Why Atiku may lose 2019 presidential election – PDP Governor

EXCLUSIVE: Why Atiku may lose 2019 presidential election – PDP Governor

Bisi Abidoye

A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) state governor has warned that his party might lose the 2019 presidential election if it fails to address the concerns of party leaders over a plethora of issues he said were drawing back its campaign for the election.

According to the governor, who asked not to be named so he is not victimised by the party, there is deep frustration in the PDP camp just over six weeks to the election “and time is running out.”

He said in an interview with PREMIUM TIMES, “All is not going well with our campaign and the commitment of many top party leaders to the campaign is suspect.”

The governor, who is considered very influential in the party, said he had been contacted by many leaders of the party from across the country who were worried about the preparation of the PDP for the presidential election.

“It seems as if we (including Atiku) have conceded the election to Buhari even though the Nigerian people are behind us. The momentum has fallen, the possibility of victory is getting slimmer every day,” the governor lamented.

He said party leaders were aggrieved by alleged lack of consultation by the presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, before making key appointments of his running mate and head of the campaign organisation.

Among the worried leaders he named are state governors Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe, Nyesom Wike of Rivers and Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto; as well as former governors Ahmed Makarfi, Sule Lamido, and Rabiu Kwankwaso.

Four of the serving and former governors ran for the PDP presidential ticket against Mr Abubakar.

But the governor said the concerns they expressed had nothing to do with their loss of the party’s ticket.

“He (Atiku) did not consult anybody before appointing Obi (former Anambra State governor, Peter).

“They (party leaders) are saying we should have sat down to do a proper calculation on where the running mate should come from, whether from the South-west or the South-east.

“The thinking among many leaders is that the running mate should have come from the South-west because you have from there people like Tinubu (former Lagos State governor, Bola, of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) who is politically-savvy and (Vice President Yemi) Osinbajo who has integrity and credibility.

“Why will the people of the South-west abandon Tinubu and Osinbajo to vote PDP and Atiku?”

“People believe that we should have instead given the South-west the vice presidency and make a commitment to hand over power to the South-east after an Atiku presidency.”

The governor also said the South-east leaders of the party have remained lukewarm to the PDP campaign because of Mr Abubakar’s choice of Mr Obi as his running mate.

“(Deputy Senate President, Ike) Ekweremadu and many South-east leaders including the governors; their commitment is not total. Obi is considered an APGA person who only defected to the PDP during the (former President Goodluck) Jonathan era because he had nowhere else to go. In any case, what is his electoral worth in the South-East.”

Mr Obi served two terms as governor of Anambra State on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance but left APGA for the PDP in 2014 after falling out with his successor, Willie Obiano, whose reelection he later failed to stop.

The worried governor also faulted the structure and composition of the PDP presidential campaign organisation.

“There is also Saraki (Senate President, Bukola) who like Atiku is a recent returnee to the party. He was appointed the head of the campaign.

“Real leaders who have been committed to the PDP, people who did not leave the party during rain or shine, they have been sidelined by the newcomers. Why were leaders like Lamido and Makarfi not given central roles in the campaign?”

Structure of campaign
“The campaign has a faulty structure. Saraki has a lot of baggage. As a sitting Senate President, he cannot oppose the president vigorously as a leader of another arm of the same government. He also still has a lot to do running that arm of government.

“To worsen the matter, in a zone (South-west) where you have leaders like Bode George, you appointed (former Ekiti State governor, Ayodele) Fayose as campaign coordinator.

“What can Fayose do against people like Tinubu and Osinbajo? Who can Fayose talk to in the zone? Who will he coordinate? The campaign in the South-west is structured to fail.”

The governor said there are concerns over the situation of the PDP in other zones too.

“The situation in Kano, where a lot of votes will come from, is going from bad to worse. Although Kwankwaso is the coordinator (for the North-west), he does not appear to be too keen due to lack of consultation. His supporters have started returning to the APC, including the former deputy governor. Nothing is happening in that state now.”

Hafiz Abubakar was deputy to Governor Abdullahi Ganduje until he resigned from the government and APC to join PDP. He has now returned to the APC after failing in his bid for the governorship ticket of the opposition party.

Atiku and the love for Dubai
The worried governor also warned of negative implications of the frequent visits by Mr Abubakar to Dubai, the glittering city in the United Arabs Emirate and dragnet for shoppers, tourists and investors from across the world.

“Atiku’s love for Dubai is giving the impression that his only interest in Nigeria is the election. Why the frequent trips to Dubai, a place seen as where people go to hide loots? The frequent trips to Dubai is a big minus.

“After dropping the Obi bombshell (the announcement of his running mate), he left for Dubai for six weeks, not making use of the huge momentum gained in Port Harcourt (the PDP National Convention where Mr Abubakar won his nomination).

“A group of leaders was to meet him before Christmas only for them to learn that he had travelled to Dubai for holiday. Why go to Dubai to hold meetings about an election that will happen in Nigeria?”

Incoherent Messaging
The governor further observed that the PDP flag-bearer has neglected to properly strategise to formulate his message to the Nigerian voters for the election.

“There is no investment in a developing a strategy. The messaging is incoherent. What are the central messages we are pushing to Nigerians?

“We are just making comments like ‘I will sell the NNPC’ (the government cash-cow Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, which Mr Abubakar has promised to privatise) and throwing around unsubstantiated allegations. A matter of such great concern should have been handled better.”

Too many campaign spokespersons
He said the PDP presidential campaign has too many spokespersons and lacks coordination.

“Some people are speaking on behalf of Atiku personally, others are speaking from the campaign office, some are speaking from PDP headquarters while there are those speaking from the Atiku Media Office. And what they are saying are sometimes contradictory to each others.”

The governor, however, said the situation could still be salvaged if all the concerns he raised are addressed quickly.

“If we do so, the possibility of turning things around is still there,” he said, but again quickly stressed, “time is fast running out.”

Credit: Premium Times

How Abacha announced the end of Shagari regime

How Abacha announced the end of Shagari regime

Down memory lane. Thirty five years ago today the second republic was terminated following a military coup on December 31, 1983.

Here is the coup broadcast by then Brigadier Sani Abacha.

“Fellow countrymen and women,

I, Brigadier Sani Abacha, of the Nigerian Army address you this morning on behalf of the Nigerian Armed Forces.

You are all living witnesses to the great economic predicament and uncertainty, which an inept and corrupt leadership has imposed on our beloved nation for the past four years. I am referring to the harsh, intolerable conditions under which we are now living. Our economy has been hopelessly mismanaged; we have become a debtor and beggar nation. There is inadequacy of food at reasonable prices for our people who are now fed up with endless announcements of importation of foodstuff; health services are in shambles as our hospitals are reduced to mere consulting clinics without drugs, water and equipment.

Our educational system is deteriorating at alarming rate. Unemployment figures including the undergraduates have reached embarrassing and unacceptable proportions.

In some states, workers are being owed salary arrears of eight to twelve months and in others there are threats of salary cuts. Yet our leaders revel in squandermania, corruption and indiscipline, and continue to proliferate public appointments in complete disregard of our stark economic realities.

After due consultations over these deplorable conditions, I and my colleagues in the armed forces have in the discharge of our national role as promoters and protectors of our national interest decided to effect a change in the leadership of the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and form a Federal Military Government. This task has just been completed.

The Federal Military Government hereby decrees the suspension of the provision of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1979 relating to all elective and appointive offices and representative institutions including the office of the President, state governors, federal and state executive councils, special advisers, special assistants, the establishment of the National Assembly and the Houses of Assembly including the formation of political parties.

Accordingly, Alhaji Shehu Usman Shagari ceases forthwith to be the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria. All the incumbents of the above named offices shall, if they have not already done so, vacate their formal official residences, surrender all government property in their possession and report to the nearest police station in their constituencies within 7 days.

