Sahara Reporters Latest News Sunday 9th December 2018

Sahara Reporters Latest News Sunday 9th December 2018

Sahara Reporters Latest News Today and headlines on some of the happenings and news trend in the Country, today 09/12/18

Read also Leadership Newspapers News Today Sunday 9th December 2018

target=_blank>FG To Pay Oil Marketers N236bn Subsidy Claims On December 14

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The Federal Government has promised to pay oil marketers N236billion on subsidy claims on Friday, December 14, 2018.
This was disclosed by Henry Ikem-Obih, Chief Operating Officer (Downstream) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), when he addressed journalists in Abuja on Saturday.
The N236billion is the first tranche of the N348billion owed to oil marketers on subsidy.
“The Debt Management Office (DMO) will by next week, precisely on December 14, pay oil marketers the first part of the subsidy arrears of N236billion as agreed by both parties. We agreed that after the first tranche is paid, the marketers will form a committee to work on details of how the next tranche will be paid in 2019 and the last paid in 2020. Government is fully committed to pay the first tranche as promised and will be paid through promissory note that will issued by the DMO.” he said.
Ikem-Obih expressed government’s commitment to paying the arrears, just as he urged Nigerians not to engage in panic-buying of petroleum products, stating that stakeholders will work towards preventing scarcity during the festive season.

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target=_blank>PDP Accuses Presidency Of Blackmail, Condemns Freezing Of Peter Obi’s Accounts

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the presidency of “attempting to blackmail” Peter Obi, its vice-presidential candidate for the 2019 general election, claiming that Obi’s accounts had been frozen.
The party also claims that aside Peter Obi, the accounts belonging to his wife, his family members and their businesses were also frozen.
This was contained in a statement by Kola Ologbondiyan, Director of Media and Publicity of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council issued on Saturday.
According to Ologbodiyan, since Obi’s nomination, the All Progressives Congress (APC) had made “failed attempts to destroy his reputation”.
The statement read: “The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Organization (PPCO) decries the stoppage of transactions on all accounts belonging to PDP Vice presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, wife, his family members and their businesses by agencies of the Muhammadu Buhari administration.
“Since his nomination, Peter Obi, apart from facing series of failed attempts by the APC to destroy his reputation, has also continued to receive all manners of threats and blackmail, including threats to his life and those of his wife and children.
“Having realized that the majority of Nigerians are rallying behind the duo of Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi as the our Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates respectively, the Buhari Presidency and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have resorted to all manners of machinations, including smear campaigns and direct attacks on their persons and business concerns, in a bid to run them down.
“The Buhari Presidency is intimidated by Peter Obi’s resume, particularly, his general acceptance as epitome of fiscal responsibility, frugality and transparency in governance. Otherwise, why is the Presidency on a wild goose chase in investigating Peter Obi, who left office as Governor of Anambra State five years ago with a nationally acclaimed clean record, intact reputation for frugality, transparency, zero tolerance for corruption and leaving behind a huge saving of N75 billion naira in cash and investments; without owing any salaries, pensions, gratuities or even contractors for contracts executed. The fact remains that the Buhari Presidency and the APC are merely shadow boxing in their attacks on Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi, as their records before Nigerians speak for them.
“All discerning Nigerians know that the reasons for an investigation on a man like Peter Obi, is a journey to nowhere aimed to stifle him of funds as well as attempt to distract our campaign and divert attention from the failures of the Buhari administration. It is ludicrous that President Buhari would continue to condone the looting of our treasuries by his party leaders and the cabal in his Presidency, which even, the First Lady had even alluded to, only to be using government agencies to attempt to blackmail our Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates whose reputations stand clear before all Nigerians.
“The PPCO reminds President Buhari that neither he nor Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was in 2015, as candidates, harassed, attacked at the airport or subjected to blackmails, and wonder why they are now employing such tactics just because Nigerians have resolved to do away with them, come 2019.”

