Archive for October 2018

Whither art thou David Umahi?

October 22, 2018

Casmir Igbokwe

The hullabaloo was really unnecessary. He is the chairman of the South-East Governors’ Forum. Hence, you would expect that David Umahi would be the first person to hail the nomination of former Governor Peter Obi as the vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). But he chose to oppose it on the flimsy excuse that the presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, did not consult him and his co-travellers before announcing it.

READ ALSO: Peter Obi: Bizarre politics in the South East

The question then arises, whither art thou Dave? The Ebonyi State governor made some clarifications: “We must take decisions against the marginalisation of Ebonyi people because, if we have to vote, we must be treated with equity. Two names of the nominees came from Anambra, two from Abia and one from Enugu, but none came from Ebonyi and Imo. What is wrong with somebody from Ebonyi and Imo? If you must know, one of the reasons an Ebonyi man is against regions in the country is the fear of further marginalisation,” he said.

Who is marginalising you Mr. Governor and how? A few months ago, the governor of Anambra State, Willie Obiano, renamed a street in Awka, the state capital, to Club Street. It was formerly named after the Ebonyi State capital, Abakaliki. This change, according to Obiano, was necessitated by the fact that the street was where most of the nightclubs in the town were located. He renamed another street after Abakaliki.

That common and simple decision drew the marginalisation bile in Umahi. And he made much fuss about what could have been an innocent action. He felt Obiano took the decision because of the stigmatisation of Abakaliki as a backward city and reminded whoever cared to listen that the town had become the fastest developing and the most beautiful state capital in Nigeria. This is something he could have easily sorted out with Obiano without much media noise.

Umahi appears to be hiding behind one finger in his political actions and utterances. Did he kick against the nomination Obi because he was not consulted or because he wanted an Ebonyi man instead? He not only described his critics on this issue as uninformed, but also said they were not human beings. This is too shallow a statement to emanate from a governor.

READ ALSO: VP slot: Ebonyi residents, Igbo groups laud Atiku’s choice of Obi

In any case, Atiku did not need to consult anybody before making his choice known. If he had done that, Umahi and Co. would have scuttled it. Recall that immediately after the PDP convention in Port Harcourt, a national newspaper had published a story quoting authoritative sources as saying that Anambra had been ruled out of the vice-presidential race. Reason, according to the unknown campaigners, was because the state had produced vice-president and even president before. Really!

What Umahi and Co. did not understand was that, while they were busy conspiring against one another, Obi was busy making himself relevant. He attended many courses in the best of universities abroad. He engaged in humanitarian causes in different parts of Nigeria. And he became the toast of youths with his motivational and practical speeches on leadership. He may have also made huge contributions towards Atiku’s emergence as a presidential candidate. And you think the man will leave him for another person simply because Anambra had produced a vice-president before?

A number of people, rightly or wrongly, have classified Umahi as having a PDP body and an APC soul. In November 2017, he reportedly endorsed the second term ambition of President Muhammadu Buhari. There is nothing wrong with this, you might say. But it puts a question mark on his loyalty to his party. You cannot blow hot and cold at the same time.

Besides, in September 2017, soldiers occupied many parts of Igboland in what they termed Operation Python Dance. They even killed some civilians along the line, especially in Umuahia. Rather than condemn the action like many people of conscience did, the South-East Governors Forum, led by Umahi, pronounced a ban on the activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra. This invariably contributed to the proscription of the organisation by the Federal Government.

Governor Umahi should do all in his power to cure this growing negative perception of him before it becomes cancerous. He may have good intentions for Ebonyi people. But he needs to solve the conflict between his selfish interests and the general interests of the people.

______________________________________

Re: Atiku and Peter Obi combination

READ ALSO: Atiku and Peter Obi combination

Casmir Igbokwe, I raise up my hands and even legs for your wonderful observations. People who did not understand Peter Obi’s plan were accusing him of being ‘aradite fist’. However, by the time he started to change the ‘ugly face’ of Anambra state, those people praised his vision. I am from Nawfia in Njikoka LGA of the state. He tarred the road that passed in front of my house from old Awka-Onitsha to join the expressway. Only evil-minded people will fault Atiku-Peter Obi combination.

