Category: Opinion

2019: What Does PDP Really Want?

By Adebowale Taiwo Jante The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on December 9, concluded the most successful and peaceful National Convention in the history of conventions in Nigeria. Honourable Uche Secondus was revealed as the new national chairman of the party and for the records, four candidates contested for the position. They were High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, Prof. Tunde Adeniran Hon. Uche Secondus and Taofeek Adedoja. Secondus emerged the winner with a whopping 2,000 votes against Adeniran, Dokpesi and Taofeek who polled 230, 66 and 0 votes in that order. One cannot obviously shy away from the fact that prior to ... Read more

Ahiara Diocese and the tyranny of Nigerian Bishops

 By Ikechukwu Amaechi  Let me say from the onset that I am very distraught over the treatment meted out to the Catholic faithful in Ahiara Diocese by Nigerian bishops.  I am troubled because I am involved. The situation in the diocese is the classical tinderbox in wait for a match. Why would Nigerian bishops be the ones willing to spark the light? I have resisted joining the fray, at least not publicly, all these years because of two main reasons. First, I am aware that in most faith-based issues, reason is a casualty and the Ahiara Bishopric saga is no ... Read more

Of the PDP, the ‘Victor’ and the ‘Vanquished’

By Sufuyan Ojeifo I thought I read in one of the newspapers the newly-enthroned national chair of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, say “there is no victor, there is no vanquished” in the national convention that produced him.  That scorched-earth catchphrase being played up over and again to massage frayed nerves and battered egos.  That is the traditional refrain employed by the favoured to mollycoddle the disadvantaged and the disgraced. For me, that is the preoccupation of the new PDP leadership in a frantic bid to ingratiate itself with the aspirants from the southwest zone whose individualities ... Read more

Unforgettable Moments

By Azu Ishiekwene There are many reasons why the world will not forget 2017. In just one year of his presidency Donald Trump has changed the world beyond recognition. He has been compared to John Adams, Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson and John Tyler – all 19th Century US Presidents whose gift of rage made some wonder if they were all right upstairs. But none of them was quite exactly like Trump. They were intellectuals or soldiers and had held elective positions before taking office. When Trump was sworn in on January 20, 2017, he was a barbarian occupying elective position for ... Read more

Bode George: A Commodore’s Last Voyage

By Louis Odion Part of the paradox of human nature is that those who made a career of putting others to death by the sword always become uneasy themselves at the sight of same weapon in the hand of a stranger. Such would seem the case of Bode George, erstwhile supremo of Peoples Democratic Party, whose dream of becoming national chair of the party evaporated like smoke last weekend. How ironic that BG, a retired Commodore, who was never shy to adapt martial language in describing how political opponents would be crushed, ended up not being able to even throw ... Read more

Full Speech of Bukola Saraki at the Northern Senators Forum Retreat at Katsina

By Bukola Saraki PROTOCOL. My Distinguished Colleagues, it is wonderful to be in Katsina, the Home of Hospitality itself. I feel very welcome indeed, and it is particularly gratifying that the Northern Senators Forum Retreat is taking place in this historic city, a seat of leadership in Nigeria for centuries, as we come together to lay the groundwork for a more viable future for this region, and Nigeria as a whole. My sincere gratitude to Your Eminence, Your Excellencies, Your Royal Majesties and Highnesses who have made it a priority to honour the invitation to be at this retreat – ... Read more

PDP Convention: The Aftermath

By Reuben Abati The elective Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that took place at the Eagle Square in Abuja on Saturday, December 9, was a charade and an anti-climax.  Everyone who had been a witness to the travails of the once-upon-a-time ruling party which lost power to the All Progressives Congress in 2015 – viz, the humiliation, the victimization of the party and its agents by the successor-government, the catastrophic seizure of the party by a certain Ali Modu Sheriff, the desertion of the party by opportunists seeking fresh foothold, protection, and relevance in the new ruling party, the ... Read more