The clerk of the National Assembly, the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives shall, within two weeks, render account of all the properties of the National Assembly. All the political parties are banned; the bank account of FEDECO and all the political parties are frozen with immediate effect. All foreigners living in any part of the country are assured of their safety and will be adequately protected.

Henceforth, workers not on essential duties are advised to keep off the streets. All categories of workers on essential duties will, however, report at their places of work immediately.

With effect from today, a dusk to dawn curfew will be imposed between 7pm and 6am each day until further notice. All Airways flights have been suspended forthwith and all airports, seaports, and border posts closed. External communication has been cut; the Custom and Excise, Immigration and the Police will maintain vigilance and ensure watertight security at the borders. The area administrators or commanders will have themselves to blame if any of the wanted people escapes.

Fellow countrymen and women, the change in government has been a bloodless and painstaking operation and we do not want anyone to lose his or her life. People are warned in their own interest to be law abiding and to give the Federal Military Government maximum cooperation. Anyone caught disturbing public order will be summarily dealt with.

For avoidance of doubt, you are forewarned that we shall not hesitate to declare martial law in any area or state of the federation in which disturbances occur.

Fellow countrymen and women and comrades at arms, I will like to assure you that the Armed Forces of Nigeria is ready to lay its life for our dear nation but not for the present irresponsible leadership of the past civilian administration.

You are to await further announcements.

Good morning.”

News Headlines Dec 31, 2018. Headlines From Nigeria’s Major Newspapers

News Headlines Dec 31, 2018. Headlines From Nigeria’s Major Newspapers

Compiled by Demola Adefajo

The Punch
2019: CUPP demands mental health test for Buhari, Atiku, others
Shagari stopped talking long time ago, says eldest son
Release panel’s report on arms procurement, Atiku tells Buhari
Atiku, a tax evader, has sealed indictment in US —PMBCO
Gunmen kill Ekiti councillor, wife hospitalised
2019: CUPP demands mental health test for Buhari, Atiku, others
Lagos command accused of abandoning family of cop killed by motorist
Suspect who burgled OAU lecture hall remanded in prison
Loss prevention officer allegedly steals N4.2m company’s goods
First-year NDA cadets storm party, beat up host
Torture: AIG detains four cops over 20-year-old’s death in Ogun …CDHR condemns killing
Boko Haram: Military, Borno planning to relocate Baga residents
Lagos CP dismisses three policemen for corruption
Release panel’s report on arms procurement, Atiku tells Buhari
Buhari’s New Year message’ll be empty promises —PDP
Tension in Kwara communities over boundary dispute
Lagos Rep, Ayeola, dies, for burial today
Buhari’s video attacking Shagari resurfaces as President visits his family
Why US may give Atiku visa – Keyamo
English Premier League table, results
Loss prevention officer allegedly steals N4.2m company’s goods
Teenager, two others sell siblings for N.8m to raise WASSCE fee
Zamfara bandits build camp in defence minister’s hometown
Presidential candidate promises to tackle insecurity with national guard, state police
Be involved in electing next governor, group tells Oyo people
Southern, Middle Belt leaders ask INEC to resist rigging plans
Uyo crowd shows Buhari is undefeatable –Ambode
500 PDP members defect to APC in Kwara
APC, ADC disagree over violence, destruction of billboards in Ogun
Seven prospective airlines abandon NCAA’s certification process
Labour dispute: Aviation workers to begin strike Jan 2
FIRS paid N4.62tn to FG in 11 months
NCAA fines four airlines for infractions, suspends one licence
North-East power transmission capacity increases by 100% — TCN
Using online banking for transactions
Physically-challenged athletes turn keke drivers to earn a living
Pogba scores twice in Man United win
Kante’s goal secures Palace coup for Chelsea
Leading English Premier League scorers
Again, Pogba scores brace as Man United thrash Bournemouth
Injuries a worry for Sarri as Chelsea beat Palace
Serena Williams introduces daughter, Olympia, to Black dolls
Fans helped me overcome pains of my son’s death –D’banj
Marriage really scares me – Uti Nwachukwu
Review your 2018 activities with these apps
Snyder signs cyberbullying law, vetoes ‘baby box’ bill
Editorial: Protecting Nigeria’s rice revolution
Haunting echoes of a sage
2019 Budget: Matters arising (2)
Christmas Carol for Buhari, OBJ, Atiku and Tinubu
Illegality and hypocrisy of Kano’s alcoholic repugnance

The Nation
NCC criticises Falana’s claims on N600b yearly loss
APC, PDP clash over planned ‘trafficking’ of illicit funds
NCAA sanctions four airlines
Govt orders $877m arms to fight Boko Haram, others
Buhari, Jonathan, others pay tribute to Shagari in Sokoto
Taxpayers database hits 35m, says JTB
APC, PDP clash over planned ‘trafficking’ of illicit funds
PDP kicks as police continue siege to Melaye’s home
APC in grief as Lagos representative dies
Ige: 17 years after
2018: Political events of the year
$5m bribe claim: Hamzat lied against me, says Jonathan
2019: Ezekwesili pledges 50 % appointment for women, youths
My Governor has sidelined me – Zamfara Deputy Governor
Pogba gets another double as Solskjaer extends perfect start
EPL: City bounce back to beat Southampton, close in on Liverpool
Kante strike earns Chelsea slim win at Crystal Palace
Touching lives with sustainable banking
Massilia chief to stakeholders: expect more from us
NSE launches new chat to boost market participation
FirstBank takes financial inclusion to markets
Kia to unveil new in-car tech
NAICOM snores as insurance crawls
City Beats
Adepoju disowns those soliciting fund for his eye treatment abroad
Community chief advises INEC on PVCs
Guard faces trial for colleague’s death
Cook pleads guilty to defiling minor
How to break silence on rape cases, by expert
Two ‘steal’ N1.6m valuables from firm
Sales reps charged with N2.7m theft
Stop washing fruits with detergents, sellers told
House of Oduduwa partners Rejuvenee, others for Moremi
Flavour headlines Life Beer’s Owerri party
Winners emerge at Face of Okija pageant
Editorial: An important, little improvement
Oil revenues crisis
In defence of a shero
An Ode to a New Year’s Morn

Saraki: Invasion of Melaye’s Residence, Misuse of Police against Citizens
Saraki: It’s Criminal to Say Nigerians Consume Over 50m Litres of PMS Daily
Report: Corruption in Military Responsible for Faltering B’Haram War
Ikeja Oba-elect Alleges Threat to Life, Seeks Govt Protection
ASUU after their Personal Interest , NANS Alleges
Expectations, Aspirations and Goals for 2019
NFF Confirms Keshi Stadium for Seychelles, Egypt Matches
Wahab Wins WBF Title as Oladosu Emerges Best Boxer at GOtv Boxing Night 17
Enugu to Host Blind Football Trial
An Amazing Year for Lesser Sports
EPL: Man City Wins to Reduce Liverpool’s Lead at the Top
First Bank Expands Agency Banking Network
China Criminalises Doping
PTAD Pays Benefits to 759 Next of Kins of Defunct Agencies
Omu-Aran Monarch Task Stakeholders on Grassroots Sports
Sterling Bank Supports Youth Empowerment
SPAR Partners Group
Notore Records N26.8bn Revenue, Eyes More Growth after TAM
When Tomorrow Comes
FG’s Anti-Corruption War in the Shadows of NHIS Probe Report
INEC in the Last Three Years
First Bank Expands Agency Banking Network
PTAD Pays Benefits to 759 Next of Kins of Defunct Agencies
Omu-Aran Monarch Task Stakeholders on Grassroots Sports
Sterling Bank Supports Youth Empowerment
SPAR Partners Group
Notore Records N26.8bn Revenue, Eyes More Growth after TAM
NFF Confirms Keshi Stadium for Seychelles, Egypt Matches
Wahab Wins WBF Title as Oladosu Emerges Best Boxer at GOtv Boxing Night 17
Enugu to Host Blind Football Trial
An Amazing Year for Lesser Sports
EPL: Man City Wins to Reduce Liverpool’s Lead at the Top
China Criminalises Doping
Expectations, Aspirations and Goals for 2019

