Tuesday July 7th, 2015
Tuesday July 7th, 2015
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Saraki provokes mother of all media wars – 2

  /   in Frankly Speaking, News 1:34 am   /   Comments

Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and President Muhammadu Buhari at the APC NEC Meeting.

By Dele Sobowale Read Saraki provokes mother of all media wars 1 “The election of a Peoples Democratic Party senator as deputy Senate President is evidently a grand conspiracy to sabotage the Buhari government.” Senator Kabiru Marafa, PUNCH, June 22, 2015, p 7. In Europe, the 100 years war started one day and with a single

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Saraki provokes mother of all media wars – 1

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:40 am   /   Comments

Senator Saraki

Professor of Economics and Noble Laureate, John K. Galbraith, once observed that a man who makes his entrance by breaking down the front door of the house deserves some criticism for excessive violence; but, something also needs to be said about the condition of the door. Saraki’s emergence as Senate President, against the wishes of the leaders of the All Progressive Congress, APC, is a classic case of a weak door meeting an individual determined to gain entrance – even if it means breaking down the door.

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Nigerian polity: From disaster to chaos?

  /   in Frankly Speaking 9:50 am   /   Comments

Dogara and Saraki

The Seventh National Assembly, NASS, ended on a disgraceful note when it passed forty six(46) bills, on which they have been seating, in ten minutes. Some of the jesters, called Senators even tried to add insult upon injury by defending the absolutely indefensible. The former Senators probably never heard that “it is better to keep quiet and be considered a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.” If the 7th Assembly ended in disaster, the 8th had started in chaos which might have doomed it from the start. Yet, these possibilities were pointed out in 2013 – when the APC first got started. In August 2013, the following columns were published on these pages.

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Probing all past govts: Matters Arising

  /   in Frankly Speaking, News 11:08 am   /   Comments

President Jonathan acknowledging cheers at the 47th ECOWAS Summit, Accra, Ghana, May 19

Call it a plea for equity or an appeal for consideration, Jonathan’s published advice to Buhari was one few people, this time last year, would have imagined likely. It has never happened in Africa for an incumbent President to be clearly defeated in an election.

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As you leave us in darkness, we still thank you

  /   in Frankly Speaking, News 9:00 am   /   Comments

Nigeria's President Jonathan speaks during an interview with ThomsonReuters in New York

Former President Goodluck Jonathan, GCFR, your departure from the exalted office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, on May 29, 2015, was a landmark in many respects – few of which can be regarded as credits to your five years in office. In fact, if future historians, who must base some of their conclusions on today’s media records, are to judge you, as you proclaimed a few weeks before your departure, they will judge you a failure.

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Echoes from the past Prophecies for Future –1

  /   in Frankly Speaking, News 1:52 am   /   Comments

President Jonathan

Arnold did not put a question mark in the statement above. I introduced it because it seems appropriate for our current situation in Nigeria.

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Echoes from the past prophecies for the future –2

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:41 am   /   Comments

Jonathan and Obasanjo

If you want a short answer to the question: why is Nigeria not developing as fast as it should? Then take a look below, at the excerpts from an article published in 2007. The full text will appear in the book to be published later this year. Two characters featured in that piece – Obasanjo and Fani-Kayode. In no other progressive country do you find people who left their nation in the dark, literally, still being called upon to influence decisions. The two guys represent a nation spinning its wheels. So, why in 2015 were the PDP members still begging Obasanjo to support them? And why was Fani-Kayode running the PDP Presidential campaign in 2015? Please read on.

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Electoral malpractices must be punished

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:53 am   /   Comments

jega

Professor Tam David-West, nearing 80 but still going strong, and as irrepressible as ever, had made the case for those involved in electoral malpractices to be treated as armed robbers. Some have even likened it to treason – an attempt to distort the will of the people illegally. While their anger is understandable, they will not solve the immediate problem. In fact those suggestions will merely delay justice. Nigeria’s electoral laws as they stand, have never been fully tested until now. Violators have gone unpunished and we don’t know how strong a deterrent they will serve against future occurrence. At any rate we don’t have to waste time passing new laws. We should test the ones we have to the limit.