Africa: Cerebral Harmattan

By Nana Yaa Ofori Atta ACCRA, Ghana — If you live and work in my side of Africa, as in the wild wild West, you know what time of day it is. The Harmattan has arrived, as in very fine particles of dust blown by an easterly/north-easterly wind from the Sahel. It will hover in a gritty daze, for weeks (usually between December and February but with global warming and climate change ….) over everything. Extreme weather – wintry storms, freezing fog patches and a blitz of amber weather warnings – in former colonial Britain, the advent of the Christmas ... Read more

A Moral Force In the PDP Leadership

By Sufuyan Ojeifo And so, Uche Second­us, despite the hue and cry about heavy monetisation of the process and alleged plan by governors under the influence of Nyesom Wike of Riv­ers state to hijack the party leadershi­p, still ended up be­ing the national cha­ir of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP­). For a vast majority of PDP members who crave a new leadersh­ip identity for the party, who believe in freshness of ideas and the infusion of new blood in the national executive committee (NEC) after the very recent saga that unraveled abo­ut the leadership following the defeat of the party ... Read more

Ghana: Building the Ark

By Nana Yaa Ofori Atta At a breakfast table in the noisy restaurant of a hotel in Shenzhen, I met Kwame Song Dongshong, now President of the Powerchina International Group Limited. The company that built the iconic Three Gorges in China, is a behemoth by its own description in ‘planning, survey, design, engineering, through finance, construction, installation, operation and maintenance of power and infrastructure projects’. If you want a zen explanation, they claim that their philosophy is ‘harmony among human beings and harmony with nature.’ In his previous life, when he emerged for the first time in Ghana, Song was ... Read more

Transparency Is Key To Corruption-free Infrastructure In Africa

By Chris Heathcote Corruption is nothing new and it’s certainly not unique to Africa. When I worked in the World Bank’s East Africa office back in 1991, it was not just common to see multi-national companies in developed countries pay bribes to secure lucrative projects in Africa, Latin America and Asia, this behaviour was often encouraged by governments. In Germany, for example, a company found guilty of bribing a German official at home would face severe criminal sanctions. But a bribe to a foreign government was tax deductible as a business expense. It was disgust at this state of affairs ... Read more

2019: Between Bolaji Abdullahi and Kola Ologbondiyan – Who’s better?

By Friday Olokor As a journalist, and indeed a profession­al journalist, I bel­ieve that the battle for the political soul of 2019 general elections have just commenced. Although the defection of for­mer Vice President Atiku Abubakar from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) increas­ed the political tem­perature of the coun­try, the entry of KO­LA OLOGBONDIYAN as PDP National Publicity Secretary could be a tonic for the par­ty. But I have only one fear for Kola Ol­ogbo’ which I will explain here later… I have read through the press statements issued by BOLAJI AB­DULLAHI of the ... Read more

What Piece of Information Did Tinubu Gift President Buhari in Cote d’Ivoire?

By Tunde Rahman It was quite gratifying seeing President Muhammadu Buhari display rare strength and character recently in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire’s capital. Strength because without betraying any sign of tiredness or weakness, he was engaged in one bilateral meeting after another, lasting well past midnight for the duration of the conference. And character as evident in the currency and depth of issues – some of them African-themed – he reportedly canvassed at the talks. President Buhari was in Cote d’Ivoire for the just ended 5th African Union-European Union Summit which took place from Tuesday, the 28th to Thursday 30th November. ... Read more

COSON: What Is In A Title?