The Sun
Air Force bombards Zamfara bandits
Shagari: Buhari, Jonathan, Obi visit family
2023: Igbo presidency under threat
How Nigerians were raped, tortured in Libya – UN
Militants suspend ceasefire, threaten fresh attacks
Army, Borno govt. to relocate Baga residents
Oil price: Saraki, Rewane, LCCI, others raise fresh worries over 2019 budget
SDP presents flags to Gemade, 13 others
2019: God has ordained Ogboru as next Delta governor — Prophet Erue
Buhari: It’s ungodly to use a man’s sickness to wish him evil – Omobude, PFN’s president
Mass defection will soon hit APC – Okafor, coordinator of Atiku Southeast group associate
Abia is stinking – Alex Otti, APGA guber candidate
2018 scorecard: Aviation sector sustains zero accident record
Africa needs indigenous agenda to develop economy, trade – Mansur, MAN president
Agents made N1.1tr generated by Customs possible –Adefioye, ODFFA founder
NPA urges NCS to commence process of auctioning overtime cargoes
Maritime sector faces daunting challenges in 2018
GOtv Boxing: Wahab wins WBF title as Oladosu emerges best boxer
Before Mbaka’s 2019 prophetic stones
Sad tales from Canada
Dozie Ikedife, Igbo and their heroes
Abiola Ajimobi and the imperative of building institutions for lasting legacies
Osinbajo’s folly of ethnic bigotry
“Truth? Being jealous is emotionally draining”
Emery lauds Iwobi
Anambra homecoming festival
Sad tales from Canada
Another ASUU strike and Nigerians’ suicidal silence (1)
Commitment to pension reforms
2018: Year of failed expectations for Nigeria power consumers
Imo: Forum endorses Uba, PRP gov candidate
Mark of the beast: Coming of implantable microchips should make the church wake up from spiritual slumber – Dr. Akin-John, church growth campaigner
Book donation: Rainbow spreads joy of reading
NPA urges NCS to commence process of auctioning overtime cargoes
2023: Igbo presidency under threat
How Nigerians were raped, tortured in Libya –

Daily Trust

Boko Haram seizes 6 Borno towns
NLC mourns Shagari who ‘signed $200 minimum wage in 1981’
Commander removed as Army moves to retake Baga
Nigerians subjected to unimaginable horrors in Libya — Report
B/Haram killings will continue if Buhari is re-elected –Atiku
2019 budget: Debt service casts doubt on financing infrastructure
Paul Pogba scores brace as Manchester United ease past Bournemouth
Falana, Odinkalu, others ask FG to end Zamfara killings
NCAA sanctions four airlines over safety violations
Shagari, a great leader with a clean heart – Jonathan
Boko Haram seizes 6 Borno towns
NLC mourns Shagari who ‘signed $200 minimum wage in 1981’
Commander removed as Army moves to retake Baga
No one individual can make Igbo Nigerian President – Obasanjo
Oshiomhole canvasses 100% votes for Buhari in Katsina
Alli to Oyo electorate: Collect money, vote your conscience
Pavlyuchenkova off to near-perfect start
Kante strike gives Chelsea win at Crystal Palace
2019 budget: Debt service casts doubt on financing infrastructure
NCAA suspends airline’s certificate, sanctions 3 others
Our goal is to make APPO among largest, most powerful in Africa -Gaya
Passenger killed, 10 injured in auto crash at Yangoji
Hausa/Fulani lauds Abaji chair over cabinet appointment
FCT education secretariat advocates early budgeting cycle
Memories of Shehu Shagari
Fare thee well, Shagari
Like Uyo, unlike Sokoto
A tribute to Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari
3 cops dismissed for extorting 350,000 cefas from Togo-based Nigerian
Police hunt for abductors of priests in Anambra
3 injured as cultists attack security post in Lagos
Editorial: Relocate Madallah highway market
SON shuts 7 lubricant shops in Kogi, seizes substandard products
Shehu Sani advises Dino to submit self to police
Late Shehu Shagari never calls anyone a thief – Shehu Sani
2019: The Year of 5G?
How yahoo-yahoo boys scam their victims – Experts
Nigeria not losing N600bn through telecom industry, NCC says
NASU demands fairness in earned allowances disbursement
Strike: NANS wants ASUU to return to negotiations with FG
We’re committed to our personnel welfare – NAF Chief
SERAP drags FG to United Nations over ASUU strike

Police Intensify Manhunt For Dino Melaye
Lagos Reps member, Kabiru Ayeola, dies
$5m bribe claim: Hamzat, Lagos APC guber running mate unknown to me ―…
FG to rehabilitate special economic zones with N42 billion
2019: Igbo APC leaders meet, re-strategise for Buhari’s…
Tragedy in Bauchi as bride-to-be dies 24 hours to wedding
Police intensify manhunt for Dino Melaye
Lagos Reps member, Kabiru Ayeola, dies
$5m bribe claim: Hamzat, Lagos APC guber running mate…
Bayelsa PDP says aspirants seeking primaries cancellation…
2019: PDP accused of shedding crocodile tears over proposed…
FG to rehabilitate special economic zones with N42 billion
Dino: Don’t turn Nigeria into police state, PDP tells Buhari
Shagari’s death, a fatal blow to Nigeria ― Fayose
FG allocates over N610m to 36 states to train teachers
Court Remands Security Guard For Allegedly Beating Colleague To Death
Prices Of Food Stuff Decreased In November ― NBS
The Year Of The Letters, Haemorrhaging Democracy
2018: Year Of Scandals And Disasters
Without job, life is hellish, unbearable, horrible in Nigeria
As We Enter 2019
Name FUTA After Shagari
EDITORIAL: The Killing Of Alex Badeh

The Guardian

Budget woes, debt increase herald 2019
Banks frustrating growth of e-payments, say customers
FG will immortalise Shagari, says Buhari
PDP warns Buhari against turning nation into police state
CUPP wants Buhari’s mental health examined over wife’s cabal claim
MASSOB denies rumoured plan to attack Abia government house
Southern, Middle Belt leaders urge INEC to resist rigging
Only court can declare Atiku guilty of corruption, says PDP chieftain
Nwizugbo, Unachukwu emerge winners at Face of Okija Cultural Pageant
Jurgen Klopp plays down Liverpool’s December lead
Oyo sports journalists honour police commissioner, others
The Machine’ Wahab wins WBF title as Oladosu takes Best Boxer’s gong
Solskjaer relishes Man United job on permanent basis
Arsenal returns for Samuel Chukwueze
Foundation holds blind football trials in Enugu on January 15
2018, a year of reluctant optimism in Nigeria
Group restates travel ban on Igbo in North ahead of 2019 polls
Lagos Assembly as mirror of state’s obtuse politics
Akeredolu donates 18 buses for Buhari’s re-election campaign
Porn Star Hits Trey Songz With Pregnancy Claims
Editorial: FG as bond subscribers’ money tree
President Buhari, trust and the National Assembly
Osun economy: Agriculture to the rescue?
Hajia Aisha Buhari: My Person of the Year
Osun’s debt profile and Justice Oloyede


