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Between Jonathan And Atiku

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The stage is set for the clash of the titans for the seat of the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria under the umbrella of the PDP. Burning issues in the polity, based on zoning, power shift, power rotation, exploitation and domination of minorities, resource control, federal revenue derivation has turned the contest to a North-South South struggle.

The Northern disposition of upholding the PDP zoning agenda, reinforced by their claim that the tenure of northerners as president is stiff and unfinished business, given the demise of late President Umaru Yara’Adua, who led for three years before given up the ghost. The emergence of politicians like Maj-Gen IBB, Atiku Abubakar, Shekarau etc. tend to endanger the chances of the northerners from grabbing the position. This motivated  the Adamu Ciroma-led NPLF to conduct the consensus election for all northern aspirants in PDP, in which Atiku  Abubakar emerged the winner. Now the question is, Atiku and Jonathan who does the cap fit?

Answering questions of this magnitude requires and unparalleled analytical ability of this two personalities, their political antecedents, their economic strength, strength of their campaign teams, people –oriented acceptability analysis, their current political form, the needs of the politico-economic entity Nigeria in the next four years.

Personality Analysis:

Atiku, Sarkin Turaki is a firm personality; he’s got guts, he’s a kind of person that goes for what he wants unmindful of whose ox is gored. He looks pretty hard, a bit rigid, and unlikely o favour a bargain against his conscience. He has a fighting spirit, dogged, as clearly seen in his face-off with OBJ, loves and lives a life of affluence, capital accumulation and continuous acquisition of properties. His ostentatious life outside the country, makes him so high an unapproachable capitalist in the eyes of his kinsmen, which makes his social life, popularity, degree of integration with the masses questionable. IBB proves to be a more down to earth politician than he is.

Jonathan is a gentleman in words and in action, a lecturer before he joined politics. He is a humane, lighter personality, who is willing to trade off some of his personal interest for the interest of peace, not over-ambitious, quiet, patient man. He is a kind of personality whose silence, calm disposition is quickly misconstrued by many, but he is on the contrary a pragmatic, rationale person in decision taking. Though he is not a kind of shouty politician, with much popularity, he has made millions of open and secret admirers and has few problems with his colleagues if any, actually favoured by the masses.

Political Antecedents:

Atiku has been a former governor of his state, a former vice president under OBJ, that’s his political antecedents in mainstream national politics. Jonathan Goodluck has been a former deputy governor of Bayelsa State under DSP Alamieyeseigha, a governor of the state, a former vice president under late president Umaru Yar’Adua, a former acting president and now the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Sarkin Turaki’s tenure as vice president of the country was marred with power tussle between him and his master OBJ, this led to his indictment by the EFCC on case of money laundering, siphon of government funds and misuse of office in the acquisition of many companies via his privatization policy during their regime. Struggling with the master and the powers that be, SARKIN TURAKI gained ground, had loyalist and has been fighting to fill the no I position of the country amidst the political tides. Now, he is back with the slogan “the man OBJ and EFCC could not stop” an eloquent testimony of his preparedness to break into piece all bars of iron and gates of bronze inhibiting his emergence as the president, including OBJ.

On the contrary, JONATHAN, have not had much scores to settle with his colleagues, masters in the game, he has almost prudently observed Robert Greene’s law no. 1, his 48 laws of power, “never outshines the master”. His trying times came when his master Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’s health crisis reached its peak. The state was in anarchy  for  5 months. He did not strategise to take over, he only sat down and watch the northern political juggernauts play their gimmicks. But if GOD propose who can dispose? Others championed the course that made him acting president, not that he hadn’t the strength to go for it, but he wasn’t ambitious.

Economic Strength:

An unbiased analysis, in the declaration of assets of Jonathan before assuming the position against Atiku’s current financial state. Atiku is more financially robust than Jonathan.

Campaign Strength:

Atiku’s campaign organization which has its branches in almost all the states of federation with its headquarters at No 1 Luanda Crescent Off Adetokunbo Ademola Crescent Wuse 2, Abuja parades professionals, sophisticated, highly equipped staffs, volunteers, analyst, prominent politicians working round the clock. Spearheading  his campaigns are persons of the caliber of Senator Ben Obi, Mr Chris Mammah, Dr Adeolu Akande, Garba Shehu, Bashir Yussuf, Prof Gidad Maxwell, Dr Udenta with a host of other fellows integrated from four campaign organizations of four northern aspirants.

They have succeeded in securing Atiku a successful return to PDP. A waiver to contest the position of the presidency which OBJ has incessantly denied him in the platform of PDP, and they also helped him emerge as consensus candidate of the North in PDP via NPLF.

Jonathan campaign team parades men like Ambassador Dalhatu Sarki Tafida, Sully Abu, Dr Godsday Orubebe, Mike Omeri, Dr Saidu Samaila Sambawa, Mrs Biodun Olujuna, Abubakar Muazu et.

