Thursday, May 23, 2019

Ondo assembly impeach speaker, deputy

The speaker and his deputy were sacked from their position on allegations of gross misconduct. Ondo state house assembly has impeached its speaker, Bamidele Oloyelogun and his deputy, Iroju Ogundeji.The two leaders were sacked from their position on Friday, November 9, 2018 on allegations of “gross misconduct”.Sunday Olajide (APC-Akure Constituency 2), moved the motion for the impeachment, while another lawmaker, Oluyede Feyide (APC-Ose Constituency) seconded the motion.Olamide George (Akure North) emerged as the speaker while the lawmaker, Abimbola Fajolu  (Ile Oluji/Okeigbo constituency), was elected as his deputy.Prior to their emergence, the plenary was out of order after Jumoke Akindele was temporarily picked as the acting speaker of the Assembly.According to the News Agency Of Nigeria, 18 lawmakers, out of the 26 members of the House, carried out the impeachment; while policemen were stationed around the premises to forestall any breakdown of law and order.

Pulse Opinion: Is Adams Oshiomhole on the run?

Some say APC Chairman Adams Oshiomhole has fled Nigeria in order to escape DSS investigation. Oshiomhole has to speak up now to put the rumour mill to sleep. The Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, certainly hasn’t been the same man since the governing political party concluded its primaries for the 2019 election.There are rumours that Oshiomhole fled the country and that he is on the run. But why exactly would he do a thing like that?First, there are a couple of state governors who can’t stand Oshiomhole right now. Three of these governors are Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo and Rochas Okorocha of Imo. All three have gone on the record to label Oshiomhole one of the worst things to ever happen to the APC in recent times. Amosun fell out with Oshiomhole after his preferred candidate to succeed him, Abiodun Akinlade, wasn’t handed the APC governorship ticket for Ogun. Instead, the Oshiomhole led APC National Working Committee (NWC) settled for Dapo Abiodun.  Okorocha’s grouse with Oshiomhole has been well documented as well. The APC favoured the governorship candidacy of Hope Uzodinma over Uche Nwosu, who is Okorocha’s son-in-law.There are also reports that the Department of State Security (DSS) grilled Oshiomhole before he fled the country. TheCable and Punch extensively reported how President Buhari gave his blessings for Oshiomhole to be questioned for allegedly receiving bribe money from aspirants during the primaries. Punch quotes a DSS source as saying: “The comrade (Oshiomhole) is expected to return  for further interrogation when he returns to the country.  That’s why we released him on administrative bail.“We are still looking at his statements and also carrying out further investigations.  This type of operation is not meant for the members of the public”. Punch adds that “presidency sources told one of our correspondents that the president actually asked the secret police to “go ahead and do their job” when he was told about the allegations of the party chairman”.There have also been strident calls for Oshiomhole to resign as APC Chairman. APC chieftain, Osita Okechukwu, has asked the DSS to probe Oshiomhole’s call logs for the period the party’s primaries lasted. “I, therefore, once again stridently call on Comrade Oshiomhole to instead of pontification, grandstanding and running away from the country, do the needful by honourably resigning the chairmanship of our great party”, Okechukwu says. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has also typically waded in.  According to PDP spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan: “It is ludicrous that the APC, in its lying proclivities, believes that by dismissing Oshiomhole’s arrest as a rumour and aiding him to momentarily flee the country, it would succeed in getting him off the DSS hook as well as sweeping the matter out of public discourse with its famished broom”.There is a huge possibility that Oshiomhole is being hounded by the powerful toes he stepped on and that the governors whose handpicked candidates were overlooked by Oshiomhole, would stop at nothing to kick him out. There is a sense that governors who were so used to having their way and who imposed candidates however they deemed fit in the past, can’t stand an Oshiomhole who is now putting them in their places and cleaning up the party.  The one interesting thing about this whole story is that Oshiomhole hasn’t uttered a word about being grilled by the DSS or fleeing the country. Which begs the question: for a man who never misses the opportunity to rant, blare, and spit invectives in people’s faces, why has the APC Chairman gone quiet?Instead, pictures of Oshiomhole having drinks with his wife in an exquisite restaurant abroad, have suffused the internet. However, there comes a time, like now, when silence is no longer golden. Oshiomhole needs to speak up to refute or confirm reports that he was indeed grilled by the DSS and state why he was taken in for questioning. He is the chairman of the governing party for chrissake! Silence and propaganda photographs won’t cut it anymore at this point.

