Hardly will anyone argue the fact that in our contemporary Nigeria, the public institutions and their occupiers are riddled with greed and corruption. For far too long, especially under the Jonathan government, the general perception nationally and internationally is that judicial corruption is all too deep, high and widespread.
Lots of stomach infrastructure prophets in Nigeria predicted the victory of Jonathan at the just concluded presidential polls in Nigeria, describing Buhari’s supporters as heathens raging against the Lords Anointed. I am yet to see any of them that predicted a Buhari victory. Mcheeew!
These misguided spokespersons of God gave us lectures of how Jonathan is the David that will defeat Goliath of the Philistines (Buhari). In all the meetings of clerics I attended around Abuja, Enugu, Lagos, Port Harcourt and environs, I hear the same tale of how God told some pastors that a Buhari presidency will Islamize Nigeria and how God intends his people to pray out this heathen who wants to return them ( not myself) back to Egypt. We were also told that God will give Jonathan a second term victory because he has not finished his assignment.
I never discerned all these things prophetically and I know that these statements are not from the Spirit of God. In one of the meeting of a closed group of ministers in Abuja, I blurted out angrily at one of the prophetic tale bearer asking “does God intend to keep a most corrupt president, are you aware that the economy is in so much bad shape that there may be no money to pay salaries by the end of this year if leakages in the system is not drastically cut. Are you aware that many State Governments having huge debt profile, endangering the economic status of their states? Which parameter is your God using to declare Jonathan a savior despite grinding poverty in the land.….”
The most ridiculous of all I heard was that Buhari, Tinubu and the APC represents the heathens that have ganged up against God. These stories were fed to the congregation of many, and they wasted precious times of prayer on something I knew would be a waste. Some organized special prayer session, special night vigils, special crusades, after collecting their own share of the corrupt national cake in thousands, millions and billions of naira, and gathered people to pray in churches, open spaces and fields all in an effort to deliver Nigeria from the hand of heathens. In one of the cities where such money for hand prayers was made, I told some Archbishops and Bishops to ensure that they collected their own share of the Jonathanian largesse before enlisting their congregants for the prayers. The Bishops heeded my call and lied in wait for the principal prayer warrior, who on sensing trouble, skipped the planned pre-crusade ministers’ briefings and left immediately after his crusade.
Of course, God and Jesus Christ disappointed them all. I believe that Tinubu, Amechi, Oshiomhole , Fashola and their group, though having their own shortcomings, cannot in the prevailing context, be branded as heathens because the are supporting Buhari. It is spiritually discernible that the real heathen is the incumbent Goodluck Jonathan.
This man who had no shoes, allowed so much corruption within his five year tenure that from my own estimate, a total of $142 billion dollars oil revenue were stolen in five years. I have buttressed it in earlier write-up ‘Looters of $142 billion dollars oil revenue not working for Jesus Christ’. A heathen is that president so heartless to allow such theft by close friends and cronies while the over 60 million Nigerians live below$1 dollars daily. Former CBN Governor Prof Chukwuma Soludo put his own estimated off budget theft at N30 trillion naira ($150billin dollars), this stolen or missing sum can construct two hundred and forty eight numbers of (248) Second Niger Bridge at the cost of $500 million dollars each , and a prayer warrior is still looking for a heathen.
A heathen is that president who abandoned Northern Christians to Boko Haram onslaught until six weeks to the rescheduled presidential polls. A heathen is that president who left Christian communities with over 100 years Jesus heritage like Chibok, Gwoza, Askira,Uba,Damboa and numerous others to be the first to fall into the hands of the Jihadists. I enumerated them in the piece released mid last year titled ‘Boko Haram Republic of Gwoza: Jonathan abandons Northern Christians’
Heathen is that President who allowed Chibok Girls to be captured from a predominantly Christian town, and many of them raped to death while dancing Azonto in Kano. It is a shame that a Muslim activist by name Peregrimah Brimah was asking a Christian President for logistics to mobilize army of volunteers to help rescue Chibok girls that are predominantly Christians.
Heathen is that President under whose tenure I lost many missionary colleagues to the hands of the insurgents while great feasting is going on in Aso Rock.
Heathen is that president who said that 16 are greater than 19 in the Nigerian Governors Forum controversial elections, and set the stage for Governors Amechi, Kwakwanso, Oshiomhole and co to give the opposition the boost they deserved. Had these governors remained in the PDP, a Buhari victory would not have been possible.
Heathen is also that prophet who allowed personal friendship with Jonathan to obscure the voice of God and conscience which states that Nigeria is dying slowly due to corruption, impunity and insecurity.
