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2019: Between Atiku And Buhari (II)

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Being the concluding part published last Wednesday
Section 131(d) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, qualifies any Nigerian for election to the office of the President, if he/she has been educated up to at least school certificate level, or its equivalent.
School certificate implies Ordinary Level. This therefore renders anyone that has attained or acquired education leading to a certification by the West African Examination Council (WAEC) or its equivalent eligible to contest for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
With Buhari’s military experience, the term, “or its equivalent” exonerated him, according to the argument of those who declared him qualified, based on his military trainings that saw him rise up to the rank of a General.
But the snag in all of these is the various razzmatazz associated with the entire certificate saga, both in 2015 and recently, up to the point at which the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) handed him an attestation.
When the Buhari’s certificate issue started initially, the explanation was that the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate, now known as Cambridge Assessment had the certificate, it later became that the military was in possession of it, and finally the WAEC attestation.
The question that readily comes to mind is why somebody of the President’s caliber found it difficult to state categorically, and hence resolve the mystery surrounding his certificate as soon as it came up? Who leaves originals of a certificate with any institution? Does this not amount to dishonesty, and hence corruption of sort?
Again, following the APC primaries in Imo State ahead of the 2019 Governorship election, the Governor of the State, Rochas Okorocha, has openly accused the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, of haven received a bribe of #400,000,000.00 million to make his (Okorocha’s) son-in-law as the party’s gubernatorial candidate, but failed to do so.
For all the attention it attracted, the issue was not considered to be significant to the Presidency.
This leads to the second key question, which is that given the fore-going, who between the two key contestants for the 2019 Presidency, in the fold of Atiku and Buhari possess the most testable credentials to lead Nigeria out of the abyss it currently is?
For very empirical reasons, the pendulum strikes towards Atiku. The reasons are numerous. For one, both Atiku and Buhari are Fulanies, understandably being the tribe fingered to produce the President, but Atiku is closest to all sections of the country, if for nothing else, through his businesses which are across the country. He therefore not only mixes freely, but also understands and appreciates the multi-ethnic nature of the country.
Another advantage Atiku has, going by the standard set in 2015, is that any government unable to better the lives of the populace in its first tenure should not be given a second chance. Nigerians believe that it is for the same reason Goodluck Jonathan was voted out in 2015. So, why should the goal post be adjusted to suit some persons?
Consequently, if the Buhari-led Federal Government has made life more unbearable than it was in 2015, after promising to make it easier for the populace from three months of coming on board, another person should rightly be tested. Atiku is only fortunate to be the best contender, in the same way Buhari was in 2015.
Again, even as Atiku has been unjustly painted to be “so corrupt”, he has never been found guilty. Many express the belief that putting the country in his hand could be the best thing that could happen to Nigeria. This, they say, is because with such corruption toga unjustly placed on him, he is more likely to do everything possible to disprove his accusers by turning the tide for a better Nigeria, especially with his business acumen and contacts as an international businessman.
The reasoning is that if Atiku can be so successful in business across the country and abroad, he is in a better position to apply the same dexterity and principles that earned him success in business in building Nigeria’s chequered economy.
There is also the esoteric belief acceptance of the “Atiku personality”, unarguably based on the belief that he is an achiever. This explains why even when they know him the way they say they do, those who want to succeed in politics still want him on their side. The only time they relate him with any negative toga is when he refuses to work with them.
On the other hand, if Atiku also fails to make any reasonable difference in the lives of the people, Nigerians still have the opportunity to remove him after four years, that is if the leaders will continue to be comfortable with a leader doing whatever he likes under the protection of the immunity clause, and he cannot be removed before his tenure expires.
The important thing is that it will be morally very wrong and suicidal to let a leader who has proven to have nothing better to offer the citizenry order than complains over the previous government, and words of deceit, to the point of telling Nigerians that the Government spends as much as #3.5 million to feed a prisoner, who is an acclaimed terrorist, in a month, when a worker who makes sacrifice for the growth of the country is paid #18, 000. 00 per month.
If for nothing else, it will begin to instill a feeling of true democracy in the polity: that the citizenry can after all still remove from power a leader who proves to be unsatisfactory in governance. Unless this is not the essence of democracy.