Obaseki rewards 33 EDSTMA officials for dedication to duty

Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has approved automatic promotion for 33 outstanding officials of the Edo State Traffic  Management Agency (EDSTMA), who have shown commitment, dedication and diligence in discharging their duties. 
Obaseki gave the approval while rewarding the 33 selected outstanding EDSTMA officials, who he said have given their best to ease vehicular and human movements in the state.
The governor, who was visibly elated over their elevation, said his administration and the people of the state were proudly delighted at the new EDSTMA and its officials.
According to him, “You have won the hearts of the people through the new approach to traffic management, and despite various provocations you receive daily from motorists and pedestrians, you have remained resolute and displayed unquestionable character. Many of you have displayed diligence  while discharging your duties.”
He noted further that the process was transparent as both the management and the people of Edo State recommended the officials through various reports which were followed and investigated.
Read Also: Obaseki cuts barriers to trade
Obaseki said: “From my observation, almost all of you are good officials except a very few who choose to do otherwise, but actions are always taken when complaints come. 
“As a government, we are going to recruit additional 250 EDSTMA officials before the end of the year to further ease some of the challenges faced by the agency.
“Today, we are rewarding those of you who have been outstanding in your duties. I have been advised that all of you should be promoted to the next rank and step, to motivate you and stimulate productivity in your field. I say thank you for making us proud as you are one of our success stories as we celebrate two years in office. Each of you will get N250, 000 and hopefully, this would motivate you to put in your best.”
The governor explained that he has received report and proposal to install traffic lights across the Benin metropolis as well as  Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras to curb  violation of traffic, adding: I wonder why some people would disobey traffic lights (signs) when as a governor, I obey it.”
Earlier, the managing director of the agency, Dennis Oloriegbe, thanked the governor for the opportunity given to them to serve the people of the state, and explained that through the commendation of the public and media, the 33 officials were selected for the reward. 
Responding on behalf of the awardees,Dennis Oloriegbe, , thanked EDSTMA management and the state governor for the opportunities given to them to contribute their quota to the state’s development through traffic management, and  pledged further commitment and dedication to their duties.

‘Buhari asked Senate to slash MDAs budget for 2019 elections’

Senator Rafiu Ibrahim says the Executive is aware of its decision to slash the budget of MDAs for the 2019 general elections. The Nigerian Senate says the decision to slash the budget of some Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) to fund the 2019 general elections was a request from the Presidency.The chairman, Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim, said this in a statement on Friday, November 9, 2018.The lawmaker explained that the red chamber’s decision to rescind and revise the methods of funding of the supplementary budget of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies for the conduct of the 2019 general elections, was done in good faith, after due consultation with the Executive.He said that on Tuesday, October 16, 2018, the Senate had already passed the N242, 245, 050,100 virement request with the stipulation that it should be funded from the Service Wide Vote, but had to rescind, reconsider and revise its position following pressure on members of the Appropriations Committee by the Executive.“The insinuations being peddled that the Senate single-handedly and unilaterally cut the budgets of critical MDAs is false. Such actions are uncharacteristic of this 8th Senate,” Ibrahim said.“The facts remain that on Tuesday, October 16th, the Senate approved a Report that stipulated that the supplementary funding for INEC and security agencies to conduct the 2019 election should be sourced from the Service Wide Vote of the Executive through virement. This information is out everywhere.ALSO READ: “Nobody is safe in Nigeria”, Ekweremadu speaks on how assassins invaded his Abuja home“However, the Executive came up with a counter-proposal that asked that the election be funded through both the Service Wide Vote and the budgets of 30 MDAs —on a pro rata basis. This is why, the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Danjuma Goje, had to come up with a Motion to rescind, reconsider and revise the source of funding contained in the original approval granted by the Senate.“So, if you take a close look at the Senate’s Order paper of Wednesday, November 7, 2018, you will see that N121,122,525,050, which represents half of the entire supplementary budget, was sourced from 30 MDAs chosen by the Executive, while the other N121,122,525,050 was taken from the Service Wide Vote.“As always, all Senators remain committed to ensuring that Nigeria has free, fair and credible general elections next year, and they will continue to collaborate with the Executive, members of the public and all other stakeholders to ensure that this happens”, Ibrahim stated.‘APC diverting SIP funds for 2019 election’Meanwhile, the Senate Minority Leader, Biodun Olujimi, has accused the APC-led government of diverting funds meant for the Social Intervention Programme (SIP) for the 2019 general elections.Olujimi alleged that beneficiaries of the SIP were required to provide details of the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) on an “I stand with Buhari” forms.

