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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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Politics

Ekiti East Constituency 1 bye-election to hold on 20th March, 2021, says INEC

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Ekiti East Constituency 1 bye-election to hold on 20th March, 2021, says INEC

By Janet Samuel

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed Saturday 20th March 2021 for the conduct of a bye-election to fill the vacant seat for the Ekiti East Constituency 1 of Ekiti State.
The National Commissioner and Chairman
Information and Voter Education Committee, Barrister Festus Okoye made this known in a press statement on Wednesday in Abuja
He said the vacancy arose as a result of the death of Hon. Adegbuyi Oluwajuwa Amos, member representing Ekiti East Constituency 1 in the House of Assembly and the subsequent declaration of vacancy for the Constituency by the Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly Rt. Hon. Funminiyi Afuye.

He said met and deliberated on the conduct of Bye-election into the vacant seat of Ekiti East Constituency 1 of Ekiti State.

According to him, the official notification for the election will be published Wednesday 24th February 2021.

He said the Political Parties shall conduct their primaries between 26th February and 3rd March 2021 while the last day for submission of list of nominated candidates is at 6pm on the 8th March 2021.

“The Access Code for the nomination forms shall be available for collection from 26th February 2021 at the Commission’s headquarters.”

Okoye enjoined all political parties intending to field candidates to pay close attention to the Timetable and Schedule of Activities and to conduct transparent and valid party primaries that meet the provisions of Section 87 of the Electoral Act 2010 (As Amended).

The Commissioner urged Political parties to note that under section 31(8) of the Electoral Act, a political party which presents to the Commission the name of a candidate who does not meet the qualifications stipulated in the Constitution and the Electoral Act shall be guilty of an offence and on conviction shall be liable to a maximum fine of N500,000.00.

The detailed Timetable and Schedule of activities he said has been uploaded on the Commission’s website and social media platforms.

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Group condemns incitive utterances, pledges support to gov Sule

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Group condemns incitive utterances, pledges support to gov Sule

From Daniel Abel, Lafia

Political group referred to as Lafia Progressive Forum has condemned utterances its described as inciting and unguarded made by one Mohammadu Barde against governor Abdullahi Sule’s appointment.

Dahiru Musa, the chairman of the group at a press briefing on Wednesday in Lafia said the utterances and claim of Mr. Bards is disturbing and unfortunate and does not represent the voice of the people of Lafia local government.

“The group stated that the entire content of the utterances are figment of his wild imagination. It is meant to gain cheap popularity, we therefore distant ourselves from everything contained in the utterances.

“The good people of Lafia local government highly appreciate the generosity of governor Sule led administration, fair distribution of appointment and developmental projects across all local governments”, Dahiru said.

The group called on people in the local government to ignore any video on social media inciting the public against governor Abdullahi Sule who has been fair to all the local governments in terms of appointments and developments.

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Sule tasks public office holders on transparency, accountability

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Sule tasks public office holders on transparency, accountability

From Daniel Abogonye, Lafia

Nasarawa State Governor Abdullahi Sule, has tasked both political and public office holders in the state, on the need to be honest, transparent and accountable.

Sule stated this while declaring open a 2-week workshop on procurement and management of supplies for political and public office holders in the state, at the Government House, on Monday.

The Governor specifically tasked political and public office holders in the state, on the need to inculcate the spirit of the procurement law passed in the state, in the conduct of government business.

According to governor Sule, political and public office holders need to be transparent and accountable, because corruption no longer pays, with corrupt government officials forced to hide their ill-gotten wealth perpetually.

Speaking on the event, the Governor said the workshop is intended to instil in the minds of political and public office holders, virtues of due process and trustworthiness in accordance with the principles and procedures established in the public procurement rules.

“This is to ensure that proper mechanisms are put in place in the award of contracts to qualified contractors and in delivering services,” he stated.

While describing the theme of the workshop as apt, timely and well-conceived, Engineer Sule said this was coming at a time when his administration is committed to prudent management of resources towards bringing development to the people.

The theme of the 2-week workshop is: “Public Procurement as a panacea for good governance in Nasarawa State.”

The Governor pointed out that steps have been taken to ensure that contracts are awarded and executed on timely basis, with proper costing, in provision of goods, services and execution of works.

Mr. Sule used the opportunity of the event, to reiterate the resolve of his administration to impart the culture of discipline, transparency and due process in the conduct of government affairs, which informed the setting up of the Bureau for Public Procurement.

The governor urged the participants at the workshop to participate actively with a view to tapping from the wealth of experience of the resource persons.

Earlier in a keynote address, Director-General, Nasarawa State Bureau for Public Procurement, Dr. Dominic Bako, traced the widespread of poverty in developing countries like Nigeria, to the absence of good governance.

Citing the World Bank, Dr. Bako said good governance can be measured by four distinct attributes namely, accountability, effectiveness, rule of law and low levels of corruption, stressing that the Engineer Sule administration must be seen to be accountable, transparent, as well as deliberately promoting a culture of due diligence and respect for the rule of law.

“It must make sure that public funds meant to serve the greater majority of our people, is not diverted into private pockets or looted and sent into foreign banks overseas,” the DG stated.

The 2-week training workshop, organized in collaboration with the Charterhouse Consulting Limited, has participants drawn from public offices, including heads of state tertiary institutions, commissions, boards and parastatals.

The training session, which is organized in batches, has in attendance state executive council, special advisers, and chairmen of commissions, auditors general for state and local government, as well as the Vice Chancellor, Nasarawa State University, Keffi.

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