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target=_blank>Nobody Wants To Give Me Credit For June 12 ’93 Election, Says Babangida

General Ibrahim Babangida, Nigeria’s former Head of State, has said nobody gave him credit for the June 12, 1993 presidential election.
He stated this in an exclusive interview with The Crest.
Babangida spoke of the intricacies surrounding the election, and the details of what led to the annulment.
His words: “I think people who said that have not been fair to me because when we started the transition programme, I was in the media; I said we will be doing it step by step, by learning. Wherever we met a hiccup, we will stop, change it and move again. On this, I was honest with Nigerians. I told them that, and they would have judged me with what I said on that particular issue. But everybody wanted the military to just leave. But I did say it, that in the process of implementation, we may have a hiccup or mistake. And if we do, we would pause, correct it and then move on.
“Even the transition after the June 12, we gave a time span which again nobody was patient with. But we studied, we compared to either have a non-conventional election or a general election. And everybody said they wanted to see the country carry out a general election. And you can’t just have a general election within seven days. You have to plan for it. Again, if people allowed us, we said there would be a general election in this country. I think Abacha came in November. Nobody wanted to listen. Everybody was tired. I appreciate that. I appreciate it. Yes, people were bored and we envisaged it and we said it. We warned you in advance that if this happens, this is our next step. And that led us to the famous June 12.”
Responding to the interviewer’s statement that read: “June 12 is considered the freest and fairest election…”, Babangida said: “And nobody wants to give me credit for it”.
On June 12, 2018, President Muhammadu Buhari tendered a national apology to the family of Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, for the annulment of the election by Ibrahim Babangida, the then Military President.

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‘MKO Was The Winner’ — Buhari Apologises To Abiola Family Over Annulment Of June 12 ’93 Election

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When asked why he didn’t take the opportunity to support the 1993 democratic process, Babangida said: “Everybody said so. I agree. Even my boss, OBJ, told me that. He said you had an opportunity and if that had gone through properly, history would have recorded it as your greatest achievement. But then, we discussed at length what could have transpired. Again this: I will always talk about the Nigerian mentality. I think we are always anxious. We are always in a hurry. We want things to get done in the fastest time possible time. I tried to go out and talk to the public on why we had to do this but we were overwhelmed with criticisms. Nobody wanted to listen”.
He also revealed plans to release his memoir, stating that: “It is a work in progress. It is in the works. I will have time to finish it. It will be soon”.
Afterwards came the question on if he was threatened at the time by General Sani Abacha on being head of state, to which he responded: “No, he couldn’t have threatened me, to be fair to him. But I knew he wanted that job at all cost. You will be reading it…”
Speaking further on why he decided on the annulment, Babangida continued: “I have a conviction that if I get involved in building this environment, I wouldn’t like to be seen as having the environment destroyed. That’s number one. I wouldn’t be part of the destruction. So, I either make sure I remain with it, and belong there, or a circumstance will come and, eventually, I will leave. When I leave, if it gets destroyed, nobody will blame me.
“I wouldn’t declare the result if (Professor Humphrey) Nwosu declared the result. I knew deep into this that there were consequences which will not be fair to this country. I give an example: I took part in the management of PDP and I can’t disown them because I’m part of them. I made an input into its emergence, and if you say it is the worst thing that could ever happen to the country, I cannot in all conscience sit down and say it is because I participated in it. If the transition failed, and I knew it would have fallen down, nobody would have been bothered. They will say no. I will feel guilty like after all I spent the money but it collapsed. My conscience will never forgive me.
“It was not a threat to my life but if it was a threat to my life, I have no problem. After all I have a bullet in me; there couldn’t have been any greater threat than that. But my fear was: what would the country end up becoming. Could the country be better? This was what we sought to establish. Could it better? If the answer is no, then, I take the blame because I should have put in place certain measures that will make it good. What we wanted was an enduring legacy.
“I wouldn’t say the evil was in the person who won the election, after all he campaigned for it, people saw in him what he stood for, and therefore decided to vote for him. It was the finest hour in Nigerian political history where people voted anyhow; not ethnically, religiously and so on. That was our finest moment in our political history. He (Abiola) was on the verge of winning that election. From what I saw, he was on the verge of winning that election, because by the time it was assumed that he won, officially, the official thing was not done. Results were still coming in, and it wasn’t declared. So, I think I would be deceiving myself if I say he has won.
“The credit of not getting it right? You wouldn’t give me; so, I accepted that I will not be given that credit no matter what I say.”