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Tribunal Affirms Ihedioha’s Victory

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The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal for Imo sitting in Abuja last Saturday affirmed the election of Governor Emeka Ihedioha of Imo State.
Delivering judgment, Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Mallami Umar-Dogondagi dismissed the petition of the candidate of the Action Alliance Party, Mr Uche Nwosu for incompetence.
In a unanimously decision, the three-member panel also struck out  the petition of the All Progressive Congress, APC candidate, Sen. Hope Uzodinma.
Three petitions were filed by the governorship candidates of the Action Alliance (AA), All Progressives Congress (APC) and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA),  asking the tribunal to nullify the election of Mr Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on the ground that he was unlawfully declared as the governor of the state by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The tribunal held that the three petitions challenging the declaration of Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) lacked merit.
The petitioners, challenged the emergence of the PDP candidate as winner of the March 9 governorship election on the grounds that the election was marred by irregularities.
The tribunal held that candidate of the Action Alliance, AA, Uche Nwosu, Ifeanyi Ararume of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA and  Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress, APC failed to establish their petitions against governor Ihedioha.
The tribunal held that the petitioners failed to discharge the burden of proof placed on them by the law.
Umar-Dogodaji stressed that Sen. Uzodinma of the APC was unable to prove his allegation that wrongful collation of results by INEC led to Ihedioha’s emergence as winner of the governorship election.
Recall that Senator  Ararume and  Nwosu had approached the tribunal to cancel the election on the grounds that the declared winner did not meet the mandatory 25 per cent in two third of the local government areas in the state.
On his part, Senator Uzodimma approached the tribunal and asked that he be declared the rightful winner of the election, based on non-inclusion of results from 366 polling units out of the INEC approved 388 units in the state.

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100 Days In Office: Wike’s Achievements Worth Celebrating -IPAC, Others

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As part of their assessment of Chief Nyesome Wike’s 100 days in office of his second term, the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) and Inter-Party Adversary Council in the state have said that govenor’s the achievements were worth celebrating.
The state Chairman of the SPN and Publicity Secretary of IPAC, Kukang Joseph gave the assessment during a live radio programme monitored by The Tide in Port Harcourt.
Joseph stated that it was no use engaging on unnecessary criticism all the time, noting that it was important to speak the truth when it is obvious, pointing out that IPAC was happy with the governor’s performance.
“As an individual, as a group and as IPAC, we are very happy with the governor’s performance. My assessment is 100 per cent for the Governor. He (Wike) has done well and his achievements in this 100 days in office of his second term was worth celebrating.
“It is needless engaging in unnecessary criticism all the time. I am here in a neutral capacity. Not for the All Progressives Congress (APC) or the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP). I will say it the way it is. During the last administration of the APC when they did well IPAC commended them.
“Now that we are under the PDP government, where the governor is doing well, we must give it to him. Who was not in this state to see the state of resident doctors in Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH). If you go back there now and see the welfare lift His Excellency has given to the doctors there, you will be amazed.
“Is it the General Hospital, Bodo in Gokana Local Government Area and in other places, I mean the man has done creditably and we must give it to him. I don’t buy into unnecessary criticism because of politics. The governor has done well in terms of Healthcare in Rivers State,” he stated.
On security, Joseph expressed happiness that the new security architecture ‘Operation Sting’ launched by the governor was yielding positive fruits, especially in the Ogoni area of the state.
“Like I said the governor was on point when he launched the new security architecture called ‘Operation Sting’. Let me take it from Khana, Gokana and that Ogoni axis. You recall that in the past two, three months, the security situation was so bad that if you go to churches in Bori, that is the central town of the Ogoni people, you will weep for the displaced persons as a result of what these boys have done and the suffering of the innocent people.

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Lawyer Urges Support For Wike Through Constructive Engagement

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A Port Harcourt-based legal practitioner, Barr Precious Dike, has urged Rivers people to support Gov Nyesom Wike in his effort at developing the state by constructively engaging him and proffering wise counsel as when due.
Barr Dike who made the call while exchanging views with The Tide in Port Harcourt, last week described the state executive as a listening leader who is always inclined to giving heed to useful counsel.
While acknowledging that the governor was well within his constitutional freedom to bid his time in the assembling of persons to form the state executive council, the lawyer said the governor’s for “dedicated and passionate” individual to form his full cabinet was taking too long to materialise.
“The state has many committed, competent and loyal people”, he said, arguing that the delay in the appointment of commissioners in the state was slowing down the developmental momentum that had become the hallmark sort of the government in the past four years.
Barr Dike noted that permanent secretaries were limited in the scope of their duties and therefore could not do as much as commissioners, adding that the “the state has to come up with an economic blueprint which would attract investors”.
The Ubima born legal practitioner encouraged Governor Nyesom Wike not to lose stream in his drive that earned him many accolades including the sobriquet “Mr Projects” in his first term in office while urging him to turn his attention to executing legacy projects in the riverine communities in the interest of even development of the state in his second tenure.
“It would be fair that major infrastructural development are taken to the riverine areas, especially road and educational facilities”, he said, emphasising that the governor needs the cooperation and support of all Rivers people without distraction for him to fully realise his developmental agenda for the state in record time.

 

Tamunoiminabo Fyneface

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