Heathen is that prophet who in private cannot diplomatically tell the incumbent that Nigerians are complaining about his style of governance, because saying such may lead to loss of billions or hundreds of millions of tithes, offerings, seed and prayer money.
Nigerians have not stopped celebrating since March 2015 which marked the point when the Jonathan Administration, where trust was very hard to establish, where the leadership behaved as if Nigeria was their personal kitchen, and where the use of political power through the military and police expanded like we have never seen before in our democratic history, ended.
We are very hopeful that in the coming months and years, open acts of political corruption, underground forms of government business, extended use of political gang members, dirty little secrets, open bribery, extortion, cronyism, nepotism, and corrupt use of the judiciary will be fully minimized or completely eviscerated.
The heaviest fundamental threat to our national security and way of life was public corruption, at least in the last thirty six months, not excluding issues of insurgency which are a direct side effect of corruption-induced poverty.
Since 2010 especially, the quality of our courts, legislature, treasury, police, prisons, military, and other national security-related supports has been so bad with each of them singularly situated to feed into the politics of corruption in favor of Jonathan’s underground economy or government while the people looked on helplessly.
Now the days of these political deities who saw themselves as worthy of worship by the rest of us are gone forever.
Here is what we believe about President Elect, Muhammadu Buhari, God willing, Allah willing. He will help bring back national integrity to the country. Certainly, he is not an angel, and in spite of his hard ways in the yesterdays, the people see him as, all in all, a good man who will be able to rebuild trust, respect and productive governance guided not in half-truths, but in full truths. We see him as a man who will open his ears to learning and open himself to critics from decent advisers.
Buhari, being a man of good faith and learning, will not be open to damaging acts of compromise and the people see him as being able to bring in discipline, efficiency, high work ethics and transparency into the government.
It is our hope that this generally known cool but deeply thoughtful man, with good reasons, will not be aloof to the basic security and corporate needs of the people.
It is our hope that he will do good through the government by rebuilding or refreshing institutions that will do the most good works in our society.
We hope he will institute cost efficient government programs that will be most effective and marked with ways that will express caring and compassion toward the people.
In his time, let public institutions evidence the clothing of moral image and do good things, just like good organizations, churches and charities do, and operate in terms of responsibility.
In his time, just like the people want the government to care for them, let the people also care for the government by exhibiting step by step good conduct and proper etiquette when interacting with those in government--collective acts that will drastically reduce widespread suffering, despair, greed, and abandonment and allow the nation to move up and not down as seen in recent years.
President Barack Obama, as a son of Africa and the leader of the free world, in your last visits to Africa, you promised the people of the continent a new model of democratic partnership. Sir, now is the time!
Twice you avoided Nigeria, but do not do this now, as the people are waiting to see you side by side with Buhari in the coming months, sharing your ideas of trade, investment, healthcare, education, electricity, infrastructure, job creation, transportation, technology, security, economic growth, and institution-building.
President Barack Obama, with your mixed background of Muslim and Christian heritage, you will be in the right place during your visit, as we all know you clearly understand our people with all of their challenges and struggles, especially under an estranged government in the last few years.
Given your ongoing great successes in America and around the world, in terms of building a healthy and fair system of democracy, Nigeria calls out to their son to visit us in the nearest future, and lay a foundational opening on which to begin to build a new relationship with America, and the rest of the world. Sir, we look forward to seeing you soon as Buhari seeks to move Nigeria to what I call "A Peaceful, Progressive, and Prosperous Nigeria (APPN)."
President Barack Obama, as with your other African visits and dancing moves, such as we saw in Tanzania, this time Nigerians will give you the best welcome dance and the whole world will see you as you shake to Davido Skelewu's music. Sir, it is one of a kind! Welcome to Nigeria in advance!
Let me begin with a few introductory explanations. The tittle of this piece was deliberately borrowed from the tittle of Leon Trotsky’s piece on the 1905 Revolution in Russia in which he was a major dramatis personae, getting elected as the President of the Petrogad [St Petersburg] Soviet by the workers’ delegates at the peak of that uprising which became a revolution.
Trotsky, along with the major leadership of the Russian and Global Revolutionary Socialist Movement had understood the revolutionary significance of that 1905 popular uprising of the Russian people, and had characterized it as a significant Political, but bourgeois democratic [that is capitalist ruling class] revolution. The reasons were obvious; it not only shook the Russian Monarchy and feudal system to its very foundation, it marked the ascendancy of the Russian bourgeois capitalist elite and inaugurated the foundations of democratic representative government which shared some powers with the Sovereign – the Czar/Emperor.
More fundamentally that revolution marked the collapse of the old national consensus among the ruling classes and inaugurated a new process of renegotiation of the fundamental terms of a new national governing and ruling consensus.