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target=_blank>BREAKING: EFCC ‘Storms’ Doyin Okupe’s Residence

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has taken Dotun Okupe, a former aide to immediate past President Goodluck Jonathan into custody.
According to Okupe, the EFCC operatives arrived his residence in Lagos on Saturday, and asked him to follow them.
He disclosed the incident via a tweet that read: “EFCC just stormed my house in Ilupeju Lagos asking me to follow them. No letter. No letter of IV no warrant. Saturday!” Efcc just stormed my house in Ilupeju Lagos asking me to follow them. No letter . No letter of IV no warrant. Saturday!— Doyin (@doyinokupe) December 8, 2018

He, however, tweeted after more than an hour that the EFCC operatives left his house after he promised to report to their office on Monday.
The tweet read: “The men from EFCC left my house finally, after I promised them that I will be in their office on Monday.” The men from Efcc left my house finally after I promised them that I will be in their office on Monday.— Doyin (@doyinokupe) December 8, 2018

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target=_blank>EFCC’s Persecution Of The NBA President By Jibrin Samuel Okutepa (SAN)

Is the EFCC’s persecution of the NBA President not an attempt to test the unity and brotherhood of the bar? Of course there is a bigger issue here: policing the fees lawyers charge clients. Therefore, the persecution is not primarily targeted at the person of Paul Usoro,SAN. It goes beyond the President. It is an attack on the sanctity of the age-long immutable and judicially established doctrine of lawyer-client privilege. 
The NBA President represents an institution and it is that institution that is being targeted. It happened to the Judiciary and we thought we were spared. They tried it with Mike Ozekhome,SAN and E.B. Ukiri (former NBA 1st Vice President).
No government agency has the power to regulate fees charged by members of any profession. Lawyers have the right to take up briefs pro bono or also charge any amount. It is equally the right of the client to reject or accept the terms of engagement. Third parties have no locus standi in contractual matters. They are meddlesome Interlopers. 
Should we allow EFCC to continue this persecution? Today, it is the NBA President; tomorrow it may be used as a precedent to launch criminal investigations into fees charged by members of the Nigerian Medical Profession, ICAN, NSE and other professional bodies. Do we stand aloof or sit on the fence and allow such brazen intrusion on our privileges? Do professionals now allow external regulation of professional fees or we should  investigate the sources of fees paid to us by their clients for services rendered, before accepting the fees?  Do we continue to say, as lawyers, we are not individually affected?”
 With the greatest respect to Mr Olakunle Edu, his write up is ladden with sentiments and whipping of emotions and it failed to address core issues of law and ethics of the legal profession.  First there is no attack on the noble profession. We must stop whipping up sentiment. The legal profession is a noble profession. It does not encourage conduct that aids and abets wrongs. The charge I read does not attempt to regulate the fees charge. The charge does not try to intrude into client lawyers relationships. 
The charge seems to question the propriety of a lawyer being paid from government coffers for a brief done for private citizen. Whether that is right or not can only be decided by the court to which the matter has been turned over to. The charge wants to know whether what was done was right or wrong. I believe what is wrong is wrong and no amount of baptismal colouration can give a wrong the the true meaning of right. We must be ready to learn and get precedents.
The only institution that can set binding precedents is the judiciary. I get worried when as lawyers we play to public gallery and then ignore really issues. I am not going to allow myself or any other right thinking members of the Bar to be dragged into purely what is Mr Paul Usoro SAN personal issue with security agents. The issues of fees he allegedly collected for the alleged briefs he did for his clients are or were not done in the cause of his duty when he started occupying the seat of the president of NBA.
This issue was there before he put himself forward for NBA election. Even the election that led to his being declared NBA president is still subject of both ethical and criminal controversies. As lawyers we must avoid sentiment. Sentiment command no place in legal proceedings. I have said before and I say here again that as lawyers we must live above board. As lawyers we have no immunity in our clients lawyers relationships if and when crime is alleged to have been involved in the cause of that relationship. As lawyers we must respect judicial process. The issues involving Mr Usoro SAN has been turned over to the judicial arm of government. We should  and must have confidence in the judicial process.
Taking to social media to campaign as it were that Mr Paul Usoro SAN is being persecuted with respect amount to interference with judicial process. The court before whom he has been arraigned is the only competent authority that can make the pronouncements. 
Those who believe in his innocence can join the legal team to present his case in court.I do not see his arraignment as harrassment of the Bar or Nigerian lawyers. Nigerian lawyers have to obey the law of the land. The only persons who by my limited knowledge of law have immunity from criminal and civil prosecution while in the office are the President, Vice President of Nigeria and Governors and Deputy Governors of the states in Nigeria. As lawyers we owe a duty of respect to and obedience to the rule of law and due process. I say no more. God bless Nigerian lawyers and the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
 

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target=_blank>Protest Rocks Iwo Town Over Chieftaincy Title