Alleged Corruption In Military: Report Vindicates Our Position – PDP
40-Yr-Old Man Rapes Neighbour’s Daughter
What To Expect From The 2019 Budget
Shagari Would Have Industrialised Nigeria If Not 1983 Coup – Labour
Let Us Prey
Haunting Echoes Of A Sage
4 Policemen Dismissed Over Corruption In Lagos
We’re Planning To Relocate Baga Residents To Safer Locations — Army
ACCESS/DIAMOND BANK MERGER: We Expect Final Regulatory Approval In HI’19 – Wigwe
Nigeria’s 2019 Budget Still Under Threat As Oil Price Hovers At $52.72
N-Delta Militant Groups End Ceasefire Agreement With FG, Pandef
Maritime Workers Appoint Nted Chairman Of Advisory Council
Beyond The Rhetoric Of Opposition
Consumers See Naira Appreciation, Higher Inflation, Interest Rates In 2019
Apologise To Pensioners, Uzodinma Tells Nwosu
2018: Year Of Political Intrigues, Bitterness, Turmoil, Uncertainties
Yari Has Sidelined Me, Zamfara Deputy Gov Cries Out
Corruption : Buhari, Atiku campaign teams in war of word
My father pardoned Buhari, others before he died – Shagari’s son
2019 : Buhari has history of bringing looted funds to Nigeria – Atiku
Dino : Don’t turn Nigeria into a Police state, PDP warns Buhari
FG to immortalise Shagari – President Buhari
Shehu Shagari: President who rejected presidential residence
Common man laments on 2018: This is one of the worst years in recent history
Abe spectator as Oshiomhole hands Cole Rivers APC flag
2019 polls: PDP has confirmed that their govs have deserted them — Keyamo
2018: Year of political intrigues, bitterness, turmoil, uncertainties
FG to immortalise Shagari, as Buhari visits family
‘Action Alliance ‘ll lift Nigerians out of poverty‘
EPL Round Up: Super Eagles stars end 2018 with defeats
Itoya insists Rangers won’t underrate Bantu FC of Lesotho
Omeruo to welcome permanent move to CD Leganes
Curling receives boost from national lottery trust
Nunes becomes greatest female fighter in the world
‘Aquaman’ stays afloat atop N.American box office
Why it is easy to steal billions voted to fight Boko Haram – Ret. General Abbe

News Headlines Dec 30, 2018. Headlines From Nigeria’s Major Newspapers

News Headlines Dec 30, 2018. Headlines From Nigeria’s Major Newspapers

Compiled by Demola Adefajo

The Punch
Pressure on INEC to drop display, transmission of results
APC has no plan for Igbo presidency – Obasanjo
Eulogies as Shagari is buried in Sokoto
Buhari, lawmakers may clash again over National Assembly 2018 funds
2018: Year of mace theft, defections, victory for MKO Abiola
Buhari plotting to use military to rig elections — PDP
How Cyprian Ekwensi assisted me to study pharmacy –Akinkugbe
Bandits kill soldiers in Zamfara, casualty figure unknown
It took a checkup to remove dad’s wedding ring after mum’s death — Taiwo Odukoya’s daughter
His Excellency, Audu Ogbeh
I can only sign autographs on single women’s breasts –Ash
How to boost libido naturally
Security aides may have clues to Badeh’s killers
PDP, CUPP condemn Miyetti Allah’s endorsement of Buhari
Eulogies as Shagari is buried in Sokoto
NAF deploys six jets, combs Baga for missing soldiers
I wanted to kill him, Ranieri rages at Kamara in penalty row
Lagos pipeline fire: Residents allege police ignored tip-off on vandals’ presence
Kidnapping: Osun monarch seeks more police patrols
PDP, APC mourn Benue crash victims
Eight feared dead as vehicles plunge into river
‘Explosion rocked Rivers building before collapse’
Robbery: ‘My eight-year-old daughter still in shock’
Scrutinise leaders before voting –Seadogs
Fulani herdsmen moving into Benue returning home — Miyetti Allah
Electric vehicle project: FG banks on Volkswagen, others
Stakeholders working to reduce housing deficit through mortgage – Akinlusi
Glo overtakes Airtel, emerges Nigeria’s second largest telco
Have that super power of never giving up — Jide Rotilu
Dashed hopes: Another year without PIB passage
FG targets 40% switch to LPG from petrol, others
Fulani’s agenda to take over Benue still alive –Ortom’s CPS
There’s a higher percentage of Internet scammers outside varsities – ICPC Academy boss, Akinrinade
Girls take care of their parents but boys don’t care — Ezigbo
Solskjaer keen to convince De Gea, Martial to stay at Man United
Rampant Liverpool hammer Arsenal, open up nine-point lead
Whyte targets Joshua rematch
Ronaldo bags brace as VAR denies Sampdoria
Dramatic 2018: Pinnick breaks jinx, NSF returns, Falcons win again, NBBF still stranded
Animal lover fills home with stuffed beasts after partner’s death
Nigeria is ready for a female president – Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde
I went solo because I needed to die empty – Patricia King (Midnight Crew)
Runtown not barred from America; he has a US tour early 2019 – Manager
Homeless 64-year-old actress gets help from AGN
Why Omawumi and I have remained friends –Waje
A woman in labour five times may have postpartum haemorrhage –Expert
Mental health matters 2019
Pacesetter now backbencher: Farmers battle frustration to restore Nigeria’s status in global cocoa market
Review your 2018 activities with these apps
Snyder signs cyberbullying law, vetoes ‘baby box’ bill
Editorial: Amnesty report compels action, not anger
His Excellency, Audu Ogbeh
Nigeria’s hopeful 2019
Leave a paper trail
Vice presidential debate: Beyond the political rhetoric
What are the complex things you do not understand about the opposite sex?

The Nation
I rejected Jonathan’s $5m offer in 2015 -Hamzat
Police maintain siege on Melaye’s residence
Flood of tributes as Shagari is laid to rest
2019: APC, PDP face cash crunch for campaigns
$2.8m: EFCC secures order to seize cash
Presidency: Igbo should be given chance – Obasanjo
2019:Big players in make-or-mar battles
Firm promises to take tourism to next level
Why we dumped Atiku, PDP – Bello
2019: Worries over violence ahead Kwara polls
Elections: There’ll be surprises in 2019 – Prophet
2019: As Ambode throws weight behind Buhari, Sanwo-Olu
Governance and institutional reforms: Nsima Ekere setting the agenda
Our Opponents only exist on billboards in Katsina State – APC Campaign Chairman
Simeon ‘Simy’ Nwankwo: Nothing compares to joy of fatherhood
Eric Asomugha: ‘No dull moment with Supersoccer’
Rampant Wolves raid Wembley to hurt Spurs’ title hopes
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Shagari laid to rest after Islamic rites

Breaking: Shagari laid to rest after Islamic rites

FG, governors, dignitaries pay last respects

Tunde Omolehin, Sokoto

The remains of the Second Republic President, Alhaji Shehu Aliyu Shagari have been interred.

His body was laid to rest in Shagari town, his country home, at about 3:30 shortly after the funeral prayers were offered by sympathisers who thronged his residence.

Ministers of Justice, Trade and Investment, Women Affairs and Agriculture, Malami Abubakar, Aisha Abubakar and Chief Audu Ogbeh respectively were among of the Federal government delegates who attended the funeral rite.

Other dignitaries included Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal; Kebbi State, Atiku Abubakar and their Zamafara State counterpart, Abdulaziz Abubakar Yari, who were among the early callers.

Others dignitaries at the event included Emir of Argungu, Alhaji Muhammadu Sama’ila Mera. Emir of Gwandu was represented by Alhaji Idris Koko Madawaki. Former governors of Sokoto State, Yahaya Abdulkarim, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa and Senator Aliyu Wamakko as well as former INEC chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega were also at the event.

Earlier, the remains of the late president arrived Sultan Abubakar III International Airport, Sokoto, at about 12:55pm in a presidential aircraft marked 5N-FGZ.

The body was received by the state governor, Alhaji Tambuwal, alongside former Governor Bafarawa and members of the State Executive Council.

It later departed Shagari on Nigerian Air Force ambulance belonging to the NAF-119 Forward Base, Sokoto and arrived at about 1:50pm.

Source: The Sun

Shehu Shagari: A Good Man But Bad Leader

Shehu Shagari: A Good Man But Bad Leader

Former President Shehu Shagari, left, with President Muhammadu Buhari

By Jiti Ogunye

As we mourn the passing of President Shehu Shagari, in a country like ours where our cultures prescribe that we do not speak ill of the dead, and where our past and recent histories are often distorted or forgotten, we must truthfully state his poor leadership records, even as we recognise his warm, and genial personality.