By Tony Okoroji Much of yesterday, my phone rang off the hook. I had not been appointed a minister or to any such high office. Thank God, I had not lost any close relation. Almost everyone who called was talking about what I consider a small matter, the fact that there was a press release saying that a younger colleague of mine now bears the title of COSON Chairman. I was not born COSON Chairman and I frankly did not think it was a big deal. A few years ago, there was in fact nothing like COSON. The COSON brand ... Read more

PDP’s Second Chance For A New Life

By Azu Ishiekwene The party would have been over by now. Peoples Democratic Party stalwart, Raymond Dokpesi, had, in fact, organised a mock funeral. When it seemed all but certain that the Ali Modu-Sheriff faction of the PDP was going to have the last laugh at the Supreme Court, Dokpesi registered the Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance (APDA), as a fallback. That move was viewed with spite and suspicion, but at the time, I think mercy killing for PDP ought to have been seen as an act of generosity. The party had been hemorrhaging for years, and actually lapsed into the ... Read more

Tragic Is A Country In Search of Heroes

By Owei Lakemfa Nigeria, a country of 183 million people hardly has heroes accepted by all. A culture of opportunism, lack of principles, parochial politics, ethnic jingoism and an uncultured elite, has made the national acceptance of our heroes, virtually impossible. The nearest, is a military candidate who was consumed by the barracks in-fighting for political dominance. But heroes like Herbert Macaulay, Mokwugo Okoye, Raji Abdallah and Bello Ijumu who fought colonialism, are hardly recognised or accepted. Also neglected are people like Tai Solarin, Ayodele Awojobi and Alao Aka-Bashorun who spent their entire lives fighting to emancipate the poor and ... Read more

Let’s Ponder On the Buhari Administration

By Chinwe Ugwu Since his inauguration on May 29, 2015, some Nigerians have not clearly understood the philosophy behind his administration. This started right from the day he took oath of office, when he declared that “I belong to everyone and I belong to nobody”. Many Nigerians could not comprehend exactly what the president was trying to pass across to his countrymen. It was, however, not in doubt that he came to office with an unprecedented goodwill, which no president has ever commanded in the history of this country. He is loved among Nigerians across board and revered by the ... Read more

Ekiti APC and 2018: A Rematch of Old Foes

By Adeyemi Ibironke With Anambra State gubernatorial election out of way, and the ruling party in the state, and opposit­ion to the party at the centre making a clean sweep at all the local governmen­ts, att­ention is beginning to shift to the next stand alone electi­on in Nigeria, the Ekiti State gubernato­rial election. Ekiti State, a state renowned for educated personalities, us­ed to be called the state that breeds pr­ofessors, also as fo­untain of knowledge, once ruled by two academics, both PhD holders, one a gove­rnor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, now Minister of Solid Mine­rals, deputised by a Professor, Mrs. Mud­ope ... Read more

Libya: ‘No Brother In the Jungle’

By Reuben Abati Arab countries have a tradition of slave­ry dating back to centuries. This has persisted despite the existence of international conventions and legal frameworks classifying slavery as a crime against humanity. The curr­ent situation in Lib­ya, involving slavery and human traffic­king, has been broug­ht to global attenti­on because we now li­ve in the age of co­mmunication where no­thing good or bad can be hidden forever. But the situation is far worse than has been depicted. The Nigerians who have been brought back from Libya have told heart-rending stor­ies of woe and miser­y: how they were so­ld into slavery ... Read more

A Nation of Believers

By Femi Fani-Kayode In both 2008 and 20­12 I warned the world and particularly Africa and the Middle East about the evil of Barack Obama. No­ one listened. In 2011 I warned the world about the co­nsequences of removi­ng Muammar Gadaffi for Africa and the Mi­ddle East. No one li­stened. In 2015 I warned the world and Nigeria about supporting and electing Muhammadu Buhari as President of our country. No o­ne listened. In 2016 I warned Ni­geria and the People­’s Democratic Party (PDP) about making Ali Modu Sheriff Nati­onal Chairman of our party. No one liste­ned. In 2015 I told ... Read more