Similarly, in their historic nature, both the January Uprising of 2012 and the process and outcome of the 2015 general elections marked different moments – inaugural and concluding moments, of a Political, bourgeois democratic revolution in Nigeria. It is for this reason that I have borrowed Trotsky’s tittle for 1905.
Let me explain further. Many adjectives have been used to describe the 2015 general elections process and its outcome [which by the way is still a work in progress]. And all of these adjectives are probably correct, but they do signify certain fundamental processes.
These elections and its unfolding outcome is significant in many respects. It is Historic and Momentous, for a number of reasons and because of a number of factors; factors which helped to shape the outcome.
In the first instance it marks the very first time in the history of this country that an incumbent president seeking re-election would be defeated in an election; in the second instance, and following from the first, it marks the first time that a ruling party at the federal level would be defeated in a general election by an opposition party; in the third instance, and deriving from the second, it marks the first time that Nigerians through a general election will oust a non performing federal government and cause a change in the federal government to the extent that it will now be constituted and superintended by a different political party, which was hitherto the opposition party; and in the fourth instance, it also marks the first time that votes will significantly count in a general election, arising from a process that significantly whittles down the chances of electoral fraud and is largely seen and perceived to be transparent and credible, and producing an outcome that is largely accepted as largely reflecting the real will of the electorates.
Why are all these four interrelated processes of historic significance? Why do they matter? Because all the four aforementioned processes combine to radically upscale and inculcate popular self-confidence of the masses in their ability to change a government.
The historic importance of this reinforcement of popular self-confidence to alter the character of power cannot be over emphasized. The impact of this is that citizens now know that within the ambit of the choices available to them, they send a non-performing, unresponsive government and regime packing, and replace it with another one. The implication of this is that the business of governing can no longer be conducted in the old ways; it can no longer be business as usual.
Furthermore the emergence of an opposition party strong enough to mobilise a movement for change; occurring simultaneously with the unraveling and implosion of the ruling party which had hitherto been the institutional manifestation of the old national ruling class consensus; the success of the citizen driven electoral reform process; and the outcome of the elections represent the breakdown of the old National Consensus among the ruling class fractions, and marks the consolidation of the process of negotiating a new national ruling class consensus.
It is this dialectical interaction between breakdown and reconstitution of national ruling class consensus that underlies the bourgeois democratic revolution character of the 2015 general elections, and that qualifies it as a political revolution.
It is this same bourgeois democratic revolution character, this breakdown and reconstitution moment that makes this an opportunity for the popular masses, an opportunity to deepen the revolutionary character of the process, an opportunity to build on the renewed popular confidence of citizens to explore the possibility of exploiting the uncertainties of the present situation to deepen the ferment and perhaps move towards the conversion of the revolution from a political revolution to a social revolution.
Now that the ruling class fractions are in a state of turmoil and frantically seeking to renegotiate a new national ruling consensus amongst themselves, our duty and our task is to raise our own popular demands, to capitalize on the renewed popular confidence to make social demands on the ruling class and its new incoming government.
This is the time to raise the demand for the reconstitution of the state as a developmental state, and for the establishment of a welfare state. Our overriding minimum demand must be for the institution of a universal, accessible social security system; such that as the renegotiation process is taking place the demands and interests of the popular masses will be taken into consideration and form part of the new national consensus.
Given the heightened levels of expectations surrounding the emergence of this new govern in waiting, given the grave nature of the national and global economic crisis compounded in our own case by unprecedented levels of treasury looting and depletion of national wealth, it will be most likely that the incoming government may soon be faced with a monumental crisis of unmet and unrealizable expectations. The implication of these is that there are many potential uprisings lurking in the corners along the way over the next four years.
This general context and scenario then presents an opportunity for the popular mass movement to deepen the ferment, and push the boundaries of the political revolution to its elastic limit, thrusting the process towards supplanting the political revolution with a social revolution. To accomplish this we need to build a mass political platform to the left of the incoming APC government. The fact that the opposition is now in power should provide us with a context within which to build a new opposition.
To conclude, a few last lines. And this is to the APC and its incoming government. What does change really mean for the APC? What is the APC’s assessment of the Nigerian crises? What are the 4 or 5 areas of focus that its government will prioritise in addressing and resolving the Nigerian crisis? What In concrete terms will the APC government do to transform the power and energy situation over the next four years? How many MWs will it add to the power generation capacity annually over the next four years? What concrete steps will it undertake to improve the transmission capacity of the national grid, particularly given that any given time the transmission capacity of a national grid should be much more than the total generation capacity for electricity? How will it resolve this disconnect between power generation and power transmission?
