Weekly political notes
PDP: We’re Are Finished If We Elect Wrong Chairman-Jonathan
Speaking, while receiving a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) national chairmanship aspirant, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, in his Abuja residence on Wednesday, former President Goodluck Jonathan, said PDP will be in serious trouble, if it elects the wrong people as national chairman and spokesman at its forthcoming convention.
Jonathan said the party should be careful in its choice of national chairman and national publicity secretary, because both positions are delicate.
“This time, we need a very courageous and vocal person to be the chairman. There are two positions that we must not make mistake on–national chairman and that of the national publicity secretary, because, I have worn the shoes before and I know where it pinches.
“If we make a mistake as a party and elect the wrong chairman and publicity secretary, we are finished. We need a very competent person and a team player.”While it is obvious that Jonathan spoke out of experience, it appears he is not doing enough to ensure that history does not repeat itself. As the immediate past president of the country and leader of the PDP, much was expected of him at the peak of the leadership crisis that rocked the party for long. He decided to play the ostrich for too long and intervened late when the crisis has became messy.
From his actions and inactions ahead of the PDP’s forthcoming convention, it seems Jonathan wants to toe the same line again. It is not enough for him to say that PDP must make best choices in the convention, it behoves him to ensure that the best candidates emerge. What Jonathan should do now is to put his feet down and ensure that due process is adhered to, from campaigns to the December convention.
I’ll Never Be Involved In Party Politics Again-Obasanjo
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Tuesday said Nigeria needs a strong ruling party and a strong opposition party to check the government for democracy to thrive. Obasanjo said this while speaking after he hosted the Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Ahmed Markafi, at Green Legacy Resort, Abeokuta.
The former President, who restated that he has ended partisan politics, however, said the decision does not affect his passion for Nigeria’s growth.
“I have said that publicly before and I will say it again: for our democracy to thrive and continue to be strong, we need strong party in government and strong party in the opposition. It has to be that way, otherwise the party in government will get away with impunity and that is not good for democracy,” he said.
Obasanjo as usual spoke in parable. He is a man of many parts. Not many Nigerians may love him, but he is one Nigerian leader the political class cannot avoid. Hate him or like him, he has the capacity to change things politically and otherwise. If you doubt, ask ex-president Goodluck Jonathan or even President Muhammadu Buhari. This is why his home has become a Mecca of sort for politicians, especially since he left office and disengaged from partisan politics.
Obasanjo should be, however, reminded that Nigerians know that with his status and connections, he does not need to play partisan politics to be relevant. It is a game Obasanjo knows how to play too well.
Governors Ask Buhari For Full Payment Of Paris Club Refund
Governors from the 36 states have asked President Muhammadu Buhari to approve the balance of 50 per cent Paris/London loan refund for them ahead the 2018 budget.The chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) and governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, stated this on Tuesday shortly after leading some governors to meet with the president.Yari said they were at the villa to remind Buhari of his directive in 2016 that 50 per cent of the money be paid to states, and the balance after reconciliation.
Nawaoo, these governors want full payment of Paris Refund, when majority of them have not transparently accounted for how they spent the previous payment, bailout fund and other funds that accrued to the states.Is it not the same Yari that EFCC alleged that he used proceed of Paris Fund to build five star hotel? Has he cleared his name? How many of these governors are paying workers’ salary regularly, except few of them? What is the morality behind their request for full payment when they are not ready to disclose how they spent it?
Buhari should help Nigerians, especially the helpless workers to demand for accountability and transparency in governance from the governors. This is seriously lacking in government, especially at the state and local council levels. Meanwhile, this development has justified the clarion call for restructuring as the country can continue with this feeding-bottle federalism.
I Owe No Apology For Inviting Zuma, Erecting His Statue-Okorocha
Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha has accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of not building the image of the state, as well as looting public treasury.The accusation comes days after he unveiled a huge statue in honour of South African president, Jacob Zuma.The decision has been widely criticised as an endorsement of the governance style of a president, who is facing corruption charges in his country.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Sam Onwuemeodo, on Tuesday said the PDP never attracted any meaningful personality to the state.“If it was in the days of PDP, schools and markets would have been shut down. And roads closed because President Zuma was coming. But none of such things was done because Rochas and his government have human face. The PDP for the 12 years they held sway never attracted any meaningful visitor to the State except PDP NEC members who were coming to loot the State,” the statement read.
Onwuemeodo in the statement also explained the rationale behind the governor’s gesture, saying that Zuma’s visit was principally to sign an MoU between Jacob Zuma Education Foundation and Rochas Foundation College of Africa.Okorocha’s response to a PR disaster he brought on himself is even worse. Why is Okorocha dragging Imo PDP into this affair, when the decision that brought in much affliction was his personal affair? It is shameful that Okorocha does not know that even in governance, you don’t allow your enemies to catch you unawares.
If Zuma’s visit was principally to sign an MoU between his school and that of Okorocha, at what point did Okorocha turn the event into state function, thereby wasting the state resources for his personal venture?This is a state where workers’ salaries are not paid regularly, but every government event is a fanfare and jamboree. Maybe soon Okorocha will erect the statue of Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe to complement that of Zuma in Owerri. Are you surprised? But what do you expect from Okorocha? After all, birds of the same feather flock together. Was it not the same Okorocha, who returned from US and allegedly erected a billboard in Owerri, bearing a picture he took while exchanging handshake with former US president, Barack Obama? Jester!
NNPC Probe: Intrigues As Wamakko Visits Aso Rock
A high-level intrigue appears to have enveloped the Senate planned probe of allegations Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, leveled against Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Maikanti Baru, with the suspension of a scheduled public hearing.
The Senate panel, raised to probe Kachikwu’s August 20, 2017 petition to President Muhammadu Buhari, where he accused Baru of insubordination and award of 25 billion dollar contracts without approval of the NNPC board, which he chairs, had summoned Baru to appear before it on Tuesday, but the hearing was put off at the eleventh hour.
Sources revealed that the Senate’s hearing was suspended following the Presidency’s invitation to the panel chairman and former governor of Sokoto State, Magatarkada Wamakko. Wamakko was at the Presidential Villa, on Tuesday, where he reportedly met with top-level officials of government. The meeting with Wamakko, it was gathered, came after an influential power broker close to the Buhari government also met with him on the issue. Sources alleged that meetings with Wamakko were to ensure that the Senate probe does not indict the presidency and Baru, in the NNPC controversy.
Saying that Buhari government’s fight against graft has been stymied by the cabal in his government is like stating the obvious. Unfortunately, Buhari appears helpless or compromised, while his wife, Aisha seems to have been sidelined also. Then, who is in charge, cabal or Buhari? Meanwhile, why the invitation of Wamakko to the Villa over the Senate planned probe of Baru and NNPC, when the presidency has denied that no contract was awarded and no money was missing in NNPC?
It seems all Osinbajo’s explanations, Baru’s statements and Kachichukwu’s recants are fabrications to hoodwink and bamboozle Nigerians. This development has affirmed Senator Shehu Sani’s postulation that the Buhari government applies deodorant to fight corruption when it has to do with his allies, but uses insecticide when it concerns his enemies. This development coming not too long after strange fire gutted Kachikwu’s house in Abuja calls for concern. Buhari and his men should know that Nigerians are not only watching them, they are taking notes of their misdeeds, considering that the day of judgment is drawing nearer. It is hoped that Buhari and his men know that they will not be in Aso Rock forever.
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