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APC governors-elect and the request for bailout

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:52 am   /   Comments

BUHARI MEETS APC GOVS/GOVS-ELECT—Front row from left: Govs Tanko Al-Makura (Nasarawa); AbdulFattah Ahmed (Kwara); Abdullahi Umaru Ganduje (Kano); National Chairman APC; Chief John Odigie Oyegun; Vice President-elect, Prof Yemi Osinbajo; President-Elect; Gen. Muhammadu Buhari; Gov. Rochas Okorocha (Imo); Speaker and Sokoto Governor Elect, Aminu Tambuwal; Kebbi Governor-Elect Senator Abubakar Bagaudu Atiku and Deputy Governor-Elect, Ngeri. Back row: Governor Kashim Shettima (Borno); Muhammad Bundow Jubrilla (Adamawa); Kaduna State Governor-Elect, Nasir El-Rufai; Governor Rauf Aregbesola (Osun); Governor Mohammad Abubakar (Bauchi); Plateau State Governor-Elect, Simon Lalong and former Governor of Ekiti State Dr. Kayode Fayemi when the President-Elect met APC governors and governors-elect, yesterday in Abuja to kick-start the new government as May 29 hand-over date approaches. Photo: Sunday Aghaeze.

The real game has not even got underway and already some of the elected officials want to change the rules. The “solidarity” visit of the governors-elect of the All Progressives Congress, APC, to President-elect Buhari, on Tuesday, May 5, 2015 which resulted in the declaration above by Rochas Okorocha, newly appointed Chairman Progressives Governor’s Forum, PGF, portends grave consequences for all of us in many ways. The most glaring is the immediate cleavage created within the party by the governors elected on the ticket of the APC – at a time when many political analysts believe that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, lost the last election mostly on account of the over-bearing activities of its Governors Forum. APC Governors Forum is taking off where the PGF left off. The most obvious question arising from this is: do Africans, especially Nigerians, ever learn from theirs or other peoples’ mistakes? It is doubtful.

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INEC’s electoral perfidy – 1

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:44 am   /   Comments

•Card reader

The appeal by Mrs Ogakwu to the Police must occur to most observers of the nearly concluded elections as strange indeed. Every election before now had always been preceded by announcements about restriction of movements on election day by the Nigeria Police. Stern warnings are given to violators that they will be dealt with if they failed to comply. Yet, in every election, some individuals, with the obvious complicity of the police violate the restrictions to cause havoc.

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Probe of NNPC from 1999 inevitable

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:32 pm   /   Comments

Buhari-oil

The report by Everest Amaefule, went on to state that “The World Bank’s Chief Economist for Africa, Mr Francisco Ferreira, said looking into financial records of the country, especially allegations of corruption at the NNPC, would check impunity and build public institutions in the future”. While thanking Ferreira for his observations, it must be stated that Buhari does not really need the World Bank or any external organization before probing the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and others. He has our mandate to do so.

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My long experience with Buhari — 2

  /   in Frankly Speaking 10:50 am   /   Comments

Buhari

In part one I listed two Governors exonerated by the Tribunal – Chief Ajasin UPN- Ondo State) and Alhaji Jakande (UPN-Lagos State). There was another honourable man Dr Clement Isong (UPN –C/River). Isong was also a former Governor of the Central Bank about whom the Tribunal said “he handled the State’s funds with the highest standard of professionalism and ethics”. I apologise to the good people of Cross River and to Isong’s family for the omission. This is history. Also note that all three were from the South and UPN; no northerner among them and no NPN governor – the Hausa/Fulani Party – was set free.

