The lid over political campaign moves to get President Umaru Yar’Adua re-elected in 2011 has been blown open. The president recently halted all shades of campaign, citing the need to concentrate on governance as motive behind his decision. In defiance of this presidential directive, promoters of this project, mostly the president’s henchmen and chieftains of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have commenced campaign for his re-election. Nwife, one of the arrow heads of the initiative denied an on-going campaign for re-election of the president, but confessed: “But if you ask me whether I want Mr. President to be re-elected, I will say, yes, because Nigeria has never had it so good. This is despite denials by those involved that their moves are not tantamount to re-election campaign for the president”. The political antecedents of these men, and the style adopted are reflective of the regular deceptive pastern of the president’s friends, super rich businessmen and political jobbers in the past at the corridors of power.
The re-election campaign is very hypocritical and an attempt to unduly outsmart the opposition when the political campaign whistle has not been officially blown. Curiously too, we are concerned within why (PDP) must push the president for another term, when nothing had worked in the country, more than two years after the president came on board.
In the first place, why we think President Yar’Adua is qualified to rule the nation if not for his imposition on Nigerians by President Olusegun Obasanjo who manipulated the votes of Nigerians in 2007. the president acknowledged this by admitting publicly in the early days of his administration that the election that brought him to power was flawed; hence his setting up of the electoral reform panel headed by retired Justice Mohammed Lawal Uwais.
So far, there is nothing on ground to show that president deserves a second term. His seven-point agenda merely exists on paper and appropriation, infrastructure level is zero, the roads are in a shambles, unemployment is soaring to high heavens, potable water remains elusive while insecurity looms large across the country.
Under developed democracy, the president’s poor performance would have attracted his resignation. He has travelled abroad on many occasions to put his health in shape, sometimes when the nation is facing challenges.
With a leader like president Yar’Adua, Nigerians don’t need anybody to remind us that we have remained too long in the comity of under developed country. With the huge lot left unattended to in the country due to leadership incompetence, allowing the president another term of four years, though legal, will not augur well for the country.
Dr. Charles Anosike a lecturer at Obafemi Awolowo University, said, “We now have more impoverished people walking on the streets today than in the past. Everything points to the fact that this administration does not have the panacea for remedying the country’s anomalies”.
“For running an incompetent government that has inflicted pains on the people and distress, the president does not deserve a second term. He should call his Lapdogs that are behind his re-election campaign to order”, he said.
“Take a look at the president’s Democracy Day’s address. It is instructive that half way into his four year tenure none of his promises in his seven point agenda have concretely materialised, they all seems to remain in the pipeline. The promised to generate or boost electricity supply, improvement of the road network, resuscitation of the of the moribund rail system and dredging of water channels, and the reinvigoration of the agricultural sector to ensure food scarcity, security of lives and property and rampage by criminals. “You could say that isn’t for lack of noble intention on the president’s past but, as have been often said, because the decay is deep-rooted and requires prolonged gestation in planning and effecting a remedy”. But the citizens in the interim are getting the raw deal and wondering what impact governance has. It marked the second year and of the administration of President Umaru Yar’Adua at the federal level and more than two-thirds of governors at the state level. Given our historical antecedents, these represents a testimony that our people have clearly shown their preference for democratic governance and an abiding faith in its transformative power.
You could say that this country earned in the last 10 years from her crude oil resource more than she did in all the previous years of independence, but this hasn’t rubbed off much on its citizenry. Prof. Dora Akunyili, has vigorously carried on with a campaign to rebrand Nigeria but how much of a bad product can you rebrand by changing the package without improving the content? But we have every cause to celebrate and defend this rule and ultimately grow it into a true democracy. Is it time to 2011 in order to roll out the drums and celebrate concrete accomplishments in national development, or time to complain about the published failure and wastages of the past or time to persuade masses loss of memory (amnesia) and simply look forward to deferred promises of the gains of nationhood.
Ucheonye Onyekachi is IT student from Anambra State University.
2023: A’ Court Seals Senate President’s Return Bid
The Court of Appeal in Abuja has affirmed Bashir Machina as the authentic candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Yobe North Senatorial District.
The court, on Monday, upheld the judgment of the Federal High Court sitting in Damaturu, Yobe State, which held that Senate President, Ahmad Lawan was not the APC’s candidate for Yobe North Senatorial District in the 2023 elections.
Justice Monica Dongban-Mensen, who presided over a three-man panel, gave the affirmation in an appeal by Lawan, challenging the decision of Justice Fadimatu Aminu of the Federal High Court Damaturu, which had on September 28, 2022, declared Machina as the winner of the primary election organised by the APC in May 2022, while Lawan opted to contest the presidential primary election organised by the APC on June 9.
The Federal High Court sitting in Damaturu had in September ordered the APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to recognise Machina as Yobe North senatorial candidate of the party.
The presiding judge, Justice Fadima Aminu, nullified the parallel primary election that produced Lawan on June 9, 2022.
The judge also ordered the APC to forward the name of Machina to INEC as the authentic winner of the primary held in May.
“In the final analysis, the conditions for the validity of primary elections were fulfilled in the election of May 28, 2022, which produced the plaintiff. The phantom election of June 9 2022 which produced the second defendant is hereby declared invalid in view of the outline provision of the law of the very primary election.
“Consequently, the plaintiff is hereby declared the validly elected candidate of the first defendant conducted on 28/05/2022 for the 2023 general election.