Some members of the Baale Olatifede family, Olatifede village in Iwo Local Government area of Osun State on Friday urged the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdul-Rasheed Akanbi, to respect the tradition by installing the eldest male in the family as baale of the community. 
They made the call during a peaceful protest against a purported plan to install a younger candidate over Rasaki Akande, a septugenarian who is the eldest and the most popular candidate for the position. 
The Baale Oloba Olatifede family members, who took to the streets in Iwo town on Friday morning, displayed placards bearing messages such as: ‘We appeal to Kabiyesi Oluwo to approve the installation of Rasaki Akande as our Baale’, ‘Baba Akande is our choice; let’s follow tradition’, ‘We are for peace and justice. Pa Akande for fairness’.
Speaking on behalf of the group, leader of the protesters said: “Our message is clear and we are taking to the streets as well as the palace to ventilate our demand. We are appealing to our royal father, the Oluwo of Iwo, to acede our demand as his subjects. 
“There are procedures set by our forefathers in filling or nominating candidate to the stool of Baale of Olatifede. Filling the position should, ordinarily, not generate controversy because there is an agelong practice of installing the eldest male in the branch of the family whose turn it is to produce occupant for the stool.” 
A communique addressed to the Oluwo, signed by the head of the Oloba Olatifede family, Staff Sergeant AbdulMojeed Agbaje (retd.); Secretary to the ruling family, Pastor Isiaka Akanji; and Community Leader of Oloba Olatifede, Hon. Sunday Salawu, read in parts: “There is a norm and tradition. The eldest son (in the ruling family is) to fill the vacant stool of Baale.
“Unless the eldest son is mentally retarded or not of sound mind or when a candidate is seen to have bad antecedent, the eldest son should fill the vacant stool of Baale.”
Akande explained that there should be no contention on the rightful person to fill the vacant position.
“As the eldest person I am unarguably the next baale. The family took a unanimous decision to forward my name to Kabiyesi (Oluwo) but it appears is making moves to circumvent the agelong tradition,” he said.
“The entire community and its council, the Oke Oba Parapo adopted me as the next baale, so there is no room for arguments about the whole matter.”
Meanwhile, Morufu Adewale, younger half brother to Akande, said in a telephone interview that he is well qualified for the position as a bonafide member of the family. 
Insisting that he is the best candidate for the position, Adewale said: “I am the preferred candidate. I left the village (Olatifede) 31 years ago and still met it the same way; nothing has changed since then. Akande, who is claiming right to the position, is hated in the village. I will spend my time and money on the village as baale.”  
While addressing the procession at the palace of the Oluwo, the Secretary to the Oluwo, assured the people of the readiness of Oba Akanbi to ensure that justice and peace are guaranteed. 
The secretary said the interest of the people would be addressed appropriately without fear or prejudice.

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target=_blank>Okowa’s N45million Grant To Political Parties Causes Confusion In Delta