-Pharm. Okwy Njike, +2348038854922

 

ATIKULATE + OKWUTE = HOPE FOR NIGERIA! You are right Casmir. We look forward to a mighty deliverance. I hereby raise up my hand in salute.

-Col. RN Oputa (retd), +2348033206191

 

Sir, “If you agree with me, raise up your hand. If you don’t, please hold your peace.” Haha … in fact, you are funny. Thumbs up!

-Nonso A., +2348037989242

 

Dear Igbokwe, I’m not surprised the Ebonyi governor and his co-travellers are against Peter Obi’s choice as running mate. His utterances have been against the Igbo since he became governor. He has never spoken against the killing of Igbo and other Nigerians by the Fulani criminals. The grievance for the choice of Obi is that Ebonyi and Abia states people are using Peter Obi’s lot of good work and governance in Anambra as a standard of mockery to them. Peter is president-in-waiting after Atiku, if they win, by the special grace of God and with the prayers of Nigerians who lost their relations. Because of bad leadership of the APC government, the PDP shall win. I thank Atiku for making the best selection for a running mate.

-O.P. Anaekwe, +2348037275839

 

My hand is up. Remain blessed.

-Anonymous, +2348033144657

 

Casmir, you did open the eyes of most Nigerians on the man Peter Obi through that piece. Truly speaking, it is not natural for everyone to love a leading light among the Igbo such as Peter Obi. But it is good that opposition or objection to Obi’s appointment is coming from the envious APC moles in the PDP, apostles of python dance, those who betrayed the Igbo youth to remain in power. We shall see. God bless Obi!

-Anonymous, +2347066017004

 

I concur sir. Nigeria will be far better off with Atiku/Obi administration than this tribal, nepotistic, clueless and corrupt government.

-Anonymous, +2348033776685

 

There is nothing wrong with the Buhari and Osinbajo combination. No team can solve our national problems by a mere wave of the hand. What is important is that the Buhari team is repositioning the nation on good track by seeking to remove the ills that had set her back. It takes maturity of mind for one to quickly know that a bright future awaits us. I do not see any depth in Atiku telling Nigerians that he will restructure the country under six months. Where is he to derive powers? Is he a military dictator? What happens to elected persons when he restructures the country?

-Barr Ngozi Ogbomor, +2348033397362

 

Ndigbo should not be carried away because Alhaji Atiku picked an lgbo man (Mr. Peter Obi) as his vice president. But can Atiku carry Obi along for him to perform as he did in Anambra State, if they are elected? Ndigbo should not put all their eggs in one basket because of Obi, to avoid what happened to us in 2015 repeating again in 2019. We must vote wisely in the 2019 general election.

-Gordon Chika Nnorom, Umukabia, +2348062887535

 

Oga Casmir, please, why are Ndigbo very gullible and naive to the political scheming of the Hausa/Fulani? Atiku had, while campaigning for the primaries, promised to go for just a term with a view to giving Ndigbo a chance. If he is to be believed, will it then not be for Ndigbo to agree on who his running mate should be, one that will take over from him? Why would he hand-pick the person? Is it not obvious to you that he and they want the person that will be doing their bidding?

-Anonymous, +2348033072852

 

  • First published in The Sun of Monday, October 22, 2018.

Atiku and Peter Obi combination   

October 16, 2018

Casmir Igbokwe

There is excitement in the air. There is also anxiety. It is partly because of the 2019 general election; and partly because of the prospect of having another change at the seat of power in Abuja.

President Muhammadu Buhari and his All Progressives Congress came to power in 2015 on the pedestal of change. They promised Nigerians heaven on earth. Unfortunately, that has turned out to be a mirage.

Currently, there is untold hardship in the land. Many people have lost their jobs. Some work without salaries. Some have committed suicide. Some others have sold their children and have had to do all manner of odd things to survive.

Do we talk of herdsmen and sundry criminals who kill people like cows? Do we talk of the insincere fight against corruption? Do we talk of a large chunk of the population who feel alienated from the scheme of things; the major appointments that go to a particular section of the country? Things have not been this bad. Many Nigerians have only resigned to fate and prayers.