INEC Publishes Names Of Imo Governorship Candidates, Exempts APC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has failed to publish the name of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in Imo State.
When Channels Television visited the INEC office in the state on Friday, it was observed that the names of 67 other candidates from various political parties were published except that of the APC.
Some of those who made the list are the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha (PDP), Senator Ifeanyi Ararume (APGA), Honorable Tony Nwulu (UPP), Linus Okorie (YPP) among others.
Read Also: Imo Primaries: Court Restrains INEC, APC From Substituting Names Of Winners
The development comes one day after a Federal High Court sitting in Owerri, the state capital issued an interim injunction restraining the APC and INEC from substituting or publishing any names other than those of winners of the October 6 primaries.
Twenty APC members who were declared winners of the primaries held at all levels had approached the court to seek the ex parte order.
They accused the National Working Committee of the party of planning to substitute their names with other names of aspirants who lost in the primaries.
The post INEC Publishes Names Of Imo Governorship Candidates, Exempts APC appeared first on Channels Television.

APC is Nigeria’s home of corruption, Timi Frank speaks on Oshiomhole’s DSS invitation

Timi Frank says the APC is Nigeria’s home of corruption. Former deputy spokesman of the All Progressives Congress Timi Frank, has berated the anti-corruption posture of the APC-led government.In a statement on Friday, November 9, 2018, Frank said Adams Oshiomhole’s investigation by the Department of State Services (DSS) is proof that the ruling party is the ” real home of corruption” in Nigeria.”It is now very clear that APC is the real home of corruption that will soon collapse. This is evident in the ongoing investigation of the National Chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole,” Frank announced. Describing the APC as a “sinking ship”, Frank urged governors Rochas Okorocha (Imo), Abdullaziz Yari (Zamfara), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun) to leave before the “final burial” of the ruling party.”The same way I warned in the past, I am calling on Governor Okorocha, Governor Yari, Governor Amosun and Senator Magnus Abbey among many others not to stay any longer in APC. It can only get worse for the ruling party because the spirit of God has left the party,” Frank declared.ALSO READ: ‘Are you better off today than you were 4 years ago?’ – Atiku asks Nigerians”I will urge all of them to join the next batch of prominent leaders who will soon resign their membership of APC. Some of us that have left the evil association called APC are better for it. “So, like the biblical Noah, I am warning those that have ears to hear that the current house of deception known as APC will soon collapse. It is better to join the patriots now to salvage Nigeria,” he added.‘APC breakup unstoppable’Similarly, Senator Dino Melaye has predicted doom for the ruling APC.In a tweet earlier today, Melaye said: “APC break up is unstopable. All promises cancel till we meet again.”But, the Presidency is optimistic that the 2019 presidential election would be a landslide victory for President Buhari and the APC.

INEC Releases List Of Governorship, House Of Assembly Candidates

File photo
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has begun to release details of Governorship and House of Assembly candidates across states.
So far it has released the list of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidates for the Ogun State House of Assembly, as well as that of the Labour Party (LP).
More to follow…
The post INEC Releases List Of Governorship, House Of Assembly Candidates appeared first on Channels Television.

Senator Melaye says APC’s breakup is ‘unstoppable’

The outspoken lawmaker believes the ruling party will eventually break up as internal division festers in the open. Senator Dino Melaye (Kogi West – PDP) has predicted doom for the All Progressives Congress (APC), declaring that the party will eventually break up.The lawmaker took to his Twitter account (@dino_melaye) on Friday, November 9, to make the declaration.”APC break up is unstopable. All promises cancel till we meet again,” he posted.  The lawmaker’s comment might be connected to the ongoing rumbling in the ruling party over the conduct of its primary elections.Reports this week revealed that the party’s chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, was questioned by the Department of State Services (DSS) over allegations made by certain governors that he received bribes to manipulate the APC’s primary elections across the country.The agency was also revealed to have compelled Oshiomhole to resign as the APC chairman, but he refused, noting that he still has President Muhammadu Buhari’s confidence.The primary elections of the APC to choose candidates to contest in the 2019 general elections has been trailed by a lot of divisions and controversies within the party.A lot of state governors are openly feuding with Oshiomhole over what they’ve alleged to be his role in truncating the processes to install certain candidates.His most notable feuds are with Ogun State governor, Ibikunle Amosun, Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha, and Zamfara State governor, Abdulaziz Yari, who all failed in their bids to handpick their successors.Melaye was elected as the representative of the Kogi West Senatorial district on the platform of the APC in 2015, but he publicly criticised the ruling party several times and openly feuded with Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello.He eventually dumped the APC to make a return to the PDP with dozens of other lawmakers in July 2018.