Former President Shehu Aliyu Usman Shagari passed on yesterday at the age of 93. Our condolences go to his family, his people in Shagari Village in Sokoto State, Sokoto State and fellow Nigerians. Being a former president of this much raped and abused country, his loss should be mourned by all. May Allah, the merciful, the beneficent, grant him Aljannah Fridaus.

Before becoming president in October 1979, Alhaji Shagari served in many capacities at the Northern Region and federal government levels. He started his career as a school teacher before his foray into politics.

He was a federal parliamentarian and minister in the First Republic, under Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, the prime minister between 1958 and 1966, before the first military coup aborted that Republic. After the end of the civil war, he returned to government in 1970 as a minister, a position he held until 1971, when he succeeded Chief Obafemi Awolowo as minister of finance, on the resignation of the latter from the Gowon government. Alhaji Shehu Shagari served in that capacity between 1971 and 1975, when the Gowon government was sacked in a military coup, paving way for the emergence of the Murtala/Obasanjo military regime.

Thus, when he became the first president of Nigeria in 1979, upon a switch of the country to the American presidential system of government (from the parliamentary or Westminster system), he was not new to politics, government and power. Although his emergence as president was controversial, it was expected that he would bring his experience and knowledge to bear on the running of the business and affairs of government.

Two controversies dogged his emergence as president. First, Alhaji Shehu Shagari was said not to be an overtly ambitious, power craving politician. He reportedly had initially expressed no interest to run for the office of president, indicating his preference of becoming a senator. He was, however, persuaded by the kingmakers in that era, principally and allegedly the “Kaduna Mafia”, a Northern Nigeria political power epicentre, to vie for the office of president. He was, therefore, an unwilling and (presumably) unprepared candidate. When his performance in office became lacklustre, his leadership failures were attributed to his being an unwilling president.

The second controversy was about the very contentious election that brought him to power. The Electoral Decree No 34 of 1977 that governed the presidential election of 1979 had provided, just as it is the case currently, that in order to be elected to office, a presidential candidate must have scored at least one quarter of the total votes cast in at least two-thirds of the states in Nigeria; and the highest number of the votes cast. The requirement addressed the need for spread, since the entire country was the electoral constituency of the president. Nigeria had nineteen states then. In the election, held on August 11, 1979, Alhaji Shehu Shagari scored the highest number of votes cast (5,688,657, as against that of the top contender, Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s 4,916,651); and at least a quarter of the votes cast in twelve states. But that was not two-thirds of the nineteenth states, mathematically. In the thirteenth state (Kano), Alhaji Shehu Shagari failed to score the required one-quarter of the total votes cast. He secured 19.94 per cent of the votes cast in Kano State. Yet, he was declared winner of the election by the Federal Electoral Commission (FEDECO) and proclaimed as president-elect. The outcome of the election was challenged by Chief Obafemi Awolowo and his Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) in the subsequent election tribunal, which dismissed the petition.

When an appeal of the tribunal’s verdict eventually got to the Supreme Court (in Awolowo v Shagari), before a full panel of seven justices, Chief Richard Akinjide (SAN), who eventually became the attorney-general of the federation (AGF) and minister of justice, rehashed his arguments before the Election Tribunal, which had been accepted by the Tribunal. His contention was that in order to get one-quarter of the total votes cast in the thirteenth state, the reckoning must not be the total votes but two-thirds of the total votes; meaning that once a candidate satisfied the requirement of obtaining one-quarter of the total votes cast in twelve states and in two-thirds of the thirteenth state, then he should be accepted as having satisfied the requirement of scoring at least one-quarter of the total votes cast in each of at least two-thirds of the nineteen states of the federation.

The argument was rejected by Chief Obafemi Awolowo, who counter-argued that one-quarter of the votes in the thirteenth state could not be determined on the basis of a split of the total votes cast in the thirteenth state into fractions. He pressed the Court to accept that one-quarter of the votes cast in each of at least two-thirds of nineteen states must be one-quarter of the votes cast in each of at least thirteen states of the federation.

The Supreme Court in a majority decision of 6-1 (Kayode Eso, JSC, dissenting) accepted the 12 2/3 argument and upheld the earlier dismissal of Awolowo’s petition. That decision did not rest the argument about the legitimacy of the Shagari government. Especially, given the fact that the election was held under the “anti-Awolowo disposition” of General Olusegun Obasanjo, the outgoing military ruler, who had declared before the election that the best candidate might not necessarily win the election.

Upon being sworn into office, President Shehu Shagari exhibited humility, geniality and generosity of spirit. He conferred the highest honorific title in Nigeria, the title of the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR), usually reserved for heads of state, on Chief Obafemi Awolowo.

When patriots began warning that poverty had become accentuated under his government, a garrulous and cynical member of his cabinet reportedly taunted Nigerians that no Nigerian had started eating from the refuse dump! The government boasted that the economy was strong, and when the bubble burst, President Shagari, faced with the grim situation of an unraveling economy introduced “austerity measures”.

Unfortunately, President Shehu Shagari was a genial leader who presided over a profligate and financially reckless government that squandered the opportunities for a post-thirteen years of military era development of Nigeria. With the hawks in his government like Senator Uba Ahmed (secretary general of the ruling National Party of Nigeria, NPN) Umaru Dikko (the transport minister), Meredith Adisa Akinloye (chairman of the NPN) and inspector general of Police, Sunday Adewusi, who he couldn’t rein in, a budding fascism was being implanted in Nigeria. Every patriotic admonition by the opposition, principally the Obafemi Awolowo-led UPN, that Nigeria was headed in the wrong political and economic direction was derided as a prophesy of doom from an ever-lamenting Jeremiah (a reference to Obafemi Awolowo, whose baptismal name was Jeremiah).

Most of the policies and programmes of the administration were incoherent and not well thought through. In the agricultural sector, for example, a meaningless Green Revolution programme, patterned after the previous Olusegun Obasanjo administration’s Operation Feed the Nation (OFN), was put in place, with millions of naira being voted for the importation of fertilisers to help farmers. Yet, evidently, the fertiliser importation frenzy was largely a scam to siphon money. So also was the rice and cement importation policies. The ports became congested, with task forces set up to clear them. It was an era of the unbridled importation of goods, including luxury goods, leading to the depletion or evaporation of Nigerian foreign reserves.

To the credit of the administration, however, there was an expansion of the country’s education system at the federal level; establishment of River Basin Authorities, irrigation schemes and dams across Nigeria; and the laying of the foundation of the steel development sector in the country.

In a departure from the pretentious “low profile” culture of the Obasanjo era, when the official car of members of the military executive (military governors and the head of state) was a Peugeot 504, for example, President Shehu Shagari brought a thoughtless flamboyance into government; a lifestyle that the economy could not support. Mercedes Benz saloon cars became the official vehicles of government officials (just like the Toyota SUVs of today). And Nigerians were quick in naming the car “Shagari Style”. His government bought a presidential jet, thereby starting the tradition of acquiring and maintaining a wasteful presidential fleet, a tradition that continues to rule our lives as a country till date.

When patriots began warning that poverty had become accentuated under his government, a garrulous and cynical member of his cabinet reportedly taunted Nigerians that no Nigerian had started eating from the refuse dump! The government boasted that the economy was strong, and when the bubble burst, President Shagari, faced with the grim situation of an unraveling economy introduced “austerity measures”. It was the hardship brought about by that gross mismanagement of the economy that the military used as a pretext to stage a come back coup, which unfurled a chain of unbroken military rule for another 16 years, until the death of General Sani Abacha led to a short transition to civil rule programme, which brought Olusegun Obasanjo, the retired military general, back to power.