But the cheery news is that a lot of individuals have promised to rescue Nigeria. Many political parties actually have good candidates who can do it. But the reality is that only two major parties, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have the financial muscle and the structure to win the general election.

My earlier intervention on this page says it all. In the story entitled, ‘2019 presidential contenders and pretenders’, (see Daily Sun of Monday, September 3, 2018) I noted that among all the presidential aspirants, Atiku Abubakar would be the one to give the incumbent President a good fight.

I had written, “Top on the list of the PDP contenders is former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar. The man has been mobilising and seeking support across the country. He is a successful businessman with a lot of investments in Nigeria. He is detribalised and cosmopolitan and has the ability to give Buhari a great challenge in the election…

“As a tested businessman who understands the intricacies of wealth creation, Atiku appears well equipped to transform this country if given the opportunity…To pull Nigeria out of the woods, her President must have the mental ability of a Lee Kuan Yew and the business acumen of a Dangote.”

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo put it better: “For me, relatively and of all the aspirants in the PDP, you have the widest and greatest exposure, experience, outreach and possibly the best machinery and preparation for seeing the tough and likely dirty campaign ahead through. From what I personally know of you, you have capacity to perform better than the incumbent. You surely understand the economy better; you have business experience, which can make your administration business-friendly and boost the economy and provide jobs.

“You have better outreach nationally and internationally and that can translate to better management of foreign affairs.  You are more accessible and less inflexible and more open to all parts of the country in many ways.”

Similarly, the national leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, had, two years ago, reportedly heaped praises on Atiku. In a letter to felicitate with the former vice-president on his 70th birthday, Tinubu reportedly said, “Your life has been a life of service to your people, your country and the causes you believe in. Nigeria has been well-served by your stewardship and leadership…Do not relent because Nigeria needs you and others like you to continue to make life more meaningful.”

Obviously, there are some others who do not like the man for one reason or the other. But the truth is that no human being is ever liked by everybody. The most important thing is that the prospect of rescuing Nigeria is getting brighter.

I am particularly excited that a few days after he emerged as the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku picked Peter Obi as his running mate. Without mincing words, that is also a great choice.

Like him or hate him, Peter Obi is an enigma. He is quite enlightened and has attended many programmes both in Nigeria and abroad. He has been to the Lagos Business School, Harvard Business School, London School of Economics, Columbia Business School, Oxford and Cambridge Universities among others.

Like Atiku, he is a successful businessman and wealth creator. He has been chairman and board member of many companies. He is former chairman of Fidelity Bank, former chairman of the board of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), former chairman of Guardian Express Mortgage Bank Ltd and many others. He was a member of Presidential Economic Management Team during Goodluck Jonathan’s regime.

In the political arena, Mr Obi is no pushover. Before he emerged as governor of Anambra, the state had suffered monumental bad governance and became the butt of jokes in many quarters. Recall that a sitting governor, Chris Ngige, was kidnapped at a point to the chagrin of many Nigerians. But Obi changed the narratives. His admirers fondly call him Okwute (the rock). And upon that rock, God built a solid foundation for the progress of Anambra State. He has gathered many awards in recognition of his outstanding qualities.

One of these qualities is prudent management of resources. In his time as governor, Anambra made savings a cardinal principle of governance. By the time he left office, he had saved millions of dollars in cash and investments for his successor. This contrasts sharply with the huge debts which his colleagues left behind for their successors. Under Obi, Anambra was the least indebted state in Nigeria. In fact, he did not borrow or raise bonds to finance various projects he executed in the state.

Whenever he travelled as governor, he stayed in modest hotel rooms. He plugged the loopholes through which government workers siphoned money from the state coffers. He closed down some state liaison offices that had been drainpipes on the resources of the state. He also stopped many aides from accompanying him to trips that yielded undeserved allowances for them. The money he garnered through this means was deployed in the service of the state.

He attracted and supported a number of companies to invest in Anambra and improve the economy of the state. One of the companies is SABMiller Brewery, the second largest brewery in the world. He also encouraged Innoson Motor Manufacturing Company by buying over 1,000 vehicles from the company.