My son supports Buhari because we have ‘serious issues’, Doyin Okupe says

Okupe has been a vocal supporter of Atiku to defeat Buhari in the 2019 presidential election. Former presidential aide, Dr Doyin Okupe, has revealed that his son, Ditan, may have joined the re-election campaign of President Muhammadu Buhari to get back at him over their ‘serious issues’.The spokesperson for the President Muhammadu Buhari Campaign Organisation, Festus Keyamo, announced on his Twitter account (@fkeyamo) on Thursday, November 8, 2018, that Ditan had joined the president’s re-election campaign despite his father being a vocal voice in the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP).Okupe was the chairman of the Media Council for the campaign organisation of Senate President, Bukola Saraki, when he contested for the PDP’s presidential ticket. However, since he lost the ticket to former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, Okupe has been a vocal supporter of the party’s candidate to defeat Buhari in the 2019 presidential election. While announcing Ditan’s involvement with Buhari’s campaign on Thursday, Keyamo mockingly stated that Atiku’s salesmen cannot sell the candidate to their children, clearly also referring to the case of Olujonwo, the son of former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, also an Atiku supporter for 2019, who met Buhari last week to pledge his support.Keyamo posted, “Breaking ranks with their fathers for PMB: Ditan Okupe, 1st son of Atiku’s man, Doyin Okupe, a UK-trained lawyer of 12 yrs post-call in Nig, volunteers to work 4 PMB’s campaign team just like OBJ’s son. Nigerian youths note: Atiku’s salesmen cannot even sell him to their children.”In response to Keyamo’s taunt, Okupe revealed that he has had serious issues with his son for the past five years. He took to his Twitter account (@doyinokupe) to suggest that joining Buhari’s campaign might be his son’s way of hurting him.He posted, “We both have had serious issues in the last 5 years. This may be his way of getting back at me.”  He disclosed in another tweet that Ditan had been trying to contact his political foes like the national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, to pull a similar stunt.”…Ditan who also has been trying for months to get the contacts of people he considers my political foes, incl Tinubu, Kashamu, OGD etc. For him, this is his finest hour.”  While explaining his reason for backing President Buhari in a letter he addressed to his campaign organisation, Ditan indicated that there’s no better candidate to take Nigeria forward other than the president. “It is my opinion that there is no better candidate aside from the current President, to take this great nation forward, into its predestined place. I also believe that the nation must do everything possible to prevent the opposition party and its cohorts back into the corridors of power to safeguard the future of this great country,” he wrote.2019 presidential electionWhile next year’s presidential election, scheduled for February 16, 2019, is expected to be keenly-contested between President Buhari and Atiku, they both face competition from other candidates including Donald Duke of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Kingsley Moghalu of the Young Progressive Party (YPP), Obiageli Ezekwesili of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Fela Durotoye of the Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), and Omoyele Sowore of the African Action Congress (AAC).Others are Tope Fasua of the Abundance Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP), Eunice Atuejide of the National Interest Party (NIP), Olusegun Mimiko of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), Adesina Fagbenro-Byron of the Kowa Party (KP), Chike Ukaegbu of the Advanced Allied Party (AAP), Hamza Al-Mustapha of the People’s Party of Nigeria (PPN), Obadiah Mailafia of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), and many more.79 candidates will contest in the election, the highest number ever in Nigeria’s electoral history.

INEC releases list of candidates for Katsina, Bauchi, Kwara bye-elections

The bye-elections in Bauchi, Katsina, Kwara and Cross River states are scheduled to take place on November 17, 2018 The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has released the list of candidates for the bye-elections in Katsina, Bauchi, Kwara and Cross River states.The elections, which are scheduled for November 17, 2018, will see the candidates jostle for three federal house of representative seats and a state house of assembly seat in Cross River.INEC announced the list of the candidates in a press statement released on Thursday, November 8, 2018.In Katsina, the candidates that will contest to represent Kankia/Ingawa/Kusada federal constituency are Nasiru Lawal Kankia of the People’s Redemption Party (PRP), Abdullahi Umar of the Yes Electorates Solidarity (YES), Abdulsamad Yusuf Abdullahi of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Abubakar Yahaya Kusada of the All Progressives Congress (APC).Only two candidates will be contesting for the Toro federal constituency seat in Bauchi. They are Shehu Buba Umar (PDP) and  Yusuf Comrade Nuhu (APC).For Ekiti/Irepodun/Oke-Epo federal constituency of Kwara state bye-election, the candidates are Femi Awokunle Ona-ara of the Labour Party (LP), Olaniyan Taiye Ayorinde of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), Jimoh Saheed Damilare (PDP), Ajayi Olayemi Bidemi of the People’s Party of Nigeria (PPN) and Olawuyi Raheem Tunji (APC).Ubong Stella Nkoro (PDP) is the only candidate contesting for the Ikom  Constituency seat in the Cross River State House of Assembly.According to the statement signed by the National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee of INEC, Barrister Festus Okoye, all arrangements have been made for the successful conduct of the bye-elections.