Unfortunately also, President Shehu Shagari ran a political party (the National Party of Nigeria) and a government, which obviously did not exhibit the character of having learnt any lesson from the tragedy of the First Republic. That Republic collapsed, in part, because the politicians of the era, who were in control of the federal government, took democratic opposition as treason, and political dissent as insurrection. It’s war on the opposition and persecution of opposition politicians presaged the collapse of the First Republic. Alhaji Shehu Shagari was a participant in that era. He was a Northern People’s Congress (NPC) minister. He was in attendance at the meeting that the remnants of the Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa government had with Major General Aguiyi Ironsi on January 15, 1966, following the abduction and killing of the prime minister, and also the assasination of the Northern Nigeria premier, Sir Ahmadu Bello; the Western Nigeria premier, Samuel Ladoke Akintola; finance minister, Okotie Eboh; and other military commanders. The meeting purportedly transferred powers to the military.

The historical significance and lessons of that meeting ought to have been etched in the memory of Alhaji Shehu Shagari for ever, such that when he had the privilege of taking over power back from the military, thirteen years after those unfortunate occurrences, he ought to have striven to run a government and played a politics that would avoid the mistakes of the First Republic’s civilian administration, in order to inoculate the Second Republic against self-inflicted destruction, and prevent it from coming to grief in the hands of ambitious soldiers, who had seen themselves as the military wing of the Nigerian ruling class and the alternative to a “fumbling” civilian administration.

That was not to be. In spite of President Shagari’s personal geniality, he lacked the requisite discipline in leadership. Just as the NPC had behaved earlier, intolerant of the opposition, the NPN government, under Shagari, began persecuting the opposition. In Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, the governor from the Aminu Kano-led Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) was impeached by an NPN-led House of Assembly. Bala Muhammed, the radical Marxist lecturer at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) was mobbed and burnt to death by political thugs. And, Shugaba Abdurrahman Darman, the house leader of the Great Nigeria People’s Party (GNPP)-controlled Borno State House of Assembly was deported from Nigeria to Chad, for purportedly not being Nigerian. The minister of internal affairs signed a deportation order in 1980 to ground the forced eviction. Darman’s ostensible offence was that of being a fierce critic of President Shehu Shagari. It took the UPN-inspired legal intervention of Chief GOK Ajayi (SAN) to restore Darman’s citizenship and bring him back into Nigeria. He won the legal battle in the High Court in Maiduguri, and the appeals that followed up to the Supreme Court. Not without drama though. At the High Court hearing, a woman who had been procured from Chad to claim that she was the real mother of Shugaba surfaced. She wailed all through, pleading that her son “who had run away from home in Chad should be returned to her.” But it was noted that in 1980, Shugaba, born in 1920, was a sixty year old man!

President Shehu Shagari certainly was not like many politicians of the Fourth Republic, who engaged in massive asset stripping of the Nigerian state in the name of privatisation. Nor did he recklessly loot the treasury of the country, as many of them have done. But, by his laissez faire approach to governance, his negligence of duty, his permissiveness and his lack of exhibition of a disciplined leadership, he created a basis for the collapse of the Second Republic.

Of course, the apogee of the political infamy of the Shagari administration was the massive rigging of the 1983 general elections. Political violence to terrorise the opposition ahead of the election was combined with actual police clampdown to spread terror before and during the elections. Ondo State resisted the political robbery of that perios with tragic consequences. And predictably, three months after being sworn into office for a second term of four years, the military struck and overthrew his administration.

Instructively, while he and the vice president, Alex Ekwueme, were detained following the coup, notable truculent members of his administration, whose actions contributed to the collapse of the Second Republic escaped into exile, including: Adisa Akinloye, Richard Akinjide, Umaru Diko, and Uba Ahmed.

President Shehu Shagari was not known to be a personally corrupt ruler, as some of the military rulers before and after him were known to be. He was flamboyant in his resplendent, well embroidered “Shagari Style” dress, with the tall cap to match. He enjoyed the pomp and pageantry of presidential power; and he enjoyed traveling the world. He liked paying state visits. In 1983, he left Nigeria on a scheduled trip to India on the sad day that the NITEL Building in Marina, the tallest structure in Nigeria, was consumed by an inferno. On that day, he visited the burning NITEL building on his way to the airport, left it burning, and embarked on his trip.

President Shehu Shagari certainly was not like many politicians of the Fourth Republic, who engaged in massive asset stripping of the Nigerian state in the name of privatisation. Nor did he recklessly loot the treasury of the country, as many of them have done. But, by his laissez faire approach to governance, his negligence of duty, his permissiveness and his lack of exhibition of a disciplined leadership, he created a basis for the collapse of the Second Republic.

It was sad that when the possibility of a military coup stared him in the face, he attempted to dissuade senior military officers from embarking on the coup by allegedly providing luxuries for them, including gifting Mercedes Benz cars to the upper echelon of the military. That did not stop the planned usurpation of power.

As we mourn the passing of President Shehu Shagari, in a country like ours where our cultures prescribe that we do not speak ill of the dead, and where our past and recent histories are often distorted or forgotten, we must truthfully state his poor leadership records, even as we recognise his warm, and genial personality.

This is the right thing to do. By so doing, history is not robbed. Facts are not distorted. And the current power welders, who are “good people” surrounded by some “bad people” may take heed in the realisation that personal character and integrity means nothing if they are not matched with transparent competence, and if it cannot be used to prevent bad people who find their ways into power from being the determiners of the direction of government, while the elected good people wring their fingers and do nothing.

Adieu President Usman Aliyu Shehu Shagari.

Jiti Ogunye, lawyer, public interest attorney, legal commentator, author, and essayist, is the legal adviser to PREMIUM TIMES.

Ten facts about former President Shehu Shagari

10 things you should know about Late Alhaji Shehu Shagari

Former President Shehu Shagari until late Friday had being one of the surving Nigerian leaders whose wealth of Knowledge and experiences have been helping immeasurably in shaping the scheme of things in the country. His dead yesterday at the National hospital Abuja has been a collosal lose to the nation in dire need of professional direction in its journey to civil and democratic rule. As the nation mourns the exit of this great leader, the following are what you should know about the second republic president.

Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari was a Nigerian politician who served as the only president of Nigeria’s second republic between 1979 and 1983.
He was born in 1925 in the northern Shagari village, a village said to have been founded by his great-grandfather, Ahmadu Rufa’i.
Shehu Usman Shagari started his political career in 1951, when he became the secretary of the Northern People’s Congress in Sokoto, a position he held until 1956.
In 1954, Shehu Shagari was elected into the first public office as a member of the federal House of Representative for Sokoto west. In 1958, Shagari was appointed the parliamentary secretary to the Nigerian Prime Minister, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa and that year he also served as the Federal Minister for commerce and Industries.
From 1959 to 1960, Shagari was redeployed to the ministry for economic development, as the Federal Minister for Economic Development. From 1960 to 1962, he was moved to the Pensions ministry as the Federal Minister for Pensions. From 1962-1965, Shagari was made the Federal minister for internal affairs. From 1965 up until the first military coup in January 1966, Shagari was the Federal minister for works.
In 1967 he was appointed as the secretary for Sokoto province’s education development fund. From 1968-1969, Shagari was given a state position in the North Western State as commissioner for establishments.
Following the Nigerian Civil War, from 1970 to 1971, Shagari was appointed by the military head of state General Yakubu Gowon as the federal commissioner for economic development, rehabilitation and reconstruction.
In 1978, Shehu Shagari was a founding member of the National Party of Nigeria. In 1979 Shagari was chosen by the party as the presidential candidate for general election that year, which he won becoming the president and head of state of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Shagari ran for a second four-year term in 1983 and won the general election, however, on 31 December 1983, Shagari was overthrown by Major General Muhammadu Buhari.
During the oil boom, Shagari made Housing, Industries, Transportation and Agriculture the major goals of his administration. In transportation, he launched some road networks across the country. He also initiated a program to foster the use of mechanical machinery in farming. This initiative favored large scale farmers in order to produce mass products. Shagari also created a low cost housing scheme.