During his time as governor, the state moved from 24th position in West African Examinations Council and National Examination Council (NECO) examinations to the first position among the 36 states of the federation. Part of the magic he performed was that he handed mission schools back to churches and supported them financially. The change of ownership brought about some changes in the attitude of teachers – no more late coming; no more teaching and selling clothes and groundnuts. Discipline became the watchword in those schools.

In every other sector such as health, security and infrastructure, Peter Obi left worthy legacies in Anambra.  Development partners such as the World Bank, the European Union, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and UNICEF, adjudged the state as one of the best in development partnership and commitment to reforms for good governance.

What further amazes me about this man is his simplicity and humility. Anambra is notorious for convoy menace. Some of its rich and influential citizens move with convoys that dwarf that of any state governor.

But even as governor, Obi rejected such nonsense. There was no air around him; no show of bravado by security details; and no fawning display of loyalty by aides. He flew economy class. And each time he came down from the plane, he waited to carry his luggage like any other passenger. Many of his colleagues flew first class. Some even had private jets.

In this era of bad governance, Atiku and Obi remain beacons of hope for our lost generation. If you agree with me, raise up your hand. If you don’t, please hold your peace.

 

Okowa, the roadmaster

Last week, I was at Asaba, the Delta State capital, for the 14th All Nigeria Editors’ Conference. The host governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, used the opportunity to showcase the achievements of his administration. So far, he has reportedly done 296 road projects and more are in the offing. For this, his people nicknamed him the roadmaster.

Ironically, the Asaba end of the Onitsha-Asaba-Benin Road is in a bad shape. Travellers have had to endure traffic snarls occasioned by potholes on some portions of that road. I know the argument is that it is a federal road. But I don’t think it will cost the governor much to do some palliative work and save travellers the agony of staying long hours on the road. Christmas will soon be here and the situation will get worse if not addressed.  Governor Okowa, please intervene and take the glory. Waiting for the Federal Government may be an exercise in futility. Expecting a refund from Abuja may also not materialise. But take it that you are doing it for your people. They will like you more for that as the road is a major gateway to your state.

Snippets of Nigeria’s crazy party primaries

October 11, 2018

Casmir Igbokwe

Fela Anikulapo Kuti must be turning in his grave by now. In one of his popular songs, the legendary musician described our system of government as democrazy. Now, not only is the craze getting crazier, we have bluntly refused to mend the broken pieces of our deranged system.

Last week was particularly eventful. Iyom Bianca Ojukwu and Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode may have finished counting their political losses and will now be wondering what actually hit them.

The headlines said it all: ‘Bianca Ojukwu flees as gunmen invade Anambra senatorial primary’, ‘Lagos primary: APC NWC makes U-turn, declares Sanwo-Olu governorship candidate’, ‘Buhari’s aide bites governorship aspirant in a dirty fight’, and so on.

I can imagine how Mrs Ojukwu, who is Nigeria’s former ambassador to Spain and Ikemba Nnewi’s widow, ran with her high heels. I can also imagine how the oil magnate, Ifeanyi Uba, positioned his mouth to laugh. The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) had disqualified Uba from contesting the Anambra South senatorial primary. The party said he did not obtain a waiver having recently crossed over to APGA from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Ironically, Uba strenuously campaigned for APGA’s Willie Obiano during the last governorship election in Anambra. His campaign slogan then was ‘afa Igbo ama efu’ meaning Igbo name will not disappear. Now that he needed APGA to pay him back, his own name disappeared.

In the same token, the name of Governor Ambode of Lagos State disappeared from the register of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidates. The governor would never have imagined that he would never get the second term ticket of the APC. He probably underestimated the power of his godfather, Bola Tinubu. He kept on fixing major roads and bridges but failed to fix the pockets of some party stalwarts. Tinubu himself alluded to that when he reportedly said Ambode was a good governor but not a good party man.

The man I pity most in these Lagos shenanigans is Clement Ebri, the former governor of Cross River State. He was the head of the APC’s National Working Committee (NWC) that was supposed to supervise the Lagos governorship primary.

Last Tuesday, he and his team were actually in Lagos to do their duty. He told the whole world that the election could not hold because the modalities were not followed as scheduled. He said a new date would be announced later.

