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To entrench June 12 as democracy day, Buhari must read Umar Dangiwa’s letter

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To entrench June 12 as democracy day, Buhari must read Umar Dangiwa’s letter

BY Danjuma John

Senator Alex Kadiri who represented Kogi East Senatorial District under the banner of the All Peoples Party (APP) between 1999 and 2003, is now a stalwarts of the All Progressives Congress (APC). In this interview he bared his mind on the June 12 the new democracy day in Nigeria.

What is your outlook on the first democracy day celebration come Saturday after Buhari declared it last year?

First and foremost you know I have radical views. I believe celebrating Democracy day on June 12 and celebrating the May 29 handover date is a sheer waste of funds, complete waste of funds in a country like Nigeria where people like holidays and unnecessary expenditure. I think the two ceremonies can be put together. whether we like it or not no Nigerian can wish away MKO Abiola. He fought for democracy, he won his election but somehow he was never installed as president, that is for historians who will tell you different versions of the story, that is number one. Secondly I think what Buhari can do to keep the memory of MKO Abiola to run his Government in a successful way is for him to kindly read the recent letter of colonel Umar Dangiwa, a relatively young person. All the things he has written and all things he has done point to the fact that he is an upright person. The advise he gave is simple. You don’t need to go to the university to know what to do. Be fair to all Nigerians that is the import of his letter. For him to have written that letter, it shows that he was pushed to the wall because I know he has full access to the President both in and out if office. I am aware of the role he played to save Buhari when he was not a president. If you can recall the day Buhari’s car was bombed in 2014 when he left Kaduna on his way to Daura. I don’t know anybody who played more prominent role than Colonel Umar to rehabilitate Buhari that time so I think he spoke from the bottom of his heart that Buhari should be fair to all Nigerians. Some person came to visit me yesterday in my house here in Abuja and they were talking and I was just laughing. They are from the Northern part of the country, they are aggrieved that the President is running a North East Presidency. The people complaining are from North west, North Central. Most of the revenue from the Niger Delta crude oil is being used to execute the Bokoharam war in the North east. A good chunk of the appointments almost all the important ones are in the North East. That is what they were talking about. You cannot tell them they are lying because the names of the appointees are there. So what Umar was saying is that the President should know that he is president of Nigeria that is all.

At my age I cannot be playing local politics even though I hold meeting with aspirants and so on. Since this Government came into office in my area Kogi East, it would look like if some people from there offended the President and his friends. They have starved us of everything under the sun. We have complained. We have had two meetings with the vice President on this matter. In the last appointments they made. They appointed people into boards and parastatals, Ekiti State had 7 chairmen and 27 members Ekiti is smaller than Kogi, but Kogi had 3 chairmen and 5 members. I am just using the two. I don’t want to talk about how many people Kano got or Borno got, I am just comparing two States that are about the same size and when you come to Kogi the three people they made chairmen are from Lokoja/Kotokarfe axis. Nobody from Kogi East and technically nobody from Kogi Central and technically nobody from Kogi West because when Kogi East is talking about themselves they talk about Okun land. Then this new dispensation, he appointed Ramatu Abdullahi as minister from Kogi, again from Lokoja/Kotokarfe and we are expected to be clapping? Some of us have lost face at home and because of insults, questions and answers, I have not gone home for six months. I cannot defend the action of the president, once they see your car, they will start bombarding you with questions that you cannot answer. The Government is demarketing APC in my part of the country. This is the kind of thing Colonel Umar is talking about because I am sure he must have ran in to one or two persons from my area who woukd have told him this story in details, it is wrong but we see dead people being appointed into boards while the living are looking for these appointments but they cannot get. 

What will you advise further on June 12 as democracy day?

I think any particular day, independence day, democracy day, children’s day, world war II day, mothers day they are meant to remind us about the sacrifices people made through struggles, some suffered and died for this democracy that we are enjoying today. What President Buhari did by inviting the children and giving them plaque and so on. It is okay but I think they need to go a step further, get one of Abiola’s children and give him a prominent appointment. I am sure that will assuage the feelings of the family more. What he did the last time may be good for the politics of Bola Tinubu and so on. But I am talking about the main character of this democracy day, what brought it about is a human being called MKO Abiola, he stood up against the military mist if whom were his friends. He was not the one they projected to win that election but he won. Both Abiola and his then running mate Bashir Tofa were friends of the military.

They contested 1993 presidential election on Moslem/Moslem ticket yet Nigerians went ahead to vote for them enmass, how do we link that with what is happening in the country today to show that Nigeria’s problem is not that of religion or tribe as the politicians try to portray?