How does the APC government intend to deal with youth unemployment? While addressing critical questions of inclusive and diversified economic growth and rehabilitation and building of basic infrastructure to service the economy?
What Nigerians want from the APC now is fairly fleshed out document detailing its alternative policy proposals, and outlining its Four year National Development Plan for the country. We have had enough of the vagueness of change. Now is the time to give us a picture of this change.
And for the PDP, apart from the factors listed at the beginning, why did it lose? Well at the inception of the PDP regime in 1999, poverty rate was 54% in 2001, and hovered around 68% in 2015; And this in the midst of unprecedented economic growth and high levels of earned revenue.
Or take unemployment; official unemployment rate was 8% in 2003 and had risen to 24% by 2015, with youth unemployment skyrocketing to 40% according to NBS and 80% according to CBN by 2015.
And whereas economic growth rate averaged about 8% in the early 2000s, by 2015 it was hovering between 5% and 6% per annum.
Take education, of the 57 million out of school children globally, 11 million were Nigerian children by 2013, the second highest such concentration after Pakistan.
Or health, where by 2015, according to official figures, 37% of Nigerian children under five years are malnourished.
Add to these mix unprecedented levels on insecurity, as well as high cost of living, then it becomes clear that the reasons why PDP lost and APC won had nothing to do with the so-called ethnic gang up now being postulated by those unwilling to face reality. Instead the reasons had plenty to do with the abject conditions of living of Nigerians. The reasons are rooted in class exploitation and its outcome, not in ethnic solidarity and alliances.
Last Saturday’s Presidential and Legislative elections has come and gone and will go down in our history as one of the most unprecedented in terms of its peaceful outcome. It has been categorised as the most free and fair election since the turn of democracy in 1999. Without mincing words, the election have not only proved doubting Thomases wrong about our electoral process but showed the world that Nigeria can hold its own even amidst its numerous challenges. No doubt, our electoral process has been strengthened one step further by the altruistic actions and selfless sportsmanship taken by all actors involved and has shown that transition from one party or administration to the other, could be made possible without rancour, fear or intimidation. The question therefore, is whether our nascent democracy, just a little at 16, has come of age.
As an ardent follower of both our historical emergence as a nation state and democratic process, I have no doubt in my mind that with the success recorded in the last election, we have sufficient reasons to be identified as an exceptional democracy, to borrow such appellation from scholars of Venezuelan history. Ours has been a democracy that survived many daunting challenges and despite the noticeable fault-lines, our “Nigerianness” can never be compromised. We have in a matter of 16 years evolved and shown to be an epitome for other African countries to emulate, most especially countries with leaders who fail to toe the path of reason in the aftermath of a national election.
More often than not, it is imperative to take caution in trying to admit that Nigeria’s democracy has come of age. Doubts still pervades in some parts of the country about the outcome of the election even when it is clear to malcontents that it was won square and fair by the former opposition. Despite this, one must be sincere enough, without being too overtly patriotic, to state that our democracy is now more than ever strengthened. The reason for this rather brazen position cannot be far-fetched, if the recent legislative election held in Lagos state is anything to go by.
Lagos as we know it has always been a hotbed of diverse human activities. It is a melting pot of some sort for so many people looking for a place to work, relax, or reside. For whatever reasons, Lagos has become a home for more than half of all Nigeria’s ethnic groups such that, her cosmopolitan nature today cannot be compared to any part of Nigeria and most parts of the world. There is a popular belief that there is no Nigerian anywhere who does not have at least a close member residing in Lagos, little wonder its population continues to grow in its millions against statistics made available by the federal government. For the fact that Lagos provides anyone at all with opportunities to live and enjoy the Lagos Dream, many have found it as a comfort zone and home to make money. Apart from other noticeable ethnic groupings in Nigeria, the Igbo have come to form a sizeable population resident in Lagos. As we speak, the Igbo are about the most populated non-Yoruba group domiciled in Lagos. Just like the Sabo communities of Northern extraction noticeable in parts of Lagos, the Igbo, unlike the Sabo areas, could be found everywhere. Remarkably, they constitute a higher percentage of people living in local government areas like Amuwo Odofin, Ajeromi/Ifelodun, Ojo, Surulere etc., and in communities like Satellite and FESTAC-Towns, Aguda, Alaba, Kirikiri, Ajegunle to mention a few. Their huge number, frightening in some quarters, is a welcome development and a good omen for Lagos. In fact, the dominance of the Igbo, typical as their entrepreneurial spirit entails, portends greater economic propects for Lagos and Nigeria as a whole. This is a however, a topic for another day.
