• Monday, March 04, 2024
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BusinessDay

Nigeria’s political turf in the eyes of observers

How political consciousness redefines artists’ popularity

LP and the enemy within

Naturally, the devil does not go for a worthless or useless soul. He targets precious souls. The holy book says the thief does not come in vain, but to steal, kill and to destroy. The Labour Party (LP), a once inconsequential political organisation that suddenly metamorphosed into a mega party in a matter of months, has suddenly become a target for destruction by certain elements that believe that allowing it could jeopardise their future political relevance.

Even before the general election, there were some crises believed to have been set off by extraneous forces. The party managed to weather the storm and went into the election.
Against the expectation of many, the party stunned many political juggernauts. Not only that Peter Obi, the presidential candidate performed beyond expectation at the poll, the party also recorded superlative showing in the governorship, National and state Assembly elections. The string of victories therefore, gave many members of the established parties goose pimples.

Since the election, the party’s presidential candidate has been pulled here and there by certain elements. The party itself is oscillating from one internal wrangling to another. The National Chairman, Julius Abure was taken to the gallows as it were. At the moment, the party has a court-imposed acting chairman. There are several factions. These factions have gone ahead to produce four different governorship candidates in Imo State for the November off season election.

The Federal High Court in Abuja had ordered Abure to stay away from parading himself as the national chairman of the LP a week after a ward in the Edo State chapter of the party suspended him over alleged anti-party activities.

Immediately after the court order, Lamidi Apata, the party’s national vice chairman, who had been accused of being sponsored by external forces, took over the party in an acting capacity.

Again, a High Court in Benin City also gave an order restraining anybody from removing the embattled chairman from his position in the party.

The party is no longer one but full of strange bed fellows. Akin Osuntokun, director-general of the LP Presidential Campaign Council, alleged such elements were sponsored from outside to destroy the party. He said that what is seen is the voice of Jacob but hands of Esau. He strongly believes that certain people parading themselves as leaders of the party were indeed moles whose aim is solely to destroy the party.

The question many people are asking now is: “Is LP’s crisis masterminded by outside influence or a case of self-destruct?”

Fear over the 10th Senate

Many Nigerians are already perplexed with some of the characters that are going to be part of the 10th Senate from June this year. Some of these characters brazenly got their tickets in manners that were not transparent. They were accused of intimidating those who had won their primaries to contest the election.

These were those who, ab initio, were pursuing presidential ambition and indeed bought their party’s nomination and expression of interest forms to that effect. While they were busy in Abuja pursuing their presidential ambition, senatorial primaries were held in accordance with the INEC timetable across the country. Names of those who emerged successful from that process had also been made public. But everything changed as soon as the “big boys” lost their presidential aspirations.

Having realised that they risked going into political oblivion or going into political wilderness for the next four years, they began to make dangerous moves, including getting their party to upturn the earlier primaries in the affected states. They used their money and influence to buy over the tickets and left in the cold those who had earlier won. These “lesser mortals” went to court, but they were ambushed; their voices were drowned as the judges completely knocked them out with “technicalities.” So, with the alleged connivance of the party leadership and the judiciary, INEC acquiesced to the daylight robbery.

Today, these men are DISTINGUISHED SENATORS-ELECT! Some of them are already angling for the position of Senate president. As this madness is going on in the country, some right-thinking members of the society are perplexed and wondering the type of laws these characters would be making. They are wondering if they qualify as law-givers in a sane society. So, many are sad that the people with no clean hands are going to equity.

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Umahi’s politics in Ebonyi

Until November 2020 when Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), he was seen as one of the finest politicians since 2015. He commanded the respect of some Nigerians, particularly on account of his infrastructural prowess in the state. A very brilliant individual also in terms of the quality training he received. But from 2020 the man has engaged the reverse gear.

In his efforts to be seen as a good man by the new political association he embraced, he began to utter words that were difficult to believe.