It is not the politicians, it is the elites, there is a difference, I am a politician but I don’t encourage what is happening. It is the elites in our society who use religion, tribe to get on in life. Even from our area you see some young chaps they now keep long beards, wear turbans just to get on in Abuja here, and I say what type of country is this, where somebody has to disguise himself to be able to get on not what he has upstairs. So it is the elites manipulations that we are suffering from.

The free and fair nature of the 1993 election, the Option A4 was perfect what advice do you have for Buhari to entrench that as against gun wielding during election nowadays?

Whether you like it or not you will love to hate IBB but he is smart upstairs. Love or hate him, if we had stuck to the option A4 he put in place for that election we would not be where we are today. But between him and his own inner circle of friends they said no, even though the election was relatively free and fair they would not allow the winner to take oath of office. Again it was the elites conspiracy. Elites in the army and in the civilian circles. A country of 200million would go and register a 100 political parties. In the United States you have the Democrat and the Republican parties, there are other smaller parties but they don’t make the type of noise ours are making here. I believe that with the level of corruption in the political parties now, it is taken that we will be heading for a two party system because APGA is as good as dead, its only enclave is Ananmbra now.

Don’t you think the June 12 as democracy day should emphasize more on reforminf the electoral process like the need to sign the ammended electoral act which Buhari declined before 2019 election?

Whether he signs the electoral act or not for me it is not  important, what is important is his mind. If his mind is clear and he is for everybody he can even make the current system function. There is nothing in the current rules and regulations that says any Governor should buy guns for every youth in the state to shoot, people kill and maime. The current law can be used to provide a free and fair election. It is the human beings. So whether he signs any bill into law or not for me it is immaterial. The most important point is the state of the man’s mind and those around him.

With almost two decades of democracy can you say the citizens have imbibed the culture of democracy?

Certainly yes, it may not be as fast as we wanted it to be but the culture of democracy is inherent in every Nigerian, every Nigerian wants every position to be voted for, whether the election is free and fair it is immaterial every Nigerian wants people to be voted into office to represent them.

Don’t you think it is unhealthy for democracy that APC is tied to the Apron string of Bola Tinubu as a national party leader?

Well, my answers are two, one I don’t particularly like Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the way he plays his game. Secondly he was instrumental to the emergence of Adams Oshiomhole as the national chairman of the party and he anticipates that his aim for putting him there is when the time comes for the 2023 presidency he must be the one, let me ask in other climes if you must go to pick presidential candidate from the west after Obasanjo’s 8 years and we have a cerebral vice President like Yemi Osinbajo in office should we be thinking of Tinubu? Something must be wrong with all of us. If the next President must come from the west there is an intelligent and capable person from the west in office already so what are we talking about.

Looking at what is playing out in Edo State where the Governorship election is at the door step, the Godfather/godson relationship between Obaseki and Oshiomhole has turned sour, what would say about Godfatherism?

Well the world is a funny place and Nigeria and Nigerian politicians are very funny people. Oshiomhole I met him once after he won election in Edo State, a lady, Tessy Ikimi, younger sister of Tom Ikimi organised a dinner for him in Abuja and I was there and he was there with his friends and Tom Ikimi was there and we told him all about good Governance especially as he was coming from the background of a trade unionist, that he was going to deal with human beings with different ideas. He got to Edo, he did well physically until he started insulting people that Godfatherism has come to an end, he insulted Aneni, Igbinedion the Father, Esama, Igbinidion the former Governor all of them he labeled as thieves but when he was leaving Edo State was there a fair competition as to who will succeed him? No. I know members of Obaseki family, I worked in Benin for almost 14 years, the incumbent Governor is a younger brother to Gaius Obaseki the former GMD of NNPC, so Godwin Obaseki is from a noble family whether you like it or not. The appointment issue was the problem between them just like Akpabio did in Akwa Ibom, Akpabio refused to move from Government House after the end of his tenure that was the beginning of the fight between him and Udom Emmanuel. The man is elected, you go and give him a list of 14 commissioners to be appointed, he thinks the man has no clue as to how a Government should be run, you have the clue because you have ruled them for 8 years then all your structures must continue, that is the fight between them. The man he called thieve Eze Iyamu is the man he trying to support to come back, we are waiting to see. What he kicked against is exactly what he wants to do and he wants Obaseki to keep quiet? No he will fight to finish. I don’t believe in Godfatherism, I am not a godfather to anybody, politicians come here to consult but they don’t come back again because of what I tell them. I always ask them what they have done for their people, what is your bank account. Somebody who cannot run for councillor in his place, nobody knows him at home, he want to run for Governor in Kogi, what kind of self assessment is that?