Festus Ochonogor, Political Adviser to Ifeanyi Okowa, Governor of Delta State; Festus Agas, Secretary to the State Government (SSG), and Innocent Okunbor, Director of Finance and Administration, SSG’s office, have been accused by chairmen of political parties in the state over allegations of fraudulent activities involving a N45million grant “released by the governor”.
SaharaReporters learnt that N45million was released to political parties in the state by the governor. However, officials of political parties have accused the political adviser to the governor and the SSG of defrauding them.
One of the political party chairmen, who preferred not to be named, said the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the governor on Inter-Party Relations, Christian Moses Abeh, had applied in a memo through his office to the governor for a grant of N85million for political parties in the state.
“The memo was later hijacked by the political adviser to the governor, Mr. Ochonogor in connivance with the SSG and the Director of Finance and Administration in the SSG’s office. The governor ended up releasing the sum of N45million only, which Ochonogor, Agas and Okunbor cornered and took the lion share and gave peanuts to us the party chairmen,” he said.
When contacted on the issue, Abeh told SaharaReporters that the governor’s political adviser, the SSG and the Director Finance and Administration in the SSG’s office, Innocent Okunbor allegedly hijacked the N45million grant.
Abeh disclosed that as a result of his refusal to part with N10million from the N30million grant to political parties in 2016 as demanded by the governor’s political adviser and the SSG, the SSG has stopped his salaries since February 2018.
“I refused to given them the sum of N10million from the N30million grant released by the governor to political parties in the state in 2016. As a result of my stand against such fraud, the SSG seized my salaries since February this year till date. I would have written a comprehensive letter to the governor long ago over the sidelining, gang-up and maltreatment against me and my office because of their personal interests. As I talk, since February 2018, the SSG has stopped my salaries. I am appealing to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to intervene in this matter.”
A petition dated September, 2018, entitled ‘A Case of Suppression, Blackmail, Witchhunt, Intimidation, Political Persecution and Subsequent Hijack of My Official Functions with Impunity by the SSG (Chief Ovie Festus Agas) and the Senior Political Adviser (Festus Ochonogor)’, addressed to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa by Abeh, obtained by SaharaReporters, explained details of the allegations of fraud.
The petition read in part: “Your Excellency will recall that I wrote you a memo on the 7th of July, 2017, titled ‘2017 Grant to Political Parties’ with file number SSA/IPR/GTPP/03, where I listed the forty parties that are existing in the state as at then and equally said that we have additional five new parties that were registered by INEC then, but yet to receive their letters. You graciously approved and released the sum of N45million out of the N85million I proposed and the fund was subsequently released.
“Sir, from the day the memo was approved till the day the SSG and the Senior Political Adviser disbursed the fund which my office applied for, everything was shrouded in secrecy. The duo of the SSG and the Senior Political Adviser have succeeded in making my office lose respect before the political parties as a result of their personal interest; a situation where my office has become their cassava farm.
“Your Excellency, the fund was disbursed by Mr. Okunbor, DFA in SSG’s office, under the supervision of the Senior Political Adviser with the assistance of the IPAC chairman, who is not a government official. Using a private person to do the work of a government established office just to humiliate me simply because they are from the same Ndokwa while I am an Isoko man.
“The original owners of the money were shortchanged and dumped. The parties turned the SSG office to their protesting ground on a daily basis, while some of the shortchanged parties have called me to threaten my life that I am the cause of their problems. Some of the original owners of the grants were not accommodated. Your Excellency, in all of these they were doing, I was neither consulted nor my office carried along. Meanwhile, the memo/file originated from my office.
“Sir, recall you approved the sum of N2.5million for me to hold an interactive session with the political parties in the state in 2016. Immediately the fund was given to me by the DFA Government House and Protocol, your Senior Political Adviser invited me to his office and demanded a part of the money from me and when I asked why, he told me that it was what the governor directed, so I obliged him N900,000. Your Excellency, should any harm befall me and my family members as a result of the shortchanging of political parties, the SSG and the senior political adviser will be held responsible.
“I was ejected from my office February 2018, as a result of my inability to continue paying my annual rent of which the SSG is fully aware of. No office, no funding to carry out my official duties effectively as a result of the SSG returning all my memos/files; no official vehicle, yet your Senior Political Adviser is constantly usurping the functions of my office for pecuniary gains. Your Excellency, immediately after the N2.5million interactive session money, you approved N30million for me as grant to the forty parties in 2016.
“When the cheque was released, I was summoned by the the Senior Political Adviser who demanded the sum of N10million for himself and some people whose identity I don’t know. I refused and told him that the whole parties are fully aware of the money, that if we do anything funny, it will spell doom for us and it will cause the administration great embarrassment. Few days after, I was summoned to the SSG’s office. Instead of them to strategise on how we can have landslide victory in 2019, they are busy looking for things that are immaterial.
“I was the person who saved the senior political adviser last year August when the political parties accused him and two others of stealing the SUBEB contracts you gave to them. I stopped the political parties from addressing a press conference over the fraudulent and corrupt activities of Mr. Ochonogor. After properly consulting present and past political office holders, Heads of Service and Permanent Secretaries, financial experts and civil servants, I came to the conclusion that I must humbly write you officially before taking further steps.”
It was gathered that before the stoppage of Abeh’s monthly salary, a deduction of 50 per cent had been carried out by the SSG, while all efforts and letters written to the governor by Abe were said to have been prevented from reaching the governor until the September petition, which he sent to the governor through a courier service.
Sources confided in our correspondent that Abeh has vowed to drag the governor’s political adviser, the SSG and the director in the SSG’s office to anti-graft agencies.
It was learnt that another N100million grant was released to political parties through the office of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), and was disbursed by the SSG and the governor’s senior political adviser, while another sum was disbursed to governorship candidates of some selected political parties in collaboration with their party chairmen to endorse Okowa as their consensus candidate in the 2019 general election.
When contacted on the allegations, Ochonogor debunked the allegations, stating that “It was the office of the SSG that made the disbursement. There is no office like Inter-Party Relations in the state”. On his part, the SSG denied the allegations, while Okunbor said: “Please, I don’t know you, I want to see and know who I am talking to please”.