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My long experience with Buhari – 1

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:56 am   /   Comments

•Buhari

I have never met the President-elect Buhari in my life. There were two occasions when we could have met; first in 2011, when he ran for president and I worked with his campaign team part time; the second, last year after he clinched the nomination as the candidate of the APC. It was providential that we never met; otherwise I could not have written that first line. On the two occasions, he changed his plans suddenly and there was no meeting. But, I first knew of General Buhari in January 1984, a few days after the coup of December 31, 1983, which first brought him to power.

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Jonathan’s long trip back to Otuoke

  /   in Frankly Speaking 8:21 am   /   Comments

PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN

Outgoing President Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, GCFR, should now start preparing for the longest journey he had ever undertaken in his life. He is going home. Although, given any of the fleet of ten aircrafts at his disposal, and a military helicopter, the trip should not last more than one hour. But, to a Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces, of any country, who has just been defeated in an election, every nautical mile will appear like ten thousand miles. Each will be filled with unpleasant sensations. And, arrival at the destination will bring more pain – unlike previous visits to the small community which were joyful.

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Before Your State Governor Runs Away– 2

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:09 am   /   Comments

Eight-governors

In case you are wondering why some of them will run away before May 29, 2015, consider this. On that day, the man who had been surrounded by tough-looking security people will find himself alone with the people he had ruled for eight years. Only God can save him if he still owes civil servants three or four months’ salary, as well as local contractors who might never get paid.

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GEJ, Alams, Nwobodo and “authority stealing” (1)

  /   in Frankly Speaking 7:45 am   /   Comments

alams-jonathan

Although the dictionary included dishonesty among the definitions of corruption, President Jonathan had insisted that it is only stealing. I fully accept his definition of what happens in official circles. My mentor on this was the Abami-Eda himself, Fela Anikulapo – who left us with a track titled “Authority Stealing”. Jonathan, it can be assumed from his utterances and conduct, appears not to be prepared to fight corruption. But, will he wage war against stealing? Given the facts available to me, the answer is “definitely No!”

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Mr. president, I’ll believe it when it happens (2)

  /   in Frankly Speaking 1:24 am   /   Comments

economy

In the first part of this series, readers were reminded about three promises by military Heads of State – Gowon, Babangida and Abacha – to hand over to civilians at certain times; only for each of them to be forced out later – without delivering on their promises. Gown and IBB went out alive by palace coups. Abacha was bundled out, feet first, on account of mysterious, but divinely timed death.

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Mr. president, I’ll believe it when it happens

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:48 am   /   Comments

economy

“If you believe that, you will believe anything.” That was my comment on five different occasions when Nigerian Heads of State, three military and two civilians have made categorical statements about their intention to depart. And each time, events have proved me right. I remain firmly convinced that “Skepticism is the first attribute of a good critic”, thanks to James Russell, Lowell, 1819-1891. It is always sad, when Presidents and Heads of State, in Nigeria make the same promises, at very critical stages in their tenure of office, just to buy more time, while planning to disappoint the people later.

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Presidents and the Press/Media

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:28 am   /   Comments

President Jonathan with Ibanga Isine, Adesuwa Onyenokwe, Deji Badmus & Ibrahim Sheme..during a presidential media chat today.

The report published in the PUNCH concerning imminent clampdown against some media houses, namely, PUNCH, NATION and Channels TV, could only have surprised and alarmed people in the media who have not accepted that when a nation is on the brink of disaster, the media, if it does its work as the watchdog of society, is always the first target of those in government.

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INEC shifting polls and its consequences

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:34 am   /   Comments

91 years old man casting his vote at Iyin Ekiti. Pic by Dare Fasube

Only a fool would have expected the presidential elections to hold yesterday. That it took INEC until a week ago to realize their error merely proves, once again, that people can be very intelligent, but not wise. Professor Jega is the author of what will follow from now on.

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Chief Olufemi Daramola my “saviour” is 80

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:27 am   /   Comments

80th-birthday

Next Saturday is presidential election day, and, this being the last Sunday before that “make-or-break” election, readers would have expected today’s column to be about the election. But, once in a life time, a person faces a personal dilemma; he has to choose between two vital duties. Such was my problem when Chief Olufemi Daramola, KJW, Alage II of Omuo-Ekiti called me to announce he would be 80 today. I had choice to make and this is it. Let me quickly explain.