It is on record that Lagos state accommodates the meek and weak, even the strong and wrong and would never allow ethnic sentiments get the better part of its developmental process. Ben Akabueze, an Igbo from Anambra as Lagos state’s Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget is a typical example of how Lagos has assumed the role of a detribalised state. Looking further, Engineer Joe Igbokwe, another Igbo from Nnewi is till date a very strong heavyweight in Lagos politics, being the Publicity Secretary of the APC in the state. These individuals among others continue to hold their own and have contributed in no small measure to the growth and development of Lagos state as a whole.
Apart from being an economic force, the Igbo today have become a very strong political factor in Lagos state. At a time when a section of the country some time ago wrongly lampooned and viciously criticised the Lagos state government for deporting some people, the enabling environment to be politically relevant given most importantly to the Igbo today in the state should be seen as a kind gesture by the government in embracing all irrespective of where we come from. It is not every day one sees a Yoruba or Hausa appointed a Commissioner in states like Cross River or Delta or an Igbo as Chairman of a parastatal in Katsina, Taraba, Ekiti or Bayelsa. None to the best of this writer’s knowledge exist.
However, nobody would have thought it possible for a non-Yoruba residing in Lagos state to contest elections and win. It is not that some of them do not come out to vie for elective positions but chances of winning such positions have always remained very slim. It is quite surprising therefore, to discover a number of non-Yoruba living in the state vying and in turn winning legislative posts in the just concluded federal legislative election. In Amuwo Odofin local government for example, one Mr Oghene Egboh, a Delta state indigene defeated Ganiyu Olukolu a Yoruba. Also in Ajeromi/Ifelodun, Mrs Rita an Easterner defeated Taiwo Adenekan another Yoruba while in Oshodi/Isolo federal constituency 2, Mr Tony Nwoolu defeated the incumbent, Mr Akeem Munir. A major factor has been attributed to the victory of these individuals in the election, chief of which is the dominance of Igbo residents in these constituencies who voted massively not necessarily for these candidates but because of their strong affinity for the party the candidates contested under. True as this may seem, we should however not forget that tolerance, freewill and accommodation Lagos seems to freely give to all played a significant role in the victory of these candidates at the polls. This feat ordinarily wouldn’t have been possible many states in the country
This is therefore, a huge lesson for us all as a people to learn from. Nigeria belongs to us all and so, irrespective of differences in tongue and tribe, everyone should be seen as one and the same. We must begin to see the positives of togetherness and brotherhood and understand that every Nigerian, no matter where he resides, is part of the Nigerian project. We must begin to tolerate ourselves and in tolerating the other, must allow anyone at all the freewill to participate in the political process, no matter the religion, place of residence or ethnic affiliation. Nigeria and Nigerians should take a cue from events in the 50s when Mallam Umaru Altine was elected twice as Mayor of Enugu. Mallam Altine, a Fulani was nominated by the NCNC, contested and won the election in that state. Also, the story of Mallam Umaru Yushau is noteworthy here. As the Chief of the Hausa community in Onitsha, he was elected member of the Eastern House of Chiefs and occupied that position until the 1966 coup.
At a time when the CHANGE mantra is fast overwhelming the entire country, it is time we began to see our democracy as one that can stand the test of time. No country has ever moved forward with its people heavily divided along tribal or religious lines. Somalia and Sudan are typical examples of countries where ethnic differences has regressed its development. Despite the fact that we have not been able to properly come to terms with our differences for the common good of the country over a long period of time, it is hoped that the recently conducted election will open our eyes to the reality of greatness in diversity. Lagos state has set the stage for our democracy to thrive by giving non-Yoruba residents the free-hand to participate in the electoral process. Other states too should learn and follow suit
The possibility that one day a southerner will hold public office in any part of the north and vice versa is a dream this writer hopes will come to pass in his life time. It is only when we see the virtues in this dream rather than the vices that we can move towards greatness as a nation. We must therefore not lose sight of that. Now, has our democracy come of age?
As we move forward in our growing democracy, the State Security Service (SSS) or the Department of State Services must proceed from the starting point of non-political and professional commitment in the course of performing its law enforcement duties with its police force.
In recent times the leadership and operational culture of the State Security Service, in psychological terms, has become abnormal in its functions and to some extent has lost contact with professional reality, and as it is now, stands out as more of a threat to itself and the people.
The State Security Service in its capacity as a federal law enforcement body is currently being viewed as a partisan agency that is more heavily involved in domestic repression instead of domestic protection within our society.
In the era of the Jonathan administration, while the SSS continued to serve as that body to help protect and defend the our government against domestic threats, assist in the protection of leadership and carry out law enforcement services at both the federal and state levels, its enforcement of criminal laws appeared decidedly one-sided and openly partisan in its outlook.