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target=_blank>Re: Osinbajo Is Welcome In OAU By Binzak Azeez

This is to give an informative and instructive response to a supposed release issued by the University’s Public Relations Officer (P.R.O), published by The Punch Newspapers (pg. 34) on the Tuesday, December 4, 2018 where he stated, in contrast to the statement of the Students’ Union Action Committee that “the OAU Community, particularly, the Students, are eagerly waiting for a day when either President Muhammadu Buhari or Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, or both of them, will come to OAU on a visit.”
To start with, it is imperative to state that the University’s P.R.O is an administrative staff (not a student) of the University whose function is to give necessary information about the adminstration of the University. He is not in the position to speak for the student populace, not to talk more of taking decisions on behalf of the Student populace who form the largest population of the University community.
Therefore, the statement issued by the PRO is not only erroneous and misleading, it is also an act of impersonation and imposition.
Furthermore, I make bold to assert that the rejection of irresponsible, corrupt, and by the virtue of the latter, anti-student  politicians in OAU campus is a long- standing position of the union through her congressional resolution of the Students’ Union since 2005/06  and also 2008/09 parliamentary Year respectively where corrupt politicians were declared persona non grata on OAU campus without any sense of political partisanship. This position remains not countered because it is still valid as corrupt politicians are the same leopards whose skins have never changed.
From and for the records, a long list of corrupt politicians have been given same rejection and warning in times past while the erring ones have always had their bitter regrets. 
The likes of Olusegun Obasanjo, Nuhu Ribadu, Goodluck Jonathan, Ayodele Fayose and Aregbesola have all had themselves to bitter regrets and blame because they ignored the initial warnings against their presence on campus by the student populace.
It should be recalled, that the reasons for rejecting Osinbajo was adequately stated in release of the Students’ Union Action Committee some weeks ago. While I had expected that the Presidency and the Office of the Vice President would have done the needful regarding all demands for an immediate need to attend to the dying state of public education in Nigeria, I find it rather odd that their adminstration went ahead to introduce a ‘no work, no pay’ policy (which was reversed after the agitations of Nigerian masses).
I consider it not only a rickety, but an unproductive approach to the crisis of the education sector, but unfortunately, the PRO rather made claims that the Vice President who is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and renowned professor of law whose brilliant performance in the present administration has done the academic community proud. One finds it hard to logically measure to any extent at all, the correctness of such claim here.
It is rather obvious that this present governmental  administration, like every other, is not only anti-students but also anti-workers.
To cap it all, this piece should serve as a valuable information to all students, staff, the general public, and also to other anti-people politicians, who quest to be celebrated in public and in academic environment but further contribute to mass impoverishment of the people and the decay of public education through their policies in administrations. If this cannot be challenged in an academic environment, then there is no education at all.
If the government exists for the people and not that the people exist for the government, then, a word they say is enough for the wise!
Binzak Azeez writes from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State.

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target=_blank>The Next Level Of? By Koye-Ladele Mofehintoluwa