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Before Jonathan visits Akwa Ibom State

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:12 am   /   Comments

Jonathan acknowledging cheers from the crowd in PH

That piece of advice for people all the way down in the value chain of the poultry industry was prelude to the modern management principle of always having Plan B. It was a lesson I learnt in 1970, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, immediately after securing a loan to purchase a house for my family. My former wife, like all the others, had depended on one plumber, admittedly the best in the County, to fix our pipes. The problem was that, this “genius of a plumber” was also everybody’s favourite fixer.

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Akwa Ibom State goes APC; Jonathan blunders

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:05 am   /   Comments

Umana Umana

Nothing is more pathetic that when a contestant, out of hubris, and refusal to listen to all sides, loses a contest he should have won easily. President Goodluck Jonathan had just handed over Akwa Ibom State to the All Progressive Congress – on a silver platter.

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Before your state governor runs away (1)

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:43 am   /   Comments

Eight-governors

Blessed are politicians when out of power. They reveal all the things which those in power labor to hide from us. Since December 2013, I had warned My Fellow Nigerians, about the inevitable collapse of crude oil prices and its consequences. Obviously, nobody listened. In May 2014, out of sheer frustration, associated with talking to the deaf, I wrote a column titled SO YOU WANT TO BE GOVERNOR IN 2015.

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Okonjo Iweala’s third budget bites the dust

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:26 am   /   Comments

Ngozi--Okonjo-Iweala-presen

In that now forgotten long poem, which we memorized in our secondary school days, Kipling listed several instances of forbearance which would, in the end, qualify anyone to be called “a Man, my son”. But Rudyard lived in a different age than our own – which is increasingly becoming the Age of Uncertainties.

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Jonathan’s Ph.D Versus Buhari’s “semi-illiteracy” (1)

  /   in Frankly Speaking 11:00 am   /   Comments

Jonathan or Buhari  who will you pick ?

“An excellent plumber is infinitely more admirable than an incompetent philosopher [PHD holder]. A society which scorns excellence in plumbing, because it is humble activity, and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy, because it is an exalted activity, will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.

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Obasanjo versus Obasanjo on Jonathan

  /   in Frankly Speaking 9:14 am   /   Comments

Jonathan and Obasanjo

Back in 2010, a few days after late President Umaru Yar’Adua passed on, former President Obasanjo thundered: “Jonathan, you must run; don’t tell me you won’t run.” One would have thought that the man was patriotic enough to recommend someone competent to run the ship of the Nigerian State to us and the world. Two weeks ago, the same Obasanjo launched a book he titled My Watch.

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Jonathan versus Buhari: A clear choice

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:30 pm   /   Comments

Jonathan or Buhari  who will you pick ?

“Once to everyman and nation comes the moment to decide; in the strife between truth with falsehood, for the good or the evil side.”

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Umana O. Umana AKS game changer

  /   in Frankly Speaking 8:06 pm   /   Comments

Umana Umana

I met Obong Umana O Umana, October last year at the Catholic Church in Uyo, when he attended the first year memorial service for the late first Lady of Akwa Ibom State, Alison Attah. He had only recently ceased to be the Secretary to the State Government, SSG under conditions still shrouded in mystery. Until then, he was regarded as one of those on the other side by those close to Obong Victor Attah, the former Governor; including me. We got together after the service and exchanged cards. Something told me that this was a man to watch closely. Thank God, my instincts, on matters like this, never deceive me. It is already news that Umana had emerged as the flag-bearer for the All Progressive Alliance, APC, in the state just a few weeks after decamping from the PDP where he had been a member since 1998.

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Goodbye Okonjo-Iweala

  /   in Frankly Speaking 9:16 am   /   Comments

Okonjo-Iweala

On Thursday, November 27, 2014, the PUNