Weekly political notes


Imo Assembly Commences Impeachment Proceedings Against Deputy Governor
The Imo State House of Assembly on Tuesday, commenced impeachment proceedings against the state deputy governor, Eze Madumere.

The House accused the deputy governor of gross misconduct.

Madumere had fallen out with Governor Rochas Okorocha over 2019 succession matters. Okorocha, an All Progressives Congress (APC) governor, is backing his son in-law, Uche Nwosu, against Madumere, who is also in the race.

The deputy governor was said to have pitched tent with another faction to wrest control of the APC from Okorocha during the party’s ward, local government and state congresses.

But the Federal High Court recently cancelled the congresses, following a suit by some supporters of Okorocha and ordered fresh ones.

Chaai, Weekly Political Notes has consistently maintained that with the dynamics of Nigerian politics, Imo APC crisis cannot be said to be over, until it is over. The deputy governor’s impeachment move is obviously a continuation of the battle for the soul of APC in Imo between Okorocha and the forces against him.

Before now, Okorocha’s political enemies, which include his estranged ally and deputy, Madumere had upper hand in the battle, having outsmarted Okorocha in the state congress to install their loyalists as party officials.

But at the party’s national convention, Okorocha bounced back by ensuring that his lackey, Emmanuel Ibediro defeated preferred candidate of his opponents, Senator Osita Isunazo to emerge National Organising Secretary of the party. Isunazo and his cohorts protested, but nothing meaningful happened.

Since then, the cookies appeared to be crumbling faster for Okorocha’s enemies with the court judgment that nullified the state congress, followed by the impeachment move against the deputy governor, Madumere.

With this development, Okorocha and his supporters have once again taken control of the party in the state. But whether this will give Okorocha leverage to install his preferred candidate and son-in-law, Uche Nwosu as his successor in 2019 will be known in the days ahead.

That Okorocha has the last laugh now does not mean that the battle for soul of APC in Imo is over. It is only after the 2019 elections that the victors and the vanquished of the battle would be known.

PDP Coalition Act Of Opportunism, Says Balarabe Musa
Former Governor of Kaduna State, Balarabe Musa, says the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by 39 political parties and groups ahead of the 2019 general elections is an act of “opportunism”.

Musa said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday.

He said, “I don’t think a coalition like this which is opportunistic will be able to defeat the governing party, that is the All Progressives Congress (APC).”

Musa, who is the national chairman of Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), said his party was not part of the coalition.

“Remember, the reason for coming together is simply because they have lost the opportunities for sharing power.

“It is not because of anything which they can do, which APC didn’t do. No, it is not because, they have a different ideological position.

“There is no fundamental difference between them and the APC; they are just an electoral gang to defeat the APC. I don’t think the coalition is enough,” he said.

Balarabe said it all. The coalition is indeed an act of opportunism. Balarabe’s view is not different from that of many Nigerians.

The haste in which the MoU was signed is selfish and suspicious. The major objective is to wrest power from APC by all means. It is not necessarily about good governance, employment, basic amenities and security, which the APC government has failed to adequately provide. Now, If APC could be described as a party of strange bedfellows, how could one describe the new coalition, multitude of strange bedfellows?

But despite this, the country needs a strong opposition to keep APC on its toes ahead of 2019 polls. It is hoped the coalition will stick together till 2019, and not collapse like that of the Second Republic. If not for want of time, merger of the opposition parties would have been better than hurried coalition. This is because in a coalition, there is high tendency for parties to pullout or sellout, when it matters most.

Herdsmen Attacks: It’s Unfair To Accuse Buhari Of Killings–Gowon
A former Head of State, Yakubu Gowon, says it is unfair to blame President Muhammadu Buhari for the incessant killings arising from conflict between farmers and herders in parts of Nigeria.

Gowon, who was Nigeria’s military ruler between 1966 and 1974, said he believed the President has no hand in the killings.
“The Buhari I know will not be involved in such things. Certainly, no leader will encourage his people to be killed.”

He spoke on Tuesday, at the Plateau State Government House, when he paid a condolence visit to Governor Simon Lalong on the resurgence of violence in the state.

According to a statement by the state commissioner for Information and Communications, Yakubu Dati, Gowon decried the past practice of releasing arrested suspects without their trial.