“On the face of nearly every Nigerian today, there are bold expressions of despondency and disillusionment”- M. K. O Abiola
One does not envy those who had the task of coining the campaign slogan for the APC in 2019. There was virtually nothing they could have come up with that would not have been torn apart the way ‘Next Level’ has come under a barrage of assaults. They first seemed to have settled for ‘continuity’ as the campaign slogan. But continuity of what? All previous catchy phrases and slogans attempted before ‘Next Level’ lack a notable and visible foundation for the Nigerian masses to buy into as a reason to vote the ruling party again. The charm of ‘Change’ had also spoilt and could not be used again.
The ‘change’ slogan participated greatly in influencing the massive victory of the APC across Nigeria. Nigerians have wanted a change with different definitions of what and how to change albeit there existed(and still exists) a general consensus that something needed to change for Nigeria to be better. The APC bought into this slogan and by so doing rallied the votes of people who wanted ‘change’ but had no clear definition of what they wanted changed. The APC thus shortchanged the Nigerian masses riding on their votes and confusion at the same time.
Whenever political commentators and public analysts had to say something in the media pre-2015, they all anchored the crisis in Nigeria to the need for change repeating the term for grammatical and not political uses when they were not supporting the APC in some cases but merely expressed their desire for change. The voting public assumed the change was in voting the APC nationwide in the 2015 elections as they had already worn the cloak of ‘change’ and everyone thought the change was here. Change we wanted, shortchanged we are.
The ruling party in Nigeria tries to portray in the media that it is encountering economic difficulties and cannot perform as expected due to this. Where this is not the narrative, the narrative is that 16 years of PDP explains the failings of the APC (despite the fact that the barrier separating both parties is thinner than a thread). They also lay claim to having fought corruption(kindly ignore the fact that one of the leading opposition candidates Atiku Abubakar who they now claim is very corrupt was not corrupt as at when he participated in the party primaries of the APC and could have even become President under the party banner had he emerged at that primary). The change the APC lays claim to having created is not visible for the average Nigerian. Before we move to the Next Level, we must still ask for the change.What has changed? 
The same way the APC slogan for the 2015 elections was ambiguous. It now is too with ‘Next Level’. Change has turned an undesirable negative with veritable facts from international and credible local bodies which reflect 42 million in poverty, 492 shiites killed and several pro-Biafra protesters, massive unemployment, serious brain drain especially in the Health sector, continued(but reduced) security concerns, severe dropout and out-of-school rates with the figures hovering between 10 and 13 million children(the children in school have access to terrible facilities, teacher shortage, teaching equipment shortage or outdated and several other shameful). 
There is an unblockable stench of poverty across the nation that has striken traders who find no customers if they do not trade in essential commodity such as food, artisans who find no use of their labour and are quickly switching to transportation business because it seems to guarantee at least their daily survival, students who are gripped by hunger and lack of resources as a result of irregular salaries and renumeration for their parents. It is a terrible national condition and any attempt to whitewash the situation especially with internet branding and social media image projection is conscienceless. 
The APC claims some change exists through the welfare schemes such as TraderMoni and theschool feeding programme. It is interesting that TraderMoni is supposed to give 10,000 to 2,000,000 Nigerians in the first phase. At least 20billion will be expended on the scheme by this simple arithmetic. It is incontrovertible that there is a need for a social welfare scheme that will cater for the poor such as traders but Tradermoni(like N-Power) seems headed for a long jump and a hard crash. The loans are too paltry to achieve anything with. There are concerns if these loans would ever be repaid by those taking them even with the promise to be given more upon repayment.
Tradermoni is reminiscent of a political patronage scheme built around waste collection and disposal in Lagos. Remembering the people suddenly during election and campaign periods to give them handouts is fishy and is obviously tailored more towards getting votes than solving the real problems of the dust poor that 10,000 naira cannot address. The idea of entrepreneurship without equivalent government responsibilty and societal development is an idea headed for a cliff. It will not work.
The school feeding programme like Tradermoni cannot really be measured in terms of the cost implications. How much is being spent to fund the scheme? How many schools do the children get the meals?  The figure of 8,567,000 being bandied around as the total number of students being fed is a figure that raises fears that some persons are submitting falsity to the government as facts or fears that the government itself is carrying out corruption through the scheme.  
The change is also visible in the sainthood of corrupt APC politicians such as the responsible man in Kano whose high level of responsibility made him take over the function of the banks in keeping state funds. The change is visible in the votes bought to win elections. Some apologists of the ruling party argue that the opposition also indulges in vote buying, the money the opposition uses to finance vote buying is usually raised independently and from sponsors who want to lobby for future interests. The money the APC uses to buy votes by virtue of being custodians of the national treasury makes one suspect  that Nigeria’s wealth is being used to finance the independent ambition of individuals from the national commonwealth of everyone. 
The menace should be condemned for both ruling party and opposition. The mere fact that another does it too does not mean we should exonerate the other party but rather address as enemies of democracy all those involved in the act which continues to manifest results because of the great level of poverty and the attendant need of the electorates for instant survival.
The change is visible in the frequent visits of the President to foreign countries for healthcare. It is strange that Nigeria is losing Medical Doctors to brain drain as young graduate doctors and established Doctors with their own clincs or employment are scrambling to Europe. At the same time, rich Nigerian patients and those who manage to raise funds by begging are going to Europe for Healthcare. If our Doctors are running away and our patients are running to meet them there. Is something not wrong? Is all well like the APC and her supporters portray in their Tweets? 
Going to The Next Level is a good idea when the previous level was favourable. If we have not seen change, what Next Level is there?
The Next Level of? 
 
Koye-Ladele Mofehintoluwa writes from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. He can be reached onkoyetolu@gmail.com. He is an advocate of good government and governance. He is a frequent opinion writer with several reputable media.