From all indications, sources gathered that though other professionals are said to be at work for Jonathan’s, the level of proficiency, hardwork, dedication in Atiku’s camp is far more greater than what is available in Jonathan camp.

Prime Movers Behind These  Men:

For Atiku, rpime movers like Mallam Adamu Ciroma, Alex Ekwueme, Chief Matthew Mbu, Chief Tom Ikimi, Major Gen. IBB, Aliyu Gasau, Governor Bukola Saraki, Mr Bashir Yussuf Ibrahim, Sabo Abdulahi and many more.

For Jonathan, his movers are Maj Gen OBJ, Gov Godswill Akpabio, Sen David Mark, Speaker Bankole, Tony Anenih (Mr Fix It). The man that said that there is no vacancy in Aso Rock. Many other governors, ministers, house of rep and senate members seeking re-election.

The war of words between these two sects of political groups has taken another dimension since the emergence of Atiku as the Northern consensus candidate, coupled with his campaign slogans which depicts his violent pride over his achievement of returning to the PDP, securing a waiver to contest amidst strong opposition from the PDP Board of Trustee chairman, OBJ.

This is a game, perceived by Adamu Ciroma as the struggle for the maintenance of the politico-economic containment of the Northern hemisphere in the nation, through its renowned Mafia. A battle by Atiku against the bewitchment his intelligence, human right to contest and win by claims of unquestionable political hegemony of Obasanjo and a total war against the insurmountable nature of the power of incumbency with Jonathan. Who wins this war?

Their Current Political Form

Atiku is just a citizen of Nigeria, currently without any political portfolio, but who strongly believes that with his wealth and former political structure by him, he can move mountains. Goodluck Jonathan is currently the president of the country.

What Nigeria Needs In The Next Four Years.

Nigeria needs political stability, Nigeria needs economic stability in the form of increase in Government revenue, high per capita income, economic restructuring to aid equitable distribution of the nation’s resources. Nigeria needs creation of employment opportunities for graduates and everybody seeking employment, Nigeria needs relative price stability, inflow of foreign direct investments and a total stop to money laundering and capital flight. Nigeria needs a drastic reduction of salaries of lawmakers, by at least 30%, use it to finance unemployment benefits for people unemployed. The question is who is in a better position to make these things happen?, Jonathan or Atiku?

Conclusion

In the personality analysis, I think Atiku’s personality would be utility oriented in times of taking hard decisions, in matters of war and peace to protect the territorial integrity of the nation. On the other hand I think Nigerians who prefer the soft person in Jonathan, who can still reconsider his stand for the interest of his people. This can be seen in his withdrawal of his ban on Super Eagles, football in Nigeria after a poor outing in South Africa considering the consequences of the FIFA hammer on the future of upcoming talents and the happiness of Nigerians. On that paraphernalia we give it to Jonathan.

On the political antecedents and experience, from the analysis above, Jonathan has occupied more positions in the smallest period of time than Atiku, also having few or now personal issues with his colleagues during his stay in those offices gives him an edge on that. Judging from their economic strength, Atiku is more prepared for the battle than Jonathan with respect to their equity capital. On their campaign strength, Atiku steal leads Jonathan given the information symmertry, cohesion, dedication, hardwork, connectivity among his group and their successes so far.

On the men behind them, Atiku’s men are majorly veterans in the game, the Northern mafia with a lot of experience. It is still very difficult to undermine the strength of people like OBJ, Tony Anenih on the side of Jonathan, but what makes this struggle classical is the personal challenge between OBJ and Atiku. OBJ’s statement “I dey laugh o” and Atiku’s campaign group’s response “we dey laugh too o” on that standpoint it’s a 50-50 game.

With respect to their current political form, Jonathan is excellently on top. Finally giving an unbiased analysis of the needs of Nigerians against the potentials of these aspirants, for political stability to remain Jonathan is the man, because the emergence of Atiku would mean a total dismantling of the Niger Delta which is inimical to capital inflows in form of FDI (Foreign Direct Investments), FPI (Foreign Private Investments), which would affect availability of jobs and reduce government revenue through potential taxes from these firms.

For economic restructuring and equitable distribution of income wouldn’t work with Atiku given his orientation towards privatization of companies, capital accumulation, acquisition of properties. Given the position of Karl Marx in his Das capital concerning capital accumulation, he said” accumulation of capital, wealth on one sie of the pole is at the same time accumulation of poverty, misery, agony of starvation on the other side of the pole.”