The Political Duplic­ity In Mariam Ali’s Defection to APC

By Sufuyan Ojeifo The gale of defectio­ns in the nation’s political circles is not unexpected, giv­en the nature of pol­itics in our country. It is difficult to pin a Nigerian pol­itician and his or her political party down to any political ideology and princ­iple. This is so, given the level of po­verty in the land, which gives rise to all manner of crimes both in and outside government. As a matter of fact, it is pretty difficult to idealise politics and pursue ideologic­al leanings in the ecology of Nigeria’s public administratio­n. The political system that authorita­tively allocates values is inured ... Read more

National Chairmanship Contest: PDP at the Crossroads

By Sufuyan Ojeifo For avid watchers of the nation’s polit­ical scene, the deve­lopments in the opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), over the election of substant­ive national chair and other officers, understandably, dese­rve more than a scant attention. This is due, largely, to the fact that, as a leading opposi­tion party in the co­untry, the PDP is the alternative gover­nment-in-waiting. However, for it to transmute and become government-in-power, it must muster the capacity to dislodge the ruling All Progressives Party (AP­C), otherwise, it wi­ll be the alternative government-in-waiting beyond 2019. Capacity, in this sense, refers to huma­n, financial, material ... Read more

GAINS BY KANO, BUHARI’S VOTE BANK, SECURE POLITICAL BASE

By Garba Shehu As President Muhammadu Buhari embarks on a two-day visit to Kano, his strongest political base this week, a simple question the Kano man or woman should answer for himself/herself is: How well did you fare in two years, six months after Muhammadu Buhari took power? When Kano gave Muhammadu Buhari about two million votes, the highest by any state that swept him into office in 2015, one issue had dominated election-time discourse, and still remained: Security. A few morons who did not any way represent Islam, a religion of peace had launched a series of horrendous gun ... Read more

Buhari, Military Ope­rations and the Battle Aga­inst Insecurity

By Christopher Ya­kubu Since President Muha­mmadu Buhari assumed the reins of leader­ship in May 2015, the army has carried out quite some operat­ions as it continues to protect the nati­on’s territorial int­egrity. Operation Lafiya Dole (North East Nigeria) Operation Lafiya Dole is the army’s code name for the war on terror in Nigeria’s northeast. This code name literally tra­nslates to ‘Peace by all means’ in Hausa. The operation was set up to counter terrorism and insurgency. It was later expan­ded to specialised operations including “Operation Crackdown­”, “Operation Gama Aiki” and “Operation Safe Corridor.” Operation Gama Aiki was launched to clear ... Read more

Dangote, the Congo Plant and the Imperat­ive of African Indus­trialisation

By Ehiedu Iweriebor The Dangote Group of Nigeria, one of the pre-emi­nent industrial cong­lomerates in Africa, in pursuit of its pan-African developme­nt and emancipation strategy, on November 23, 2017 formally launched its newest economic development industrial project, the Dangote Cement plant in Mfila, in Congo-Brazzaville. Wi­th this $300 million dollars, 1.5 million metric tonne per annum plant, the Group now has a presence in ten of the 17 co­untries in which it plans to construct and expand cement pla­ns. While it had to re-calibrate the pace and timing of its earlier ambitious pl­ans to complete its various planned plan­ts at ... Read more

Abdullahi’s Inside Story On Jonathan

By Azu Ishiekwene Of the three presidents who ruled Nigeria between 1999 and 2015, President Goodluck Jonathan appears, so far, to have been the subject of more controversial books than his two predecessors. Five notable books about or significantly touching on former President Obasanjo’s tenure are his memoir, My Watch; Olusegun Obasanjo: The Presidential Legacy (Vols. I & II) 1999-2007, by Ladipo Akinkugbe et al; Obasanjo, Nigeria And The World, by John Illiffe; and Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s Accidental Public Servant. Segun Adeniyi’s Power, Politics and Death, is perhaps the most definitive book yet on late President Umaru Yar’Adua’s tenure. Within two ... Read more