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Tinubu Re-organises APC Ahead Of 2023

Bola Tinubu

Bola Tinubu

Facts have emerged why the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, turned down an offer by the presidency and national leadership of the party for him to lead President Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign for the 2019 presidential election. A source close to the former governor of Lagos State told Saturday Telegraph that Tinubu asked to be left out of Buhari’s campaign, so that he can have enough time to reorganise the party in the South-West zone ahead of the 2019 general elections. His words: “There is no doubt that Asiwaju is committed to President Buhari’s second term bid and have started mobilising towards that, but he pleaded to be left out of the national campaign committee, so that he can reorganise the APC in the South-West ahead of the coming elections. “You know very well that the party is now in control of the six states of the zone given the outcome of the recent governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states, but Tinubu feels that it is not yet a done deal.
“His thinking is that measures should be put in place to sustain the gain by ensuring that the party retains Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, where governorship elections will hold in the forthcoming general elections. So, his request should not be misconstrued as opting out of the APC presidential campaign.” But, another source close to the APC leader told our correspondent that Tinubu’s main reason for excusing himself from the APC presidential campaign was for him to seize the opportunity of the 2019 general elections to consolidate his grip on South-West APC ahead of the 2023 general elections. The feeling is that the APC national leader wants to further energise his base in the South West following the various crises and discontent that emanated from the primaries in some states.
As the saying goes, charity begins at home, so Tinubu’s action is consistent with this adage as his eyes are firmly fixed on the horizon in 2023. According to the source, Tinubu played a major role in the emergence of APC governorship candidates in Lagos, Oyo and Ogun states and feels that it would be a costly political gamble to leave the candidates for the presidential campaign given the opposition against their candidacy from within and outside the party.
“There is no pretence that Tinubu is gearing to run for the presidency after Buhari might have concluded his second term and the time for the ground work is now. So, the APC national leader has practically launched that bid with the game he played during the party’s governorship primaries.
“The calculation was to install his loyalists as governors in order to have a solid base as well as to cripple other party chieftains, who may pose a threat to his ambition in 2023. That informed his support for the party’s governorship candidates in Lagos, Oyo and most importantly, Ogun State. “Though he had his way during the primaries, the battle is yet to be over because those who lost out have not given up. That is why you see fresh alignments and realignments about two months to the elections. Ogun State is a typical example; you saw how APC lawmakers in the state and other chieftains dumped the party in their numbers.
“So, for Tinubu to keep hope alive ahead of 2023, he has to stay back home and make sure that his anointed candidates; Babajide Sanwo-Olu in Lagos, Dapo Abiodun in Ogun and Adebayo Adelabu in Oyo, emerge tops in the governorship elections though he is also working for Buhari’s re-election,” the source said. It would be recall that the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, recently urged the people of South-West to vote for President Buhari in the 2019 elections to guarantee a return of power to the region in 2023. Fashola said besides the massive investments by the Buhari administration on infrastructure across the country and in South-West in particular, the zone would benefit more politically by voting for Buhari.
The minister, who spoke in Yoruba language and with a proverb said: “Did you know that power is rotating to the South- West after the completion of Buhari’s tenure if you vote for him in 2019? “Your child cannot surrender her waist for an edifying bead and you will use the bead to decorate another child’s waist. A vote for Buhari in 2019, means a return of power to the South West in 2023. I am sure you will vote wisely.” Already, the APC national leader has a firm grip of the party’s structures in Lagos and Osun states, but he is working to take over those of Ogun, Ondo, Ekiti and Oyo states. Meanwhile, National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Lanre Isa-Onilu, who allayed fears over Tinubu’s position, said there is no doubt that the party’s national leader remains committed to the party and that whatever stand he takes would be in the interest of the party. His words: “I have not seen the report you are talking about, but in the first place, that could be a bit hypothetical as members of the campaign council have not been announced. “What you should be certain of, is that whatever position Asiwaju Bola Tinubu takes, as someone who has demonstrated uncommon leadership for this party, it must be in the best interest of the party.
“So, if for any reason it is true that Asiwaju said he was not going to chair the campaign council, by the time you get the details, you will know he has taken the best decision. “As l said, l have not seen that report and l don’t know the reasons he gave and in any case appointments have not been announced as far as the council is concerned. That is why l said it is hypothetical, but l am at peace and nobody in the party will lose sleep because they are certain that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is working 24/7 in the best interest of the party.”

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