Credit: Daily Trust

Shagari’s last moments as ex-President dies at 93

Shagari’s last moments as ex-President dies at 93

Former President Shehu Shagari

Asked about his last moments, Mahe responded thus: “What I can say is that he was doing fine until of recent. His death may be due to old age.”

Tunde Omolehin, Sokoto

Former President Shehu Shagari is dead. He died at the age of 93, on Friday, at about 6:20 pm, at the National Hospital Abuja. According to a family source, the nonagenarian died while receiving medication. His remains will to be flown to Sokoto, the state capital, today, for burial.

IBB condoles with Shagari family, urges politicians to emulate late president
Nurudeen Mahe, one of the former President’s grandsons who spoke with our correspondent in Sokoto, said the former President was flown to the hospital on Tuesday when his health condition deteriorated.

Asked about his last moments, Mahe responded thus: “What I can say is that he was doing fine until of recent. His death may be due to old age. On Tuesday, he was flown to Abuja for medication where he later died this evening.”

In a posting on his Twitter handle, the state governor, Alhaji Aminu Waziri Tambuwal stated thus: “ I regret to announce the death of former President Shehu Shagari who just passed away at National Hospital, Abuja. May his Soul Rest in Peace.”

Spokesman of the National Hospital, Abuja, Tayo Haastrup, confirmed that the former President, Shehu Shagari, died in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the hospital on Friday afternoon after several effort by team of doctors to save his life.

He said: “He was surrounded by few family members when he died. His death was kept secret until late in the evening when all necessary confirmation have been made. His body was kept in the hospital pending the time of burial.”

Haastrup declined comment on the time of admission of the former President and the ailment which he was being treated.

Late Shagari was last seen in public in late November when members of Barewa Old Boys Association (BOBA) led by the chairman of the Association’s Centenary Celebration Committee, Dr Umar Abdulmutallab CON paid him a courtesy visit at his residence on Sama Road in the state capital.

The late former President who was also a member of the old boys association responded through his eldest son, Alhaji Bala Shagari by thanking the association while wishing them a successful stay in the state.

Born on February 25, 1925, Shagari served as the first Executive President of Nigeria in the Second Republic (1979–1983), following the handover of power by the military government under General Olusegun Obasanjo. But before then he had served as a cabinet minister and federal commissioner, respectively.

Credit The Sun

Not distinguished, not honourable

Not distinguished, not honourable

by Sam Omatseye

They acted without the epaulettes of elders or the gravity of the name the law embossed on them. They could not distinguish themselves from the agberos in the motor parks. They kept at it even when it was obvious that they had chosen to be juveniles in an adult environment. It was as though they envied the world of hooligans and had craved a part in that theatre of the macabre. Politicians work with thugs and roughnecks as a matter of routine, and sometimes they cannot distinguish themselves from their brutish errand boys. They acted neither distinguished nor honourable.

They saw the budget presentation as an avenue to ventilate the venality of the street, the unrestrained rabble of the fake revolutionary. Their voices were brusque, their noses flared, their emotions gushed like barbarians, their feet unleashed in stomps. They might have jumped if there was room. What they could not attain in space, they accomplished in the filth of language and rascally gesticulations of their uncouth hands. The legislature is a platform for tasteful rhetoric, not abuse; for heroics, not disgrace; for ideas, not juvenility. It is the people’s chamber of thought and conduct, not a cesspool of brigandage.

They are the bedbugs of our democracy. If you are not in bed with them, they give you bedlam. Rather than being civil, be evil. In place of cheer, you jeer. Don’t be human, try primitivism. To boost their profile, they have to boo.

Then some of them say it was all spontaneous. Really? The placards erupted miraculously onto their hands with curse words gleaming in ink. The spirit of the chants about “freedom come” sprang on their collective lips at the same time, just like David said in the Bible that “the spirit of God spoke by me and his words were in my tongue.” These hecklers must have fallen under some strange power, a secular, caveman’s anointing. They did not practise the acts we saw on the NASS floor, even though we all know they held a meeting the previous night to derail the budget presentation by President Muhammadu Buhari. In the Poland of the Middle Ages, historians described their legislature as “divinely ordained confusion.” But the Nigerian show was neither divine nor ordained.

Those who lost the first argument find solace in the virtues of democracy. They say the ideology abides chaos. They quote the fellow who soiled the solemn air as Obama addressed the joint session of Congress. But even his fellow Republicans scowled at his scandal. Joe Wilson of the South Carolina had shouted “you lie” when President Obama pointed out the glories of his health care programme. Vice President Joe Biden shook his head, but Obama strode on unscathed.

The House passed a resolution condemning him, and Wilson placed a call to the White House to offer his apologies and Obama graciously accepted. In our case, we are preening in iniquity. It was the first time a president would be presenting a budget to a joint session with a leadership from the opposition. It hoisted a chance for historic fraternity. Other nations would exploit such rostrums to make history and adorn the archives. When we make history, historians and posterity recoil like last week.

In the United Kingdom, a fellow uttered a slur and was cautioned, although he denied he used that word. That was because mouthing indecent language is anathema, even though mild interruptions and even occasional shouts, mainly murmurs, are permitted. But not trafficking in foul words like “liar” and shameless shouts of “no” when the president lists some of his doings. In the House of Commons Procedure and Practice, Second Edition 2009, the rule says, “the use of offensive, provocative or threatening language in the house is strictly forbidden. Personal attacks, insults and obscenities are not in order…”

The onus lies on the presiding speaker to restrain the “spontaneous” outbursts of erring lawmakers. Bukola “Eleyinmi” Saraki and bumbling Dogara conspired with their silence. They did little to register their disdain for the Neanderthal effusions of the fellows. I have decided not to name the hecklers today. They belong to the night of first ages, apologies to Joseph Conrad in The Heart of darkness. Those who think we have improved from First Republic barbarism, and we have benefited from the insights of history, only had to assault their eyes and ears with the drama of the absurd by the politicians.

What were they heckling? Was it the N-Power programme that is common knowledge? Was it the onset of work on the Second Niger bridge? Was it the rail work between Lagos and Ibadan that overthrew the headlines just as Buhari was delivering the speech? The guys were not happy because he did not sign their electoral bill and he had chopped off some of their thieving proposals in the budget. If they objected to Buhari’s claims, they have other avenues to show it. They could even devote a session of the house to it.

The difference between the British parliament and the American is also pre-ordained in the architecture of the chambers. The American structures its Congress with rooms between the seats, and it allows the lawmaker to speak as though on a stage. It means more dignity to the lawmaker and respect for decorum. The British is more claustrophobic, and lawmakers tend to sit closer and it could mean intimacy as well as intrusion in another person’s space. This format could encourage uncomfortable conduct.

In spite of the British example, and in spite of shouts, the duty is with the speaker to subdue any tendency to temerity. But we claim to copy the American presidentialism, and the case of Joe Wilson summarises the way to go. But some of the errant lawmakers are still congratulating themselves. Eleyinmi Saraki flayed the budget without even condemning the show of shame.

The theatrics has paid attention more to the antics of the lawmakers than the sublime subject of how to run the country in the coming year. The budget is so important that that session is the most important rite in our democratic almanac. It is about how do we educate our kids, feed the poor, repair and build roads, heal the sick, soar with the high and mighty nations in the world. Yet we turned it into an alawada epic, grown men ranting and chanting like inebriated masquerades in a village festival.

Even when Buhari paused to tell them, mock-flattering, half-scolding, that they were better than that, they saw no need to abate their nuisance. He also told them that the “world is watching us.” They were lost in their imprecatory lust. They were irredeemable in their foul rhythms of gutter and guttersnipes.

The president presented himself with dignity. His aplomb showed that in spite of his fabled temper, Buhari knew how to rise above the absurdity of the day. Neither in gesture nor words did he sully the dignity of his office that afternoon. Rather it was the lawmakers who undermined the cathedral majesty of the presidency and the nobility of their offices.