With due respect to Gowon, apart from being entitled to his opinion, Gowon should be reminded that nobody blamed Buhari as a person for the killings. Rather, Nigerians blamed Buhari’s government for failing to stop the killings. This is because the primary constitutional responsibility of government is to protect lives and property of citizens.

Obviously, Buhari’s government has failed in this regard and deserves every condemnation, if necessary blackmail. Is Gowon saying that Nigerians should keep quiet and applaud Buhari’s government for failing to protect them from attacks by herdsmen?

Instead of playing to the gallery and speaking belatedly in defence of Buhari’s government, Gowon, who is also an elder statesman should speak truth to power, by urging Buhari government to sit up. He should remind Buhari that he was not elected to preside over a killing field or animal kingdom, where cows are more protected than human lives. He should tell Buhari that the killings are tearing the country apart and that there is no way human life can be compared with that of cows.

Ugwuanyi’s Supreme Court Victory Is A Prayer Answered, Say Enugu Monarchs
The Enugu State Council of Traditional Rulers said the Supreme Court verdict in favour of State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s election is a prayer answered by God.

Chairman of the Traditional Rulers Council, Igwe Lawrence Agubuzu, said this in a statement, issued in Enugu on Tuesday.

According to Agubuzu, the Supreme Court’s judgment was in the best interest of the state.

He said: “We, as the custodian of customs, tradition and peace of our people, enjoin all indigenes of the state to join hands with the performing governor of the state to keep and consolidate on the peace in the state.”

Celebrations and merriments that trailed the judgment across the state was a clear indication that Ugwuanyi’s victory was a peoples’ prayer answered. From the old to young, politicians to core professionals, residents of the state were extremely happy about the governor’s victory.

The victory came after a protracted legal battle between Ugwuanyi and his kinsman, Senator Ayogu Eze. Such is capable of derailing any government in power, but while the legal tussle lasted, Ugwuanyi was not distracted.

He focused on providing good governance, enthroning peace and development. This endeared him to the people, especially at the grassroots. His popularity soared in the state and beyond. So, it was not a surprise that the traditional rulers described Ugwuanyi’s victory as prayer answered.

Buhari’s Government Most Corrupt Since 1999 – Atiku
A former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has described the government of President Muhamadu Buhari as the most corrupt since 1999.

Abubakar spoke in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital on Tuesday, while addressing supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the state secretariat of the party. He was in Ebonyi to continue his campaign to emerge PDP presidential candidate in 2019.

He said the only achievement the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government can boast of is fighting corruption; but argued that fighting corruption is not the only responsibility of government.

Atiku spoke like a politician, who is seeking support of his party members to emerge presidential candidate in 2019. He told them what he felt they would like to hear. If not, how could Atiku with all his experience say that Buhari’s government is the most corrupt since 1999 without any evidence. What a generalisation!!! It is expected of a personality like Atiku to be specific and thorough in making such allegation.

Before raising such weighty allegation, fact and figures should be put forward to substantiate it. Atiku should know that leveling allegations is not a sure way to electoral victory. It goes beyond that. So, instead of dwelling on running the Buhari government down, Atiku should concentrate on telling Nigerians what he did as a vice president and what he intends to do if elected president.

Obasanjo Accuses APC Of Using Anti-graft Agencies To Witch-hunt Opposition
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Tuesday, accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of using the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other relevant agencies to witch-hunt and intimidate opponents.

Obasanjo alleged that some judges are already being intimidated; to prepare them to do the biding of the ruling party, in petitions that would arise from next year’s election.

He disclosed this in Abuja, at a colloquium titled Nigeria’s democracy: The journey so far and the role of women, which marked the 70th birthday anniversary of Mrs. Josephine Anenih, former minister for Women Affairs and Social Development.

Hmmm, This is a case of pot calling kettle black. Obasanjo lacks the moral authority to accuse any government of witch-hunting opposition with anti-graft agencies. This is simply because that was the stock in trade of Obasanjo’s government from 2003-2007. Some of Obasanjo’s political opponents, he used EFCC to hound out of office were later reinstated by court.

But this does not mean that there is no element of truth in his allegation against the APC-led government. It is only those who have something to hide that are afraid of witch-hunt. It is quite unfortunate that Nigeria is a clime, where an average person, especially a politician is a suspect and always has something to be afraid of.

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