Polio: Sokoto begins IPV, OPV campaigns across LGs

Sokoto state government through the State’s Primary Healthcare Development Agency (SSPHCDA) has commenced a state-wide Injectable Polio Vaccine(IPV) and Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) campaigns in eight local governments of the state targeted at children under the age of 5.
‎The focal LGs are: Wamakko, Kware, Bodinga, Wurno, Dange/Shuni, Sokoto North, Sokoto South and Yabo respectively.
The exercise embarked upon is in partnership with WHO and UNICEF to sustain the RI and SIAs against polio.
The campaign which will span six days is aimed at creating and sustaining awareness with a view to championing acceptance of the vaccine and maximize coverage among children against polio disease.
In Wurno local government, adequate arrangements for the exercise through the involvement of community leaders, mobilizers (volunteer community mobilizers) were made to ensure compliance.
Speaking to reporters, the Cool Chain Officer (CCO) Badamasi Sani who stood in for the council’s Director of Health said a sizable number of female mobilizers were engaged to carry out a ‘house to house’ campaigns to sensitize house holds on the prevailing need to offer their wards for immunization of the vaccine.
According to Sani “We have 11 wards and have designed 42 fixed posts for the exercise.
” So far, we have been supplied with 64, 130 of IP V and 64,200 of OPV doses.
” Let me also say that we have an organised supervision machinery with adequate mobilizers for RI in order to record the desired success”, he explained.
Sani added that” we have mounted banners all across the 11 wards and attracted some support including items as Indomie noodles ‎from WHO to ensure compliance by house holds.”
He noted that “in the past we had the issue of resistance in Tunga ward which we resorted to involving officials of WHO ‎and UNICEF to intervene and it was resolved”, he pointed out.
Smilarly, in Dange/ Shuni local government, according its NPI Manager, Abubakar Aliyu Dange said they were targeting no fewer than 58,813 within the period of the exercise being carried out across 49 fixed posts of the 11wards.
According to Dange” we have been supplied with over 62,000 doses of vaccine for IPV and OPV the immunization exercise. We ate recording impressive turnout. This shows that compliance is encouraging.
” The success is due to the active involvement of traditional institution and community mobilizers. We commend WHO for its strategic support”, he explained.
Meanwhile, Dr Larai Aliyu Tambuwal had during a lecture, noted that IPV‎ and OPV were strategically to protect and provide absolute preventive measure against polio virus transmission especially among children.
” Every child has the right healthcare delivery service and be protected from killer diseases”, She stressed.

PDP’s TV page tweets about breasts and sliding into DMs

The PDP’s official TV Twitter handle delves into everything–from fantasizing about boobs, sliding into DMs and crushing on celebrities. This week, Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, gleefully informed the world that his political party now runs a television channel on Twitter.“I am proud to inform you that the official TV Channel for @OfficialPDPNig presidential campaign has been birthed”, Secondus tweeted, before going on to unveil Legacy TV.  We are not so sure if Secondus would be proud of Legacy TV’s Twitter history though.Even breasts got some mention in a mad political season All through May of 2018, @Legacy2019TV was on a wild, tweeting spree. “Guess you must be from Benin…you fine sha”, PDP’s official Twitter TV channel crushed on May 23. To @bolanle_cole, Legacy TV went: “It’s kinda hard though, but I can if I truly want us forever”. How totally cute.  Legacy TV also had a habit of crawling into DMs, uninvited, like it did to @ChrisHaze_. “I’m sliding into your DM…Night crawler mood lol”, the handle tweeted.And on May 25, Legacy TV went one better by handing out a timely warning. “No go suck breast wey don expire oooo…” Not bad for the official TV channel of Nigeria’s major opposition party, you’ve got to say. “This is the official TV Channel of @OfficialPDPNig Presidential Campaign. Follow @Legacy2019TV for more updates”, the administrator sorta blurted.  Oh well, with updates like we just read, who wouldn’t follow? Reaching out to party officials Prince Secondus and PDP spokesperson Kola Ologbondiyan weren’t immediately available for comments for this story.It’s interesting to note that @Legacy2019TV joined Twitter in April of 2018 and immediately took to the task of promoting Secondus, PDP and its activities on its page. Maybe, just maybe, the PDP acquired this handle without bothering to go through its “rich” history. Oh well, we just did so for them.

‘Are you better off today than you were 4 years ago?’ – Atiku asks...