One came here with a lady sitting in from the car that had no plate number and I asked him what he does for a living, he said he works for the first Lady, and I asked, as what? He said he looks after her interests. I said the day the first lady changes her mind about him that means he has no job. That is somebody who wants to be Governor of my State. They don’t even assess themselves; this thing I want to do am I worth the trouble? Once they check their bank account they have N10million the next office they are looking for is Governor.

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Why women in academia must not stay aloof of politics by Mantu

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Why women in academia must not stay aloof of politics by Mantu

***says without polilitics development would be a mirage

Former deputy President of the Senate Ibrahim Mantu has challenged the women in the academia not to stay aloof of politics because they percieve it to be leprous as there cannot be development without democracy.
He spoke recently in Abuja when the newly formed North Central Peoples Forum (NCPF) met with stakeholders from Kogi to sensitize them on the Forum’s agenda.
Mantu was speaking against the backdrop of comments by Professor Lucy Ogbadu who advised the forum to be apolitical for better developmental strides to be achieved in the zone.
The professor had also made strong case for women to be brought on board in the forum as no development can be achieved without them.
Senator Mantu however said,
“You cannot have Development without politics, politics produces people who are going to govern you, they are the ones that will ensure they manage the resources God has given properly.
He said people like Professor Ogbadu must show interest in politics. “We want women of substance, women who will go and talk so that people will warmly hear them and we would be proud to say this professor is from our zone and that is why she is doing wonderfully well.
“You must join politics so that we can make use of you in the right place because your voice would be better heard.
“There is no way we can compare you a professor with a woman who is on the street no matter what happens and if you are in politics and tomorrow your party wins because you are a professor the chances of you becoming the minister of education or Finance or any higher ministry is there.
“So people like you must not stay aloof and see politics as leprous, no you must show interest in politics so that the best women amongst us can be given the most resounding position that will go a long way to developing our zone and for our lives to be better.”

Professor Ogbadu earlier indicated she is not a politician, but identified immediately with the forum is because of what she saw about the Forum.
“It is a non partizan forum, a Forum geared towards the development of the zone and that is the only thing that endeared this Forum to my heart.
“That is why I have always presented myself. Unfortunately I am the only woman here today and it is in this respect that I wish to request that you should try to bring more women into this forum because there would be no developmental effort within the zone that will succeed without the women.
“You know it even as politicians. Most of you here are politicians. You can not get to the grassroots without women.

“We have to make concerted effort to reach more people and to bring more people on board. Some of you are politicians, the faces that people will see is that of politicians so when you bring people like us that are not politicians people will begin to identify more with the forum.
“Let us make effort to bring people that are apolitical. I also want to appeal to all of us to put away our differences, we are not talking about politics at this forum. We are talking about the backwardness of this zone in terms of development.
“The zone is backward in terms of development. We know the potentials that this zone have, we know we are blessed with capable human resources.
“We have been reminded that Gowon comes from this zone. Gowon is not the only past president from this zone. We can count up to three past heads of State from this zone yet we have nothing to show.
“For this reason I want to appeal to all us, as we make effort that this zone is brought to the limelight we do all we can within our capability to carry everybody along. “The women from this zone are capable, educated, they are beautiful. They have what it takes.”
The North Central Peoples Forum interim chairman Architect Gabriel Aduku said they are now getting closer to the people.
He said they were meeting with the Stakeholders of Kogi, those elected into offices like former Governors, senators and all that to have a close discussion with them on the need for them to key in and support.
“We are just gathering momentum.”

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Though Politics is tough for women, take the shot, humanitarian minister challenges womenfolk

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Though Politics is tough for women, take the shot, humanitarian minister challenges womenfolk 



Though there is the general believe that politics in Nigeria is tough for the womenfolk, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Sadiya Umar Farouq has challenged them to get more involved in politics. 

The Minister spoke at the Kashim Ibrahim Fellowship Speaker Series held in Kaduna on Tuesday October 21, 2020.

This was contained in a statement by the minister special adviser on media Nneka Ikem Anibeze on Thursday.

Umar Farouq who made a virtual presentation titled ‘My Political Career as a Northern Lady: Experiences and Challenges expressed concern about the percentage of women in politics.