Many people who follow what he has done and how he carries himself since 2020 say that he plays politics of self-preservation. When he dumped the PDP, he claimed his reason was that the umbrella association had failed to reward the loyalty of the South East by zoning the presidency to the geopolitical zone. When some critics said he must have joined the broom party to seek its ticket, he vehemently denied. But Umahi was to later pick the N100million form to contest for the APC’s ticket.

For his ambition, he avoided any comment that could be seen as anti-Abuja, even when invading herdsmen were said to be slaughtering his people. He was even blaming his own people for the killings. Umahi is seen as one of those that used their power and influence to snatch away the senatorial ticket that had been won by some other people.
Again, he has continued in his hero-worship since he left PDP. For instance, although it is obvious that President Muhammadu Buhari has a different policy for the South East, Umahi has continued to declare that the President was a detribalised person and loved the Igbo passionately. Many have also wondered why he decided to stay put in the APC when it was obvious that the party was not looking towards South East for its presidential candidate.

A few days he said that his family members “conspired” against him and voted Peter Obi of the Labour Party in the presidential election on February 25. What the confession goes to prove is that even if Umahi had won the ticket of his party to contest the presidential election, he would not have won in a free and fair contest in his state.
The question is, now that he is retiring to the Senate, how may the interest of the South East be served?

Ding dong over 25% in FCT: All SANs must return to classroom!

Since the result of the Presidential election was announced and the winner declared, lawyers in the country have not allowed Nigerians to rest. Just a section in the nation’s Constitution has demystified all the learned gentlemen and ladies in Nigeria. Even the Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) who have over the years handled election-related cases appear to be stammering on the issue.

Is the problem with the English Language with which the section was written or what? All the lawyers have been playing jangolova over the 25percent issue on the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Is it just about playing politics or some lawyers are actually not sure what the section is saying? Does a SAN who claims he does not know the actual meaning of that section deserving of that big title- SAN?

The current 1999 Constitution as amended is generally referred to as Abdulsalamic Constitution; if it is so, does it mean that the former head of state, Abdulsalami Abubakar who is still in his element cannot help the country out of this logjam? Or does his contribution to peaceful Nigeria begins and ends in administering forms to presidential candidates to apen their signatures in the name of Peace Accord that was largely obeyed in breach by some key candidates? Or have all those who crafted or rejigged the Constitution joined their ancestors that none of them is stepping forward to tell Nigerians the true interpretation of the acrimonious section?

It is therefore, convenient to suggest that all those holding the title “SAN” should go back to the classroom to purely study the Constitution.

Adamawa debacle: Why Atiku not Fintiri, is the real winner!

Can you for a moment imagine the humiliation Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), would have faced if his party had lost the gubernatorial election in Adamawa State this time around? It was a thing of challenge that a woman, Aishatu Dahiru ( Binani) tried to poke a finger into the eye of Waziri of Adamawa, who is today, the strongest political figure in the state.

The emergence of Binani as a governorship candidate was not taken for granted going by her political clout cum the determination of certain elements within the opposition party to snatch away the state from Atiku. If the PDP had lost, it would have meant removing the rug from Atiku’s feet why he was still standing. With that he would have no home base political support. People could just walk up to him and say to him, “go and sit down, your era is past” and things like that. As he is always the father-figure in every political event in the state, if PDP had lost, that means the Binani administration would not accord him the courtesy of inviting him to state events. And even if they invite him, his feet would be too heavy to go. So, when he was shouting and screaming that the right things must be done, it was also a self-preservation battle so to speak. Yes, Governor Fintiri would have felt terribly bad, but Atiku would have been sent into a fatal political coma.

But come to think of the heist that transpired in Adamawa; could the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) have on his own pulled off the stunt without some higher powers? Although the powers that be in Abuja have announced the man would be prosecuted, what of his evil partners? Come to think of it again, the man, Hudu Yunusa-Ari, tried to replicate what was widespread during the 2023 general election. If Ari must go to the gallows, many of those at the INEC office are also “worthy of many stripes.”