The PDP cnadidate urged Nigerians to focus on getting the country to work again. Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has challenged Nigerians on the kind of questions to ask before they turn up to vote in the 2019 general elections.Atiku, a former vice president, is the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the main opposition party, contesting the presidency against President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at next year’s polls.The 72-year-old took to his Twitter account (@atiku) on Friday, November 9, 2018, to challenge Nigerians to question themselves on if the current administration has improved the nation for the better during Buhari’s tenure. The PDP cnadidate urged Nigerians to focus on getting the country to work again.He posted, “The most important question in this election is ‘Are you better off today than you were 4 years ago?’ Are we richer of poorer?
This is why our primary focus is on getting Nigeria working again.”  Atiku was pivotal to Buhari’s electoral victory in 2015 after he dumped the PDP for the APC before losing the party’s ticket to the current president. However, he dumped the APC to return to the PDP in 2017 after accusing the ruling party of mismanaging the nation’s democracy.2019 presidential electionWhile next year’s election, scheduled for February 16, 2019, is expected to be keenly-contested between President Buhari and Atiku, they both face competition from other candidates including Donald Duke of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Kingsley Moghalu of the Young Progressive Party (YPP), Obiageli Ezekwesili of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Fela Durotoye of the Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), and Omoyele Sowore of the African Action Congress (AAC).Others are Tope Fasua of the Abundance Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP), Eunice Atuejide of the National Interest Party (NIP), Olusegun Mimiko of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), Adesina Fagbenro-Byron of the Kowa Party (KP), Chike Ukaegbu of the Advanced Allied Party (AAP), Hamza Al-Mustapha of the People’s Party of Nigeria (PPN), Obadiah Mailafia of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), and many more.79 candidates will contest in the election, the highest number ever in Nigeria’s electoral history.

I’m not behind Oshiomhole’s alleged detention – Amosun

Gov. Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State has dismissed rumours that he and Gov. Rochas Okorocha of Imo are behind the alleged detention and grilling of All Progressives Congress(APC) National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole.
Oshiomhole was reportedly detained and questioned on Nov. 4 by the Department of State Services (DSS) over the fallout of the APC primaries.
Speaking with State House correspondents after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday at the Presidential Villa, Amosun said he did not have such capacity.
“I think you are giving me an oversight role.
“I am not a security person; so, clearly, that question will probably not be for me.
“I don’t hide under a finger and fight; if there is need for me to put my views across, you know by now, I will do it.”
The governor, who sounded evasive, said that all that needed to be said about the APC crisis had been said; hence no need to sound like `a broken gammaphone’.
He said it was not true that he was having problem with the leadership of the party.
It would be realled that three APC governors — Okorocha, Amosun and Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara have been at loggerheads with Oshiomhole over the outcome of the party’s primaries.