On the case of price stability, this is an index that is usually transmitted in Nigeria through movements in prices of petroleum products, especially fuel, but since Goodluck Jonathan became the president, he quickly declared for sale our oil in northern reservoir, this has made the supply of the commodity more than its demands, a singular reason that can make any Nigerian vote for him, this stability in the internal price of petrol has reinforced stability in other goods and services in the country, on this standpoint Jonathan is favoured. The last but not the least is the government revenue. Crude oil contribute 75% of Nigerian revenue and all the crude oil that sustains the country is drilled from the Niger Delta area, who have been crying out since 1960 of the domination, exploitation of the government on the area without corresponding development strides for the goose that lays the golden egg. Now, by an act of God, one of their sons manages to be at the helm of affairs of the nation and someone from the same north that has been ruling the country for years wants to outwit him. The consequences are at our tips, no more oil drilling which implies no more money for the economy, any attempts to use force on them metamorphoses into a holy war and finally a possible disintegration of the country, but we don’t pray so.

This is just a personal opinion.

Egege Justice

 

Justice Egege

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Politics

Still On Security Votes

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When Mr Ibrahim Magu, the Acting Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), spoke at the induction programme for returning and newly-elected governors, he did not mince words in accusing governors of misusing security votes.
He alleged that some governors deliberately fuelled insecurity in their states just to collect more money as security votes.
He noted that some of the governors “now covertly promote insecurity as justification to inflate their security votes.”
Magu also alleged that there was a link between corruption, banditry and terrorism.
His allegations were contained in a paper, titled,  “Imperative of Fighting Corruption/Terrorism Financing in Nigeria.’’
Magu told the session that a debate on the legality of security votes enjoyed by the governors was ongoing.
“We have also seen evidence of theft of public resources by some state governors,  cashing in on the insecurity in their states.
“Insecurity has also offered the required oxygen for corruption to thrive as evident in the $2.1bn arms procurement scandal involving top military commanders both serving and retired.”
A study carried out by the University of Nigeria, agreed with Magu on the abuse of security votes.
The study is titled “Legitimising Corruption in Government: Security Votes in Nigeria.’’
It was authored by  Obiamaka Egbo, Ifeoma Nwakoby, Josaphat Onwumere  and  Chibuike Uche, of the  Department of Banking and Finance, University of Nigeria.
“The tendency among Nigerian politicians, particularly the executive arm at the various levels of government, to manipulate security issues for political and economic gains is widespread.
“This has been fuelled by the abuse of security votes, an ‘opaque fund’ reserved for the executive which is not appropriated, accounted for or audited through the legislature.
“ Sometimes, a state governor could (mis)appropriate as much as N100 million monthly as security vote.
“Such slush funds are channelled into the secret funding of militias and gangs of government enforcers.’’
The appropriateness or otherwise of security votes was at the centre of discourse at the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC)  second Quarterly Anti-Corruption Policy Dialogue Series.
The dialogue focused on Accountability for Security Votes.
ICPC Chairman, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, who spoke, agreed with Magu that security vote is an easy and attractive route for stealing public funds.
According to him, it is also a veritable avenue for abuse of public trust, escalation of poverty and underdevelopment and ironically the escalation of insecurity.
“It has pushed up insecurity somehow, that is not to say we do not need security vote.
“In the 2019 budget as appropriated, for example, 162 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) had money appropriated for them as security votes.
“These MDAs span boards, centres, committees, ministries, commissions, councils, hospitals, schools, law enforcement agencies, obviously the armed forces and intelligence offices.”
Owasanoye said that the number and categories of MDAs given security votes, suggest that something was wrong with the parameters for determining those who are entitled to security votes.
“This then provokes some question as which MDAs are entitled to security votes and how should security votes be accounted for?
“It is clear from our present approach, that we do not have any rational principle being followed at the moment.
“If there is one, I will be happy that my ignorance will be diminished and removed,” he said.
The chairman explained that it was clear from the current approach to budgeting for security votes, that no principle was being followed.
He said that this is clear from the quantum and range of sums appropriated in the 2019 budget for MDAs, where the lowest amount for security vote was N3,600, while the highest amount was N4.20 billion.
“What on earth can anyone do with N3, 600, and I am not talking of an individual.
“If the N3, 600 is the security vote of an individual, most likely it will take him from somewhere to his house. That is the safest place to be.
“But what on earth can an agency do with N3, 600 as security vote, as appropriated?”
With this disparity, what then should security votes be used for?
Owasanoye opined that it was pertinent because MDAs with budgets for security votes also have separate budgets for other security related matters, such as the production or procurement for security or defence equipment.
“In the case of defence and core security and law enforcement agencies, some of these items and the votes are undoubtedly justified. But the quantum and use is open to scrutiny,” he said.
He, however, explained that it was apparent that security vote was not for any of those other security items mentioned, because they were often separately covered in the budget.
“There is the erroneous impression that security votes are not being accounted for with our recent experience as a country, that almost lost a geo-political zone to insurgency.
“Whereas billions of dollars were appropriated for security, but diverted by corruption to matters like engaging prayer warriors demands that we reflect very closely and ask ourselves whether we can afford to continue on the same trajectory of lack of accountability for security votes.
“We need security votes; we should give the votes to those who deserve to have security votes and we should demand some framework for accountability,” he said.
On his part, Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, said that security vote was subject to audit and “if it is not done, it is wrong”.
He said that the votes were not votes for defence and were also not meant for the armed forces.
“Strictly speaking, if you look at security votes in the true context, it is not meant to tackle insecurity.
“We have funding for Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces. If you have budget lines for these services and organisations, then why security votes?
“However, it can be used for security; but it is not meant to solve insecurity,
“There are other votes which are constitutional which include the contingency fund,” he said.
Buratai explained that even though there was security vote that was generally applied, it must follow the Public Procurement Act 2007.
The chief of army staff said that if security vote was made constitutional and proper guidelines set out on utilisation, the issue will be laid to rest
Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, described  security vote as the budgetary or extra budgetary allocation ostensibly for security, received by the President, Governors and Local Government Chairmen.
This allocation he said, is spent without legal obligation to account for how it is spent.
Fayemi said that security votes have not been widely accepted by citizens, because of the assumption that such funds are being abused by state governments.
He said that the problem really is not about the security vote but about its usages and the character of the people administering it.
“Security votes attract more attention because of the seemingly non accountable nature of the expenditure under the budgetary provision.
“There is widespread belief that the appropriation of security votes in Nigeria is unconstitutional and thus illegal.
“This is not correct because in the Nigerian constitution, the executive is entrusted with the responsibility of preparing a budget which is then sent to the legislature for ratification.
“The fact that huge amount of monies are routinely being budgeted and expended in the name of security vote does not make it an illegal practice
“The act of approving any sum allocated to such a heading, covert or overt, legalises the concept. The insinuation that such money is not budgeted for is not true,” Fayemi said.
Like Magu said, the legality or otherwise of security vote is ongoing, and must continue until it properly defined. The earlier the better to avoid misuse and diversion of public funds in the guise of security vote.
Sharang writes for the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