Once when he referred to his work in Bonny, he paused when the sound of liar rang out, he looked at the heckler with an inflamed eye, and continued his work. It was a glimpse of Buhari the GOC who defied his army chief Garba Wushishi and asked Nigerians to start reading the constitution.

The errant lawmakers should apologise, not only to the president but also to Nigerians for selling this democracy short with their ill manners.

Avoid stress, live longer

Stress kills: Overuse your body and die suddenly!

By Chioma Obinna

Every day, Nigerians go beyond their limits to put food on the table.They overuse their bodies just to survive economic challenges. Sadly, the heavy traffic on some of the roads like the Oshodi – Apapa Expressway, Lagos- Ibadan Expressway, tollgate in Ibadan to Iwo Road roundabout remains a daily stress for workers coupled with their workload. It is no longer news that life expectancy in Nigeria remains low.

The effect of stress on emotional and physical health can be devastating. According to the World Health Organisation, WHO, stress has become a ‘World Wide Epidemic’. Today, Nigerians are having their own fair share judging by the number of people affected by various forms of mental disorder. And medical experts in various forums warn that there is likely increase of cases of mental illness in the country. According to a professor of community health, Prof Akin Osibogun, about 40 million to 60 million Nigerians have one form of mental disorder or another.

Experts link long-term stress to health challenges including weight gain, high blood pressure, insomnia, lack of energy, depression, diabetes and hypertension which can later lead to damage of blood vessel, etc. Also, a report by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, says 110 million people die suddenly every year or seven people every two seconds as a direct result of stress. Meanwhile, millions do not understand what stress does to their health and well-being. Sunday Vanguard x-rays the problems caused by stress.

“If you care about something, stress about it less”. These were the words of Jonathan who almost lost his life to stress. Just like many other successful young and dynamic executives, Jonathan experienced stress during what he described as a very “successful” period in his life.

And the poor handling of the stress severely impacted on his health leading to an emergency. The doctors handling his case told him he was close to dying.

At 37, Jonathan was already established in his business where he made millions monthly. It was during the execution of his firm’s many projects which they needed to seal within a few weeks that he almost worked to death. As team leader, he had so much in his hands. He believed there was no problem that was insurmountable if he could just think harder and work harder. The conflict caused Jonathan to take on a huge amount of stress. Unfortunately, in this part of the world, managing executive stress remains a challenge.

“I thought I could solve every problem with my head. All I needed was to focus and increase concentration. But what I didn’t realize was that constantly increasing my concentration was having serious negative effects on my health that almost killed me,” he told Sunday Vanguard.

When Jonathan lost consciousness and was rushed to a nearby hospital, medical experts discovered that he (Jonathan) was moments away from irreversible organ and brain damage, no thanks to stress. For two hours in the Accident and Emergency Department of one of the hospitals in Lagos, Jonathan was transfused with three pints of blood.

He woke up the next day and could not understand how he landed in hospital. However, two questions occupied his mind. Why was he so stressed? If he weren’t rushed to hospital, what would have been his fate?

Since that episode, Jonathan has systematically gone about reframing his work, not doing different work but approaching work differently to remove stress.

Jonathan is among the about 7 million Nigerians suffering from stress-related conditions.

According to medical experts, there are two stress hormones. One is called adrenaline which is the ‘fight or flight’ response and the other called cortisol. Once the body undergoes some form of stress, these hormones are released and they begin to perform various functions.

While cortisol does a lot of good work; increasing glucose in the bloodstream and thus helping the brain to use glucose more effectively and to control fear and stimulate perspiration, studies have shown that being under stress for a prolonged period of time harms individuals mentally and physically.

Studies also show that long-term stress causes weight gain, high blood pressure, insomnia, lack of energy, depression, diabetes and hypertension that can later lead to damage of blood vessels, headaches, stroke or a heart attack, anxiety and weak bones.

Throwing light on how stress is linked to most diseases and mental illnesses, a consultant told Sunday Vanguard that most sicknesses and diseases, including mental and physical health, have link to stress.

“In as much as some are hereditary, stress goes a long way to cause most conditions. According to Stress Diathesis Theory in mental health, somebody may have inherited mental illness but the person may not show any sign till he dies but if the person is stressed, the stress will make the mental illness to manifest. Stress can bring up internal problem”, he said.

“It is also important to know that when the body is stressed, the body generates some hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, and all these have been found to affect the way the heart and brain and other organs work. These hormones that are dangerous to health are released during stress and then the person will begin to feel stressed, look old, fatigued, tired and the immune systems will begin to fail. It is also important that when the body is working and stressed up, there are tendencies to be tired and pack up. That is why people who are stressed up can die of many diseases.”

The consultant explained that stress was dangerous to the body because it affects the brain and leads to all forms of mental illness like depression, a common mental health problem affecting 29 million people in Africa out of an estimated 322 million people worldwide, insomnia, and anxiety disorders among others.

He counselled, “If a person is able to manage his level of stress, he will live well and dietary is also important but when you reduce the stress, every other thing will follow.”

Also speaking on stress, the Founder of Blood Pressure Control Foundation of Nigeria, Dr Jacob Nwachukwu, said that working beyond one’s limit to achieve corporate objectives is one of the major causes of untimely deaths.

Nwachukwu explained that overworking often results in high blood pressure and hypertension, which often trigger sudden death.

To Family Physician, Dr Olabode Shabi, stress, as an exaggeration of normal physical response to events and life challenges, makes a person feel threatened or upset in some ways.

Shabi, in a paper titled, ‘Stress and Depression in Workplace: Strategic approach to management”, said that major causes of stress in the workplace include ambiguity in the job schedule of workers, career development pressure, poor working environment, lack of job security, fear of redundancy and early retirement.

Shabi, Chief Consultant, Family Health of the Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido-Ekiti, listed other causes as the struggle to meet unrealistic targets, poor interpersonal relationship with colleagues and superiors in the office, low trust level and lack of problem shared.

For stressful life conditions outside the work-place, he stated that low literacy level, poverty, short life expectancy, negative life events such as bereavement, job loss, financial difficulties, divorce, loneliness, childhood abuse and neglected medical illnesses also contribute to stress.

Others are exposure to chronic pains as well as imbibing mentally stressful lifestyles such as misuse of prescription drugs and abuse of substances such as narcotics and alcohol.
Strategies for managing stress

Experts say there are various symptoms that can help individuals look out for stress even in the immediate environment. According to them, stress can be identified through emotional symptoms like frustration and moodiness; having difficulty in relaxing, low self-esteem, depression and emotionally unbalanced. Also, it can be identified through behavioural symptoms like changes in appetite which can lead to peptic ulcer and the ulcer would not heal if the person is under constant stress because the hormones prevent the healing process.

Cognitive symptoms like constant worrying, forgetfulness, disorganisation and racing thoughts are the other signs. However, experts argue that if someone is going to manage stress, he must identify what is causing the stress and once it is identified, solutions on how to cope with it can be found.

A medical expert, Dr Gregory Mowete, advises that people should aim to sleep for about seven to eight hours every night, exercising regularly; coffee, caffeine or alcohol should be minimised or stopped.

“People can manage stress by avoiding unnecessary stress; reduce job stress by improving emotional intelligence, creating time for fun and relaxation”, Mowete adds.

“Caffeine increases adrenaline and alcohol does a lot worse because alcohol worsens the situation of hypertension caused by stressed resulting in cardiomyopathy, liver and heart problems.

“Stress could be managed by better management of one’s time and the ability to reframe from problems, focus on positive things and accept things one cannot change. The ability to share one’s feelings with friends, resolve conflicts positively, adopt healthy lifestyles, exercise regularly, eat healthy diet, avoid alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, reduce sugar and caffeine as well as getting enough sleep can help

Source: Vanguard