How I will fight corruption, by Olawepo-Hashim

The presidential candidate of the Alliance for Peoples Trust (APT), Gbenga Olwawepo-Hashim, spoke with reporters in Abuja on how he will reposition the economy and fight corruption, if elected as president in next year’s election.
How will you fight against corruption?
I’ve told you that we have to deal with corruption from a point of view of an integrated policy for it to be effective, by removing the root cause of corruption. One of the reasons why people were bribing NITEL official was that you had 400,000 lines to 80 million people. But once you allowed competition in that place and now you have over a hundred million lines and the lines are now even almost for free. It is the network producers that are trying to induce you with all kinds of packages so that you can buy their own. We eliminated corruption in the telecom sector through competition and policy. Nigeria’s corruption which takes place mostly in the public agencies is as a result of over centralisation. Wherever you have a long queue, people will do anything to jump the queue. Once you have a system where only man can sign a piece of paper, he becomes like an emperor. Everybody is lobbying him with money, with language, with sentiment , with religion. But once he is not the only emperor in town who can do the same business, your reduce all those corruptive tendencies around him. So, it is not just only through punishment.
President Muhammadu Buhari recently said that the  economy is looking good and he will make it better. That seems to have taken sail out of a number of candidates like you who have been hammering on the poor state of the economy. Don’t you think so?
Anybody who read O.A Lawal or Teriba on O/Level Economics will know that the economic management under the APC government is a disaster. Even if you didn’t go to school, you can relate to some credible data immediately. The Brooklyns Institute just indicated that just within the past four months alone, over a million Nigerians joined the category of those who are acutely poor. That is to say they have fallen below that bracket of those who live on two dollars a day and there are 88 million Nigerians in that category right now. This has never happened before.
Secondly, it is a big tragedy that under a regime of high oil price as we have now because the excuses before was that oil price was low; we have a very high oil price regime now and poverty is on the rise, there is a run on the reserve of the country. It looks to me like the APC as a government has made a covenant with poverty and they are irredeemably committed to impoverishing Nigerians. The truth of it is that the President does not understand basic economics. Otherwise, he would not say that the economy is looking good.
There is no way the economy can grow without appreciable electricity supply. What will your party do to improve the electricity?
Interestingly, that’s a sector I’ve invested in globally. The first thing we need to do for infrastructure generally is that you have to be able to sustain investment in that sector. Once investors are able to see a pathway to profitability, you don’t need to wax record for them to bring their money because what they are looking for is profit. They will invest, either it is in the generation sector, distribution or even concessioning or transmission.
Right now, there are lots of obstacles that have grown on the path of the investor and that’s why you are not seeing the needed investment in that sector. Some of these obstacles are not to do with the law because Nigeria has one of the best electricity sector reform Acts in the world. What you have is manifest incompetence in implementing the provisions of the Act. You also have a situation where some regulators even think that their job is to stop investments. That’s their perception of their job as regulators. When you appear as one who wants to invest in the sector, they want to prove to you that what you have set out to do is not doable. They don’t have an attitude of how do we ensure that this investment comes true. So, they start writing letters and quoting all the rules that will make impossible to do the investment.
From a practical point of view, these are some of the things that can be dealt with through executive actions within 90 days and once you remove those obstacles that will make an investor to stay four years before he gets license or ten years before he concludes an agreement with an off taker, when he needs only 18 months to deliver a power plant, once you boot out all those obstacles by the right appointment and you generate executive orders that can give standard operating procedures as to tenor of applications.
Most importantly too is that we have to decentralize power for Nigeria’s infrastructure to grow. For instance, we should be able to have local transmission grids that the states can have under their own jurisdictions and I tell you that just be merely amending and rearranging the distribution of power in the legislative list and we have states being able to participate in the local transmission, a state like Lagos plus Ogun State within four years will net about $100 billion investment in the power sector and they will be able to get the needed investment that will generate about 18,500 megawatts of electricity, which in my estimate is a reasonable need for the capacity that those two states have right now, based on their population.
You know that it’s scandalous that Nigeria, based on its population, needs about 160,000 megawatts of electricity and we are not just ten percent of it. South Africa which is a country of about 50 million people, has more than 50,000 megawatts of electricity. Even Heathrow Airport generates more electricity than the whole of Nigeria. That’s to tell you how terrible it is.
So, I understand the issues and one of the things I will be bringing to the table as the President is my 27 years’ experience in the private sector as an investor that has invested all over the world. I know why investors put money in one country and why they refuse to put money in another country and I can fix that in a matter of months and return Nigeria back to growth and expand the GDP of the economy.
For a long time, we have concentrated on inanities. It’s good to fight corruption, but you can better fight corruption when you decentralise. Any system where only one man can sign a piece of paper has inbuilt corruption in it because that man becomes extra-terrestrial; and because centralisation creates bureaucracy, that is where all kinds of lobbyists come in to collect bribes on behalf of public officials.
For instance, when we had only NITEL, Nigeria had only 400,000 telephone lines. They were always having tax forces in NITEL to fight corruption and sharp practices. But it never worked. In fact, those tax forces became the centre of corruption because in what legitimate manner will you allocate 400,00 lines among 80 million people at that time. It’s either the person is from your village or you have taken money from him because there is no legitimate reason to treat one application over the other. But the moment we decentralized and we have a number of carriers, it’s the operators who now lobby to find out who you are. They are looking for your economic data so that they can target you with their products. So, decentralisation, competition drives efficiency and naturally reduces corruption.
