovations.

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“The new IG once served as Deputy Commissioner in Ekiti State Command, among other postings.”

The development confirmed a story exclusively reported by this newspaper on January 10.

The Nation said in the report that the President may not extend IG Idris’ despite pressure from lobbyists.

It reported that the IGP might be directed to hand over to the most senior DIG next week (this week).

A source, who spoke in confidence, told The Nation on January 9: “The President is not likely to extend the tenure of the IGP but he is waiting for the statutory retirement day before making a pronouncement. You know, Buhari is a due process leader.

“The outgoing IG is most likely to hand over to the most senior Deputy Inspector-General of Police pending the appointment of a substantive holder.

“ If Idris leaves, there will be an Acting IGP and this will not affect security arrangement for the general elections So far, the IGP is expected to be preparing his handover note.”

Source: The Nation