The state chapter of the party thought otherwise. They said there was an election and that Babajide Sanwo-Olu was the winner. Hardly had Ebri got back to Abuja when the story changed. With the same mouth he uses to eat yam and cocoyam, Ebri announced that indeed there was an election and that Sanwo-Olu won. Shame has no other better name than this.

Ambode did not need any soothsayer to tell him that the game was up. His deputy and some commissioners had abandoned him. The social media erupted with a cartoon of Ambode captioned, ‘eat alone; die alone’. He conceded defeat and congratulated Sanwo-Olu. If he had tried to be combative, the House of Assembly would have impeached him. And surely, goodness and mercy shall fail to follow him all the remaining days of his political life.

Ambode’s wisdom in accepting defeat is what is lacking in many other states. In Ogun, Imo, Zamfara and some others, different factions created crisis and pointed fingers at one another. A particular faction of the APC in Ogun State even accused the National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, and the Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo of being the brain behind the crisis in the state chapter. Some youths even marched to the national headquarters of the APC in Abuja, demanding the removal of Oshiomhole.

Being a dogged fighter, Oshiomhole has been prancing about and dishing out instructions. His mood is like that of a combative child who is spoiling for a fight and daring his opponent to come and touch him.

Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State is like that too. He had wanted to foist his brother-in-law, Uche Nwosu, on Imo people as governor. But he met strong resistance. And so, he and seven other aggrieved governors stormed the Presidential Villa to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari. Since their meeting was behind closed doors, it will be difficult to categorically say what they wanted the President to do for them.

But no matter what, five APC governorship aspirants in the state declared their support for Senator Hope Uzodinma whom the Ahmed Gulak-led Election Committee had adjudged to be the winner of the state governorship primary election. APC had cancelled that election, declaring the result as fake. But the five aspirants vowed never to participate in any other election and urged the national leadership to call Okorocha to order. There was a fresh election last Saturday. The winner was not certain before this column went to bed.

The fear now is that our demonstration of craze may extend to the 2019 general election. Or how does one explain that Buhari got 2.9 million votes in Kano State alone in the last APC primary. In 2015 general election, he got 1.9 million votes out of the 2.3 million people who purportedly voted in Kano. Many people cried foul. Now, there is a dramatic increase in the number of votes gathered from only APC Party members. In the general election when both party and non-party members will vote, only God knows the figure they will churn out of Kano. Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano gave us a hint when he boasted recently that Kano would give APC five million votes in the 2019 presidential election.

My prayer is that 2019 election should be violence-free. People should not just die for nothing. Already, the primaries have recorded some deaths and near deaths in some states.

In Akwa Ibom, the managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the governorship candidate of the APC, Nsima Ekere, reportedly escaped assassination attempt. It was in this same Akwa Ibom that an aide to President Buhari reportedly engaged a governorship aspirant and former minister of state for FCT in a dirty fight in Uyo. The President’s aide even allegedly went as far as biting the aspirant. The fight reportedly broke out when Buhari’s aide advised the aspirant to step down for Ekere. That engendered a heated argument which eventually led to the fight.

Nigerians should be extremely careful next year. Let nobody endanger his life for politicians whose major interest is self preservation. Let us put a lie to the prediction that the 2019 election will witness violence in some states. With the major political parties having picked their presidential candidates, the coming weeks and months will be very interesting. Our common prayer should be, may the general elections not be as crazy as the primaries.

 

Re: Osun governorship election and Nigeria’s jaundiced democracy

I just finished reading your piece in The Sun. It’s a good one. Keep it up. Thanks.

Foster Obi, +2348033075694

Dear Casmir Igbokwe, your article on the just concluded Osun governorship election is the same old story by PDP agents all over the country. Any election PDP loses must fall below international standard but any one PDP wins becomes the best election in the world organised by the same INEC you are castigating now. I want you to know that we are not strangers in Nigeria. We witnessed all the elections conducted by the PDP when they were in power for sixteen years. So there is no point crying over spilt milk. What you should do as someone who saw everything that happened in that election is to ask your PDP candidate to go to court and challenge the outcome of the election and you will serve as his witness. That is what you and other PDP agents should do instead of crying every day on pages of Newspapers.