 

Naomi Sharang

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Politics

Grudges Not Healthy For Our Music Industry –PMAN President

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Voombalistic Uncle P, National President, Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN), says grudges among Nigerian musicians is not healthy for the music industry.
Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN) is an umbrella organisation that guides, protect and promotes the interests of musicians in Nigeria.
Dr Obi Okwudili Casmir, popularly known as Voombalistic Uncle P, who spoke with our source in Lagos, advised musicians to shun grudges to avoid resentment in their relationships.
“Grudges amongst musicians is not healthy for our industry and will only create further resentment in their relationships as musicians and may affect what we represent or present to the public.
“Being emotionally immature when composing or writing your songs means you can not control your emotions or reactions towards your colleagues.
“Having quarrel is a fact of life amongst best of friends but you don’t take it too hard on yourselves because it might graduate to what happened in the case of 2pac and Biggie.
“I advise we settle our differences internally if we have any, rather than taking them to the studio and then streets/homes. That doesn’t project us in good light,” he said.
It was gathered that Nigerian rappers Jude Abaga popularly known as M.I and Olanrewaju Ogunmefun (Vector) are currently expressing grudges against each other in songs which had been trending on social media platforms.
The grudge, which reportedly began over supremacy in the rap category of the music industry, has being described as publicity stunts, while some saw it as real disagreement between the two rappers which had been brewing over the years.

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Politics

Rescind N5,000 Fee For National ID, PDP Tells Buhari

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),  yesterday,  charged President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC)  to recind the N5,000 fee for national identity cards immediately.
The PDP in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary,  Kola Ologbondiyan,  said the new fee is repressive and an attempt by the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government to further impose hardship on the citizens.
The opposition party noted that the idea of an ID card fee is offensive to the sensibilities of Nigerians, as it amounts to stripping Nigerians of their constitutional rights in their own country..
“Our party holds that issuance of national identity card to citizens, as an obligation of the state to its citizenry, must remain free as established by the PDP. The N5000 levy must be immediately rescinded before it triggers restiveness in the nation.
“Already, the fee is generating tension in the country as Nigerians have continued to register their rejection in the public space.
“The PDP notes the increasing penchant of the APC administration to impose all sorts of taxes on suffering Nigerians.”
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has signed five bills passed by the 8th National Assembly into law, Mr Umar Yakubu, his Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly Matters (House of Representatives) has said.
Yakubu who made the announcement at a news conference last Wednesday in Abuja, said that the Acts were to ensure good governance in the country.
The bills include the Obafemi Awolowo University Transitional Amendment Act, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi Amendment Act, the University of Maiduguri Amendment Act, the National Fertiliser Quality Control Act and the Nigerian Council of Food Science and Technology Establishment Act.

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