Recently we saw how its top investigative priorities focused on All Progressive Congress (APC), one of the nation’s political parties. In recent times, the SSS’s maltreatment of APC‘s members, associates and business partners was very obvious and SSS marked them out as if they were representatives of a criminal organization.
A case in point is the State Security Service arrest and detention of some workers of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in a raid in Lagos in November, 2014. In this case, the SSS, which is constitutional ly charged to protect the civil rights of its citizens, arrested and detained these workers, unlawfully denying them their personal liberties and reportedly denying them access to any member of their families.
These APC’s workers suffered illegal detention with no official criminal charges and were unlawfully kept for fraudulent allegations of forgery and election-related offences.
The warrant used to remand them was perverted as it came from a magistrate court in Kaduna with no jurisdiction on the case as the alleged offence occurred in Lagos.
Going forward, the SSS needs some wholesome cleaning in order to refocus the agency. What we need now is for the SSS to become fair, impartial and a neutral security body politically and electorally.
The legal personality of the SSS in terms of leadership and operations can at this time no longer be viewed as a neutral federal law enforcement agency until it receives a comprehensive behavioral, ethical and programmatic intervention.
With a new image during the post-Jonathan administration, the people could again see it as capable of ensuring the safety of all Nigerians.
Farouk Martins Aresa
Where is Ambode from? You will not know until after the election. By then it may have become irrelevant. Tinubu has already won because the debate is no more about his greed and how he conquered success. It is now about Igbo PDP and Yoruba APC in Lagos. The silver lining may be that any Nigerian, like Tinubu, no matter what part of the Country you come from may be appointed and elected over the Lagosians as a civilian Governor. It can only happen in Lagos!
Ndi-Igbo may have to think twice before they vote against Ambose. If it turns out that Ambose, like Jonathan is more related to Igbo than Agbaje, they will have themselves to blame for voting against their own in Lagos. Politicians not astute Oba, would do anything to get votes. In Nigeria ethnicity is a sure bet and a convenience politicians resort to in order to defeat their opponents.
The incident between Igbo leaders and Oba of Lagos is unfortunate. No matter what the motive is, Oba has no business supporting political party or threatening an ethnic group. There are ways to play neutral and not antagonize. Oba Adetona of Ijebu-Ode is a good example of how to play cordial and remain uncommitted. Politicians go and come, Oba is a lifetime appointment. Even Ooni blessed Jonathan. There is no long term benefit for Oba, only short-term advantage.
When it looked like Fashola was going to revolt for his second term, it was the same Oba of Lagos that tried to settle the problem between Fashola and Tinubu. Lagosians were actually mad when it was reported that Tinubu said he installed him as Oba of Lagos and could uninstall him. There is no worse insult from Iragbiji than that. The Omo-onile has never been disputed.
Igbo bragado draws Yoruba reaction of fear. Rivalry among Igbo and Yoruba candidates will only work in favor of Tinubu to entrench his reign of corruption. Lagosians are more worried about domination now. So Lagosians with Yoruba see Tinubu as a savior, stuck in their throat.
Ambose is neither from Ondo nor Lagos. If he is Yoruba, he must have Oriki. He has none unless one is quickly invented for him. If his name has a meaning in Yoruba, it must be from one of Yoruba cousins in the North, East or old Western Region. While we are trying to figure out what it is, Ambode will be already crowned like Tinubu, his mentor. By the time Tinubu became Governor, his high school in Aroloya and his real Iragbigi origin became irrelevant.
If you do not believe in ethnic sparring, you are a new comer to politics. Otherwise, it does not make sense to get distracted from Tinubu’s avarice and impunity in Lagos during election by a fight between Igbo and Yoruba candidates. The real fact is that many Nigerians are so diverse, they are like our minorities. It is difficult to say one is a pure Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba. Many of us are none of the above but may be willing to be used as a distraction for individual gluttony.
All Tinubu has going for him right now is that he is Yoruba and as long as he is, Yoruba do not care about whether he controls Lagos. Remember that Lagosians are minority in their own State. Even if most of them vote for Agbaje, their votes are not enough. The bottom line is that if Yoruba have to choose between Tinubu’s candidate Ambose, and Igbo preference Agbaje; it is not difficult to figure out who their choice is. What if Ambose turns out to be Igbo or Hausa?
However, after the election and Yoruba find out that Ambose is not even from the West, there will be a loud cry. The cry will be a joke because Tinubu does not care who he anoints as the Governor of Lagos State as long as he can control him to deliver all the resources and income to his pocket. He is always looking for a faithful servant. Some of you may remember that he had denied that Ambose was his candidate at one point when it looked like Lagosians would revolt.