“The truth is that we are not many. We are not where we should be and clearly we need more women represented in politics and executive positions. 

The good news is that we are making progress. Today as the Deputy Governor of Kaduna State is a woman. 

“This is a first for the North and His Excellency Governor Nasir El Rufai by the grace of Almighty God made this happen despite the odds.

She said very soon the hope for the first female Governor and President would soon be realised.

The Minister said politics especially in Africa is  a difficult and expensive terrain for women however she encouraged  the younger generation not to be deterred but embrace the career.

“Politics is driven by a selected few and is also very expensive. We need more young people to participate, change the narrative and make conscious efforts to ensure inclusion so that any young woman or man even from a less privileged background or  from any part of the country can be a President of this nation”.

Umar added that her vision for Nigeria is to see more young men and women dream and achieve their ambition as leaders in whatever field of endeavor they choose. 

“I am a grassroots person and will continue to connect with my people to lift the vulnerable out of poverty and foster the creation of an environment for inclusive growth and prosperity.  

K9I am supported by a team of vibrant young men and women working in the Ministry to bring fresh ideas and strategies to solving the nation’s Humanitarian and Social Development challenges. I want to use this avenue to thank my staff who work day and night in difficult terrains to ensure that we achieve our mandate,” Farouq said.

The Chief host of the Speaker Series was the Kaduna state Governor, Mallam Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai. 

The Speaker Series is designed to expose Fellows to notable personalities who have distinguished themselves in their various fields of expertise.

Some of the previous speakers include former President Chief Olusegun Obasanajo, Mallam Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai, HRH Muhammadu Sanusi II the former Emir of Kano,  Deputy Chief of Mission, US. Embassy Abuja, H.E. David J. Young, Deputy-Secretary General of the United Nations Hajiya Amina J. Mohammed, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika – Chairman, First Bank of Nigeria, H.E. Donald Duke the former Governor of Cross River State, H.E Kashim Shettima, Ms. Kadaria Ahmed, Dr. Joe Abah, Ms. Yewande Sadiku, Prof. Pat Utomi, Mr. Mohamad Darwish and Dr. Dakuku Peterside amongst others.

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PDP says Buhari’s Address Disconnected, Fails Empathy Test

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PDP says Buhari’s Address Disconnected, Fails Empathy Test


The long-awaited national broadcast by President Muhammadu Buhari on the protests rocking the nation, came with disappoint as it is completely disconnected from the realities of the tragic occurrences in our country in the last two weeks the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said.

This was contained in a statement that was issued by the party’s National publicity, secretary Kola Ologbodiayan in Abuja on Thursday.

The party however appeals to Nigerians, particularly the youth, to remain calm and allow a return to normal life in the collective quest for peaceful co-existence in the overall interest of our nation.

“The President’s address, in the face of the turmoil witnessed, the unrests as well as the killing of young Nigerians, is to say the least, depressing and failing in empathy test.
“Our party and, indeed, all lovers of peace in our country, were shocked that the President glossed over the immediate trigger of violent protests – the widely condemned killing at the Lekki Toll Gate by security operatives, a situation which created a global concern and drew the attention of the world to the abuse of human rights going on in our country under his watch.

“Painfully too, the President, as the Commander-in-Chief, was silent on the demand by Nigerians for enquires into the involvement of the military in the gruesome killing.
“Sadly, the long awaited address failed to inspire any hope. It failed to address the trepidations, the pervading hopelessness, the drifting towards anarchy and provided no concrete steps on how to arrest the situation and rein in bandits, hoodlums and vandals that were let loose to unleash violence on peaceful protesters and innocent Nigerians.
“In short, from the letters of the address, there were no correlations between the fundamentals of the crisis situation that we have witnessed and the long-sought reaction of the President.”

Furthermore, he said Nigerians had expected that the President will provide the lead for the much- needed overhauling of our security architecture to meet the demands of professionalism and respect for rules of engagement.
“The President also failed to use the opportunity to further heal wounds and inspire hope by outlining a roadmap to open up the economy in a manner that will enable our teeming hard working youths to pursue their productive goals as well as address the issue of pervading hunger in the land.
“However, in solidarity with Nigerians and in honour to the victims of Lekki Toll Gate killing, our party has directed that our flags in all our offices across the nation be flown at half-mast for a period of one week, beginning from Friday, October 23, 2020.

“The PDP urges all men and women of good faith to join forces in praying for our country as well as working towards solutions and peaceful resolution of the crisis that seeks to envelope our dear nation.”

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