From Chief A. U Collins, +2348080276172

Really, Osun State guber election was a disappointment in the eyes of international community and election observers but opposition party (PDP) should take it as they saw it because they operated same way when they were in power. It is pay back time. After all one of the former presidents said election that brought him to power was rigged, then what are we talking about ruling party rigging election. Let them go court to claim their mandate.

Gordon Chika Nnorom, +2348062887535

Thanks for letting the general public know about my case through your widely read article. I will appreciate any other means you can assist me. Wishing you happy new month and God’s blessing.

Edward Uche Adigwe, 08033906769

Osun governorship election and Nigeria’s jaundiced democracy

October 8, 2018

Casmir Igbokwe

The just concluded Osun governorship election was freely unfair. Like some blind men who touched the elephant in different places and came up with different accounts of how it looks like, the verdict on the election has been variegated. It depends, to a large extent, on one’s political leaning and interest. But in all this, truth will always stick out and will always prick the conscience of the nation.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared the first poll inconclusive. The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ademola Adeleke, had won by a slight margin.

In the rerun held in some seven polling units last Thursday, September 27, 2018, INEC declared the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Gboyega Oyetola, the winner. He scored a total of 255,505 votes as against Adeleke’s 255,023 votes. The difference was just 482 votes. In the first poll held on September 22, 2018, Adeleke led Oyetola with 353 votes.

To the ruling APC, the election was free and fair. It described the party’s triumph as “another morale boosting victory in the lead-up to the 2019 general elections and solid attestation of the people’s support for the change agenda of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC Change administration.”

Also, President Buhari quickly congratulated Oyetola. As expected, he thanked Osun State for supporting “our good governance agenda by re-electing the APC.”

To the opposition Coalition of United Political Parties and the PDP, the rerun was a show of shame and a black day for Nigeria. The CUPP expressed worry that INEC and security agencies allegedly turned themselves into organs of the APC.

The national leadership of the PDP not only rejected the result but also expressed concern that the future of the nation’s democracy was bleak and the nation sliding into crisis. The PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus, said what happened in Osun “shows clearly that the All Progressives Congress is not ready for an election and we are afraid that President Muhammadu Buhari will not hand over if he loses the election next year.”

An impartial and independent observation of the election puts question mark on where our democracy is heading. The missions of the United States, European Union, and the United Kingdom that monitored the election said there were incidents of intimidation and harassment of voters. The US Consul General, Mr. John Bray, who read the missions’ joint report, expressed concern over the reported intimidation, harassment of party monitors, journalists and domestic observers. He urged stakeholders to remain calm.

In its verdict, the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) declared that the rerun did not meet up with the minimum standards for free, fair and credible election. It confirmed acts of intimidation by security forces and violence allegedly unleashed by party thugs. Some voters and observers were reportedly denied access to polling units. Security forces, in some cases, even reportedly threatened and arrested field observers. At PU 17, Ward 5 Osogbo, election was disrupted due to reports of sporadic shootings by hoodlums. These, the group said, were suggestive of attempts to compromise the integrity of the poll.

The recurring decimal in the allegations of electoral manipulations is the security agencies. They have always allegedly shown bias for the government in power. In the governorship election in Ekiti State two months ago, over 30,000 security agencies harassed and intimidated voters such that it put question marks on the outcome of the election.

Before the election, the outgoing governor, Ayodele Fayose, had wept at a PDP rally in Ado-Ekiti, alleging that the police manhandled him and beat up anybody who had any sign of PDP on them. “I am in pain, I am in severe pain. I can’t turn this neck anymore. If anything happens to me, the Inspector-General of Police should be held accountable,” Fayose had lamented. Of course, the APC debunked Fayose’s claim, saying it was clearly contrived to give the impression that he was being persecuted.

My fear in all this is that what happened in Osun and Ekiti dangerously point to what may happen in the general elections in 2019. If we cannot handle clean election in a few wards in one state, what is the guarantee that we will effectively handle general elections in all the states next year?

The signs are really ominous. Already, the United States Institute for Peace and the International Republican Institute have predicted electoral violence in places like Lagos, Rivers, Kano, Anambra, Ekiti, Plateau, Adamawa and Kaduna in 2019.