All that is forgotten right now since he can brag with impunity that he crowns him the way he anointed Fashola. Many of you may know that he brought Fashola from nowhere when he knew that this same Agbaje, Obanikoro and other Lagosians were too independent to abide or take his orders. So he groomed Fashola from a law firm to become civil servant as his Chief of Staff. Whenever Fashola veers off course, he calls him to order. The rest is history.
Those of you that know Ambose very well and know where he comes from will be talking later but after the fact. Just like those that know Tinubu comes from Iragbiji never said a word until he became the Governor of Lagos State. By the time his friends and those he grew up with tried to expose him, they had become political foes and most people did not take them serious anymore. Oyinlola, the past Governor of Osun spoke out but after the fact.
Now that Tinubu’s greed is no more the pressing issue for Yoruba in Lagos State but the fear of Igbo candidate. They must remember Osun State. The salaries of civil servants have not been paid but some arears were paid just before their elections. Suddenly all the great initiatives of Governor Aregbesola are no more propagated or implemented by unpaid civil servants. The state is broke, even worse off now than before the election.
Where has all the money gone? Well, Tinubu got paid! Aregbesola has no more money to implement his programs. It must be said in fairness, that Aregbesola is very conscientious and passionate about his State. But no matter how good you are, if you follow bad company as a leader, it will hurt the people you care about. Tinubu does not give one heck of a damn, as long as he gets paid. Just wait until Ambose gets in, Lagos State will even pay more to Tinubu.
But note that when Yoruba create a Frankenstein like Tinubu, you never know when he is coming back to bite you. You may have left your duty for Buhari to tame. Therefore, it does not matter anymore where Ambose comes from. He is a Nigerian. Yoruba may be disappointed that any Nigerian can rule Lagos, not only any Yoruba. After all Lagos is a “No Man’s Land” they say.
Written by Obinna Akukwe The multi-billion naira gifts that the ruling party sharedto all manners of groups to purchase endorsement for the incumbent Nigeria’sleader Goodluck Jonathan should be returned, if the thieves who collected themoney have any conscience at all. This money belongs to the Nigerian people andthose who induced the outgoing president to give bribes for votes at theexpense of the suffering masses of Nigeria should return them before the fireof God fails on their lives. Leading the pack of those who scammed Goodluck Jonathan andthe PDP of billions of naira is the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Thisbody allegedly collected N35 billion naira from Jonathan’s cronies on thepretext of sharing such to pastors, priests and ministers all over Nigeria tolabel opposition candidate Buhari an Islamist, and ask their church members notto vote for them. Happily, some of us, with the help of some priests, pastors,reverends, were able to silently diffuse the lies and declare those thatcollected the money agents of Baal and servants of Balaam. Senior gospel ministers in Abuja and environs believe thatN35 billion naira was released from ‘the villa’ but only N10 billion naira wasdeclared. They want to know what happened to the remaining N25 billion naira. While othersespecially in the South were told that it was N10 billion naira, the oppositionparty put the figure at N6 billion. However, the money shared to pastors, whichwas monitored from various sources, was above N10 billion naira, includingthose reserved for ‘super men of God’. Whosoever collected the N35 billion bribesshould return the excess change that remains. This body is led by Pastor AyoOritsejafor. The Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) was alleged to have alsocollected their share of the ruling party bribe. They were alleged to havecollected N12 billion naira meant to ensure that in remote villages, Jonathanwas given enough votes spread around the North to get the mandatory 25 percent.A week after the postponement of theFebruary 28th polls, crisis broke out among leaders of JNI, wherethey accused their leaders of declaring only N5billion out of the N12 billionnaira alleged bribe. JNI is led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Abubakar Saad .Thosewho collected the money on the behalf of JNI should return such. A faction of Ohanaeze Ndigbo was allegedly given N5 billonnaira which infuriated the Igbo intelligentsia and out of disappointment thattheir leaders have sold them again, the Igbo Delegates Assembly (IDA) in the 19northern states and Ohanaeze Ndigbo in the 19 northern states also refused toendorse Jonathan. The first tranche of the N5 billion naira bribes was sharedat Chelsea Hotel Abuja on the night of January 12th while the secondtranche was shared at Ohanaeze Secretariate on the 3rd of Februaryamidst serious fracas. The sharing formula has been condemned by Igbo leadersand Ohanaeze Chieftains including Chief Chekwas Okorie, Chief MbazullikeAmechi, Chief Raph Obioha, Dr Dozie Ikedife among others This body is led byChief Gari Igariwey. They should return the balance not shared to the Nigerianpeople. Afenifere, having been informed by their