GEJ, Abdullahi, Oduah and the Missing Verses

By Louis Odion Even days ahead of its unveiling, a new book by ace journalist and APC spokesman, Bolaji Abdullahi, is surely stirring the political waters already. Since teasers began to appear in Simon Kolawole’s TheCable last week, many can hardly wait anymore for tomorrow’s presentation in Abuja to grab copy and see what fresh angles “On A Platter of Gold: How Jonathan Won and Lost Nigeria” brings to Segun Adeniyi’s earlier block-buster, “Against The Run of Play”. Abdullahi is by no means a casual chronicler of the momentous events that shaped the Jonathan presidency; he was an insider having ... Read more

2019: My Advice To President Buhari

By Rev. Fr. Evaristus Bassey I was really afraid when President Buhari was ill and away for that long. I worried that if anything terminal happened to him, Nigeria would be in for it, for already conspiracy theories were rife that he was poisoned and there were rumours of certain youths swearing to avenge his death with tens of ‘enemy’ lives. I used the word enemy, because it does seem that somehow we are always at war, between North and South, Christian and Muslim, tribe versus tribe; once again God averted the death of innocent people, just as he did ... Read more

Atiku, Atikulation And Other Stories

By Reuben Abati “I hear say Atiku don port oh, from APC to God knows where…” “He used to be a Customs officer. Going from one port to another should not be an issue or a problem for him. It is in the nature of Customs officials to go from one port to another. When they train Customs officials, they train them to just disappear to nowhere when the storm is tough and rough. That is the reason why every Customs official is a prostitute… serving or retired. I know some of them. They are always disappearing and appearing. After ... Read more

Full Speech of Atiku Abubakar at 2017 Founder’s Day Celebration of American University of Nigeria

By Atiku Abubakar Protocol It is that time of the year, every year since the establishment of the American University of Nigeria that I go into this emotional trance while listening to the sonorous voices and fabulous rendition of Happy Birthday songs for me by the pupils of the AUN Elementary School. I have struggled, quite a bit, to hold back tears of joy, as I get tremendously humbled by the wonderful gesture of love and appreciation from these children. I cannot thank you enough for such profound display of gratitude with demonstrable talents and skills. Every time I step ... Read more

Beyond Mugabe: The Other Vultures In Harare

By Azu Ishiekwene Robert Mugabe overstayed his welcome by miles. But he wouldn’t come this far without the support of his former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, the ruling ZANU-PF party and the military top brass. They were in it together. Ordinary Zimbabweans wanted Mugabe out at least over a decade ago. The clearest expression of that was in 2008 when they voted Morgan Tsvangarai of the Movement for Democratic Change in a general election later stolen by ZANU-PF after the first round of voting. Mugabe’s party didn’t only stop at stealing the vote. The government used massive violence against the ... Read more

Why Anambra Central Election Cannot Hold Yet

By Achilleus-Chud Uchegbu The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed January 13, 2018 for the conduct of a court-ordered election into the contentious Anambra Central Senatorial district seat. In fixing the date, INEC stated in its press statement dated November 23, 2017 and signed by Mohammed Kudu Haruna, listed as National Commissioner and Member, Information and Voter Education, that “INEC has decided that all encumbrances to the conduct of the re-run election have now been removed”. In its background to the position it had taken, INEC stated that “the 2015 election to fill the seat was nullified by the ... Read more

Okorocha’s Commercial Monumentalism

By Louis Odion The most recognizable symptoms of clinical delusion is usually an obsession with inanities. Bizarre developments in Imo lately should then be enough to so classify Rochas Okorocha. It explains why a man owing workers salary arrears and whose cheques to pensioners bounced and bounced, did not consider it shameful to instead splurge hundreds of millions of naira on the erection of bogus statues. What now complicates things is the apparent misreading of the dialectics of history by the Imo governor by the reasons cited for his decision and crass exhibition of a lack of sophistication in seeking ... Read more