So, one of the major failures of APC is that APC was resistant to devolution and decentralisation of power and at the same time, they said they were trying to fight corruption. When you decentralize, it will lead to rapid infrastructural development. So, decentralization and devolution of power is not just simply a political discourse. It’s a fundamental requirement for rapid economic growth to reduce and completely eliminate poverty.
What is your take on restructuring?
The word restructuring has been so politicized that even the content of the discourse sometimes is lost. There are people who are generally scared when they hear that and for some, because it is the new fact that everybody wants to hear, they have to mouth it. The point for me is the content. When you are talking about decentralisation, you are talking about devolution of power. We have been talking about that for more than 30 years now. Senator Mahmoud Waziri was the Treasurer of our group then, the National Consultative Forum, led by Alao Aka-Bashorun. The group that first talked about decentralisation of power and we attempted organizing a national conference under the army and the army brought armoured tanks to stop us in National Theatre. It was a well-articulated and well thought out position. We had the people who we called the technocratic group who were people who have been Super Permanent Secretaries in the days when the military came into power for the first time. They themselves came to the conviction that an over-centralized Nigeria was unworkable and that we needed to decentralize and devolve power. Then we had those of us who came from the Human Rights Movement led by Alao Aka-Bashorun, Beko Ransom-Kuti. I was the National Administrative Secretary. A lot of people who are talking restructuring today were with that military government opposing us. Some of them were contesting under them. They said we were talking rubbish, that we should allow them to do their elections, while we were focused on the issues that were germane, which was the structure of the state. But because a lot of Nigerians don’t have a sense of history, anybody can just appear during elections and open his mouth and then he will get attention. Those who created a lot of political illiteracy in the air right now did it deliberately because they removed history from the syllabus. So, for some people, whatever they just read in the internet within two weeks, because they don’t even have memory to remember what happened five years ago, not to talk of what happened 30 years ago.
This also encourages a lot of political fraud. Sometimes, we transport ourselves to be defrauded politically. I would have expected a good research on this issue. One of the things you see in academics first is that you pay tribute to the originator of a given idea. There is lot of intellectual fraud in this country. People are talking about restructuring. There is even no tribute to Alao Aka-Bashorun who died fighting for this. There I no remembrance of Mahmoud Waziri. There is no mention of Anthony Enahoro. Some people just get up and open their mouth and they want to look they are the originator of such idea . The media has the responsibility to do more than just reporting fraud. They need to dig deep and refocus public discuss.
So, I don’t want to deal with the noise. I want to deal with the content. The content is that we need to devolve power. Over centralisation is unworkable. It leads to corruption and inefficiency. To be quite honest, when mwmade the campaign on that note, it was not ethnic. That’s why we had Mahmoud Waziri as our treasurer. Alhaji Tanko Yakassai was part of us. They didn’t see any qualms with what we were talking about. But when you regionalize it and you begin to evoke ethno religious sentiment around that issue, you cannot have a consensus around such an issue.
So, punishment alone does not deter corruption. As a matter of fact, when a practice becomes something that almost everybody is engaged in, then you have a huge social problem. It’s no longer something that you can deal with police action. It’s something that you have to deal with policy, attacking it at its root.
You also have the other level of corruption where people are programmed through extreme and acute poverty to cope and survive. If you give a policeman about N20,000 and you give him a gun, can anybody survive on N20,000 in Nigeria? He leaves work, sometimes he gets shot, he has no insurance and all that and then you come and start talking that people are too corrupt. I’m not justifying people collect bribes because I’ve never taken bribe in my life. But I’m telling you that more than just shouting and mouthing it, you have to deal with it through policy for it to be effective. I am not one of the people who believe that Nigerians are innately corrupt. When I was growing up, women will put their wears by the roadside and they will indicate that they are selling that product with three stones. People will com e and they will drop the exact price of money. Nobody will take those wears without putting the money and nobody will come and take the money. I saw it. So, are you saying that Nigerians are innately corrupt? A system that will produce a group of people that will pay for wears without being supervised? What do you call such a system? A system that produce people of high integrity. So, everything has to be put into proper context.
How did we get to where we are now that even if the woman sits down, they will kidnap her and ask for ransom? That’s a Nigeria than the Nigeria that I saw. There have been some kind of economic and social change that have programmed people to behave in such a way and it’s the comprehensive social engineering programme that we have to do through policy to turn Nigeria back to a path of sanity. It’s not irreversible. But it’s not something that anybody will begin to brag as you are the champion of anti-corruption and every other person that is successful must be corrupt. We have always had successful people in Nigeria and they were not successful because they were corrupt. They were not even in the public sector and they were not government contractors because there is also a dangerous narrative which is making people who are lazy to feel important, to assume that people who are successful, all of them are corrupt. Not every successful person is a corrupt person and the fact that you are not successful, you are not rich does not mean that you have integrity. Poverty is not the badge of honour . Poverty is a curse that we must remove from this land and nobody should run a political campaign of trying to say that you are trying to save poverty. We want more people to leave poverty, to become prosperous. So, we must not run an anti-corruption campaign that tries to make every successful person to look corrupt because it’s also encouraging indolent people. We have to be careful about the narrative and the way we are putting out there.
I have never collected a bribe from anybody in my life. I have not collected money from government in my life or allowances from anywhere. So, nobody can talk to me about being corrupt or whatever. I fought in this country and put my life on the line. I have my own integrity too. There are a lot of Nigerians who have integrity and they are rich people. They are not poor. So, it’s not only “poor Buhari” that has integrity. There are many Nigerians who have integrity.