“The first defendant is hereby ordered to prepare the name and details of the plaintiff to the third defendant as its rightful candidate. This is my decision,” Aminu ruled.
The judgement come weeks after Machina distanced himself from the notice of withdrawal from the race which went viral.
The Tide source had on August 9, 2022, reported that INEC denied recognising Lawan and Senator Godswill Akpabio as senatorial candidates of the APC, respectively.
Both Lawan and Akpabio had contested the APC presidential primary. However, after losing, both of them were listed as senatorial candidates by the APC, but INEC refused to recognise them.
Recall that Lawan, Akpabio, and Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, had chosen to pick Senate tickets for Yobe North, Ebonyi South and Akwa Ibom North West senatorial districts respectively, after losing out at the presidential primary of the APC.
Ekiti Assembly Leadership Change, Rape Of Democracy – Ajulo
A Constitutional and Human Rights lawyer, Dr Kayode Ajulo, has described the impeachment of the Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Gboyega Aribisogan, as a glaring rape of democracy and an intentional violation of the rule of law.
Ajulo, in a statement signed by him, also, joined the league of leading legal luminaries in Nigeria to condemn the recent controversies over the leadership of the Ekiti State House of Assembly.
He said that “political players in Ekiti State should not allow selfish personal interests that brewed the sad commentary coming from Ekiti State constitute a great disservice to the State’s enviable records and indelible marks of honour to national building and development of the likes of Aare Afe Babalola, Chief Wole Olanipekun, Femi Falana, Dele Adesina, Dayo Akinlaja and other eminent citizens of the State.
Recall that the Ekiti State House of Assembly had on Tuesday, 15th November, conducted an election to choose a new Speaker following the demise of the erstwhile Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Funminiyi Afuye, on October 19, 2022.
The election had two members of the Assembly contesting and one Hon. Gboyega Aribisogan won and was duly sworn-in, having polled 15 votes as against the 10 votes of the other contestant, Hon. Olubunmi Adelugba.
However, the new Speaker was reportedly impeached and suspended with six others on the 6th day after swearing-in, even before he could start acting in his new role and the candidate who had contested against him, Olubunmi Adelugba, was announced the new Speaker.
Ajulo, who hailed Aare Afe Babalola, Wole Olanipekun, Femi Falana and other notable legal professionals from the State following their collective stance on the allegedly controversial change of leadership in the Assembly, also described the event as “a glaring rape of democracy and an intentional violation of the rule of law.”
The legal luminaries from the state, which include Aare Afe Babalola, Chief Wole Olanipekun, Dele Adesina, Olu Daramola, Femi Falana, Dayo Akinlaja, and Gboyega Oyewole, had described the event as “an act of illegality”, adding that the election that produced Hon. Olubunmi Adelugba was “unconstitutional and ridiculous”
They noted that election into the position of the Speaker of House of Assembly dictates that the present occupant of the office must be accorded fair hearing before being removed from the office, saying the alleged suspension and stoppage of the salaries of the Speaker and six other members of the House were misplaced, illegal, illegitimate, null and void.
Ajulo, in the statement, described the position of these foremost lawyers as a just fight to strengthen democracy and uphold the laws of the country, saying impunity is detrimental to the development of a nation.
“ You cannot underestimate the unmatchable contributions and services of these notable men to the development of legal profession and general growth of this country. “I have had the privilege of working with almost all the 6 of them. They do not engage in frivolities and their integrity is intact.
“They possess enviable track records in the legal profession and national development that precede their names. “ All of them had, at one time or another perfectly resolved more complex national issues. So, you do not expect them to fold their arms while this is happening at the backyard.
“It may be understandable if such a scenario had happened in some of the unsettled States of the country, but it is totally unthinkable to expect such in a peaceful, sophisticated , civilized, educated, egalitarian, land that parades Professors and notable men who have contributed to the development of this country in no small measure and don’t expect a strong reaction.
“I commend these noble jurists for their collective stance on this sheer and gory impudence on the symbol of democracy in their State, Ekiti.
“Delibrate violation of the rule of law must not stand in Ekiti State or anywhere else.”
Ajulo, therefore urged other notable figures in the legal profession to join in the call to end deliberate violation of the constitution of the country.
INEC Vows To Deliver Despite Attacks On Facilities
The Independent National INEC Vows To Deliver Despite Attacks On FacilitiesElectoral Commission (INEC) on Monday lamented the incessant attacks on its local government offices across the states.
This was as the commission said that though, it will recover losses from the attacks, it could not condone rising attacks on its facilities.
The INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, stated this during the visit of African Union Special Pre-Electoral Political Mission to the commission.
The Tide source had reported that within the space of three weeks, three attacks were carried out on local government INEC facilities in Ogun, Osun and Ebonyi states.
Yakubu however re-emphasised that the commission would not be deterred by the challenges, noting that it was ready to conduct a free and fair election.
“In the last three weeks, three of our local government offices were attacked in three different states across the country. The last attack happened yesterday. Though there are no casualties, quite a number of the materials acquired and delivered for the election have been lost.
“The good thing is that so far, we can recover from all the losses but it is a source of concern which should not be allowed to continue.
“We will continue to engage security agencies to make sure that our offices, personnel and facilities are protected ahead of the election. We may express some concern about the attack on these facilities but it will not deter the commission from conducting the election as scheduled.
“I want to assure you that yes, we may suffer little hitches here and there but overall, the commission is required to proceed with the election and in the manner that the law requires us to do using the deployment of technology for the purpose of accreditation and uploading of polling units results.”
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