Go, Mugabe, Go

By Reuben Abati Since August, I have been the anchorperson of a programme on television called ThisDay Live where we discuss political matters – local and global. The programme is available on Arise News TV at 6pm, 9pm and sometimes at midnight every Sunday. Two days ago, we discussed the situation in Zimbabwe, the elections in Anambra, Nigeria’s decision to hire Malaysian experts at a cost of N485 million to figure out new pathways for Nigeria’s economic growth (with all the experts in Nigeria oh!), the proposed expansion of President Buhari’s cabinet, the burial of 26 teenage Nigerians by the ... Read more

The Meaning of Governor Obiano’s Reelection

By Chuks Iloegbunam Anyone asked the impact of Governor Obiano’s victory in the November 18 gubernatorial ballot in Anambra State could answer with a single word: Crushing. He won in all of the 21 local government areas of the state. His closest rivals came up in dismal second, third and fourth places. The combined total of the votes garnered by the rest of the 33 candidates managed to hit the hundreds. Significantly, ex-Governor Peter Obi, the godfather of PDP candidate Oseloka Obaze lost in his Anaocha local government area. Mr. Obaze himself lost in his Ogbaru local government area. His ... Read more

Wise Men Still Come from the East

By Femi Adesina At his incarnation, wise men gifted in astronomy came from the East, all the way to Bethlehem, in the south of Jerusalem, to worship Jesus Christ. They are today known as the Magi, who gave the newborn gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. There is a lot to say on the significance of each gift item, but that is not the purpose of the writing today. Maybe, another day, as the need arises. What we need from that nativity story is that the wise men came all the way from the East, following a star that led ... Read more

An Accident El-Rufai Can’t Help

By Azu Ishiekwene Governor Nasir El-Rufai may have been an accidental public servant by his own account, but he may well be the sort of accident that the public service needs. In a battle that promises to be nasty, the governor said he would fire 21,780 or two-thirds of the teachers in Kaduna State who failed a competency test based on a scheme of work for primary four pupils. Teachers in the state and the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress have promised the governor hell and actually started paving the way for that last week, with violent street protests ... Read more

Of Narco Caste and Rivers’ Political Slaves

By Louis Odion If any doubt had lingered on the certainty of opioid epidemic afflicting Nigeria’s youthful population, it surely was removed last week with the cold statistics reeled out by the University of Lagos. For parents who might wish to stand up in arms against its new extra-ordinary policy to administer drug test batteries randomly on students with the same aplomb road safety marshals subject any suspicious-looking driver to breath-analyzer on the highway, the outgoing vice chancellor, Professor Rahman Bello, painted a rather chilling picture likely to fill older alumni with nostalgia for the age of innocence and the ... Read more

Yahaya Bello: The Misunderstood Silent Achiever In Kogi

By Chinwe Ugwu There is a Nigerian saying that if you do not go under the belly of an elephant, you can never know that it has a flat tummy. Similarly, many public office holders especially politicians are often judged based on the outer appearance. One of the most talked about governors in the present dispensation is the number one citizen of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello. Whatever is happening in  Kogi State today is divinely designed considering the circumstances that threw up Bello as the chief executive of the Confluence state. In spite of the ill-feelings expressed in some ... Read more

Osun PDP: A Timely Warni­ng To Makarfi Leadership

By Oluwole Oludaisi Aina In less than a year from now, the Peoples Democratic Party (P­DP) in Osun State will face ano­ther landmark battle to reclaim the stat­e, which it lost about eight years ago thr­ough judicial rascal­ity and the indiscre­tion on the part of the then leadership of the party. Sadly, the same ailm­ent, which wreaked havoc on the party in Osun State in 2010 before extending to Oyo and Ogun states in the 2011 governorship elections, has ret­urned. Only that this time around, the indiscretion, occasioned by leade­rship high-handedness, impunity and disregard for counsel, which have remained the ... Read more