Ohanaezecounterparts that there is excess money to loot, went for Jonathan’s jugularand they allegedly collected N9 billion naira. An infuriated Governor Fasholaof Lagos, in reaction to the bribes said that ‘the South-west leaders betrayedthe Yorubas because of money, saying the money “is blood money. Posterity willjudge them for that action,” Their money for endorsement stance also broughtcondemnation from various Yoruba leaders. This body is led by Pa Fasoranti.They should return the balance of the bribe back to the people. The two factions of Oodua Peoples Congress were settled withextra billions of naira which nearly caused problems between them before PDPsettled the money sharing rancor. Reports have it that the two factions weresettled with N3 billion naira each. They justified the loot by unleashingmayhem on Lagosians ahead of the polls. Please return the unspent balance back tothe Nigerian people. This group is le by Dr Frederick Fasheun and Mr GaniyuAdams. Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign States of Biafra(MASSOB) having gotten hint of the OPC billion naira bonanza, promised to helpthe ruling party sack Prof Jega of INEC, and they collected their own billionsof naira. They spent a few millions on protest and thuggery and ran to the bankwith the rest. The National Publicity Secretary of APC, Lai Mohammed put themoney shared to these three militias at N9 billion naira. According to LaiMohammwed “N9bn was recently paid out to the OPC, MOSSOB and a few others toscuttle the polls”. This sum is too much for some groups of thugs. Pleasereturn the unspent back to the people. This group is led by Chief RaphUwazurike .When Jonathan’s men saw that defeat was imminent, followingthe postponement of the polls earlier scheduled for February 28th, theyallegedly mobilized over$ 5 billion dollars through Nigeria’s oil minister,Diezani Madueke with the purpose of bribing traditional and religious leadersof Northern extraction. To this effect, and from my estimate, close to N500 billionnaira was shared in the19 northern states, especially North East and NorthWest. ,Malams, Emirs and notable politicians in the north smiled to the banks. However, the mood ofchange was too hot for them to woo voters. The propaganda that Buhari may diein office did not convince the northern masses to give Jonathan a secondchance. This money was shared mostly in dollars and it helped shore up the priceof the naira to dollars. The balance running into billions of naira should bereturned to Nigeria’s coffer because poverty is too much. While northern traditional rulers and politicians got overN500 billion naira, their Yoruba counterparts got over N200 billion withinthree weeks of Jonathan’s financial bonanza. Oba’s and other politicians were assembled andgiven dollars, between $ 100,000 to 500,000 dollars were given, depending onstatus. PDP Chieftains also stole Jonathan silly“ Garba Shehu, APC Campaign spokesman, fearing that the excessmoney can bring about victory for Jonathan said that “President Jonathan hasbeen criss-crossing Nigeria giving an average of N50 million each to traditionalrulers, most especially in the South West and the Northern parts of Nigeria.This week, the President’s campaign money is being shipped to the North.Letters in English and Hausa backed by millions in cash are being dispatched towilling rulers in the region.“Religious leaders, trade unions, youths organizations,professional bodies, entertainers are not ruled out of the money sharingjamboree of President Jonathan,” At least, those in the South West tried to deliver their states,justifying part of the loot. But N200 billion naira for few persons is toomuch. Let them return the balance unspent ho help alleviate poverty in theland. . Some traditional rulers from Igbo land, hearing about thebazaar in the North and South West, cried foul and they were assembled likechicken at Owerri and settled with another paltry sum of N5 billion naira atthe last minute. These people did not betray Jonathan; they delivered, even thoughnobody voted for Jonathan in the South East on account of any Traditionalruler. Though the amount is small, and might have been spent on Emergency Ofalafestival, the remainder must be pooled together to alleviate poverty in theland. Another group of thieves known as Transformation Ambassadorsof Nigeria (TAN) and Goodluck Support Group (GSG) have already finishedspending whatever they scammed out of that unsuspecting President who trustedpeople who have not his interest at heart. These two groups between themselvesscammed Jonathan of over N100 billion naira. They also went on to scam othervarious groups, numbering about five thousand, who registered with them ofbillions of naira. A former governor of Anambrs State, Chief ChukwuemekaEzeife, though a Jonathan apologist, openly condemned the criminal tendenciesin TAN. They have already finished buying houses with the loot, however,whatever is remaining, should be returned, no matter how small. Poverty is toomuch in the land. EFCC recently arrested some members of GSG who hid hundredsof millions of naira in their houses. Capturing the extent of the Jonathan bonanza, APC claimedthat over a trillion was spent in few weeks. According to APC statement fromMallam Garba Shehu “We will like to bring to your attention and that ofNigerians how the President Goodluck Jonathan led