In a report, the institutes noted that the socio-economic inequalities, ethnic and religious divisions as well as corruption contributed to the risks of electoral violence in Nigeria. The report added that public confidence in the INEC for credible elections was low. It advised the electoral umpire to consider a transparent result management and staffing reforms.

Will INEC listen? Will the security agencies stop intervening in a negative manner in our elections? The Federal Government must reassure Nigerians that it will sanction any security agent or INEC official that attempts to manipulate our electoral process in the future. It must investigate the role of security agencies in the soured Ekiti and Osun elections and punish the culprits. This is to re-establish confidence in the system.  The wishes of the people must prevail at all times.

President Buhari must take a cue from the former President Goodluck Jonathan. Despite being the incumbent president then, Jonathan allowed the wishes of the people to prevail by conceding defeat in 2015. This is the minimum requirement Nigerians expect in 2019. Anything short of this will take our democracy back to the Stone Age. May God help Nigeria!

 

Re: Tinubu, Ambode and politricks of godfathers

I don’t blame Gov. Ambode. He knows very well that he that pays the piper calls the tune. He has shown in clear terms that he lacks the capacity to confront the status quo. So Your Excellency, why not take a dignified walk and move on with your life. Ambode has tried his best but the powers that be don’t want to see his face. The humiliation is becoming too embarrassing.

Pastor Emeka Okogbue, +2348035700346

Good day sir! I am a newspaper vendor and a regular reader of your article in Daily Sun. Based on your advice to the governor; kindly give me free tutorials on how to recover my money from FCT Ad-hoc Committee on Sale of Government Houses. My case is a long story but in summary, I paid the sum of N2.250 million for a two-bedroom flat at Gwagwalada since April 2008. Till date, I have neither seen the house nor my money. Thanks.

Edward Uche Adigwe, Kubwa, 08033906769

Bro Casmir, my wish and demand from Lagosians is a revisit of Agbalajobi and Otedola on Sarumi over Jakande godfatherism. Ambo should dam it and take a jump, he will cross the sea and nothing will happen. It is better to live a day in one’s life than every day as a sheep.

Michael I. Eze, +2348035375409

Dear Casmir, I was sincerely impressed after I have carefully gone through your frank, insightful and courageous write-up. The overbearing attitude and disposition of Tinubu to be playing God by selecting, recommending and discarding governors is too bad and uncalled for. This is not real democracy. Politics of godfatherism under any guise must not be encouraged. However, this is what is obtainable in Nigeria as this is part of corruption and yet Buhari is not seeing this. Honestly, these are the reasons why I don’t have faith in Nigeria project. If I am in the shoe of Gov Ambode, he should be bold enough to call the bluff of Tinubu and then energetically/spiritually and politically confront him/fight him to standstill. This is what Ambode must do now. He must seek and pray to almighty God, recruit either Cuban or Israel secret agents/body guards, use all his contacts, influence, financial resources, civil servants, political carrots and sticks, incumbency factors, revoke appointment of Local Govt Chairmen and swear in his loyalist etc before contesting the gubernatorial primary of APC with the Tinubu stooge.  If he contests and  yet did not win as the Lagos Governorship candidate of APC, then history shall be kind to him for putting up a fight and making a statement. The other option open to him then is to defect with his entire political family structure to PDP and then select/work with Christian deputy gov from APGA who could be a Yoruba woman and consult with Dr. Olusola Saraki who I am predicting to win the 2019 presidential election if he can pair with either Mr. Peter Obi or Senator Ike Ekweremadu as running mate and both Tinubu and Buhari will be defeated in 2019. Please convey this to those concerned. Thanks.

Gabriel, +2347039158196

Good bro Cas, Ambode should go ahead and hold unto his belief, after all Tinubu is human and fallible. Let’s see the power of incumbency and god-fatherism at play; but if by any means Ambode beats Tinubu’s chosen one, then it will be clear to all that Tinubu  will never hold Lagos state and the south west politics hostage any more. After all, he is not from Lagos state.

Larry, +2348060689642

l believe whatever sins Gov Ambode has committed against his godfather and APC, Senator Bola Tinubu should forgive him to run for second term so he can complete all projects he has started before it becomes abandoned projects.

Gordon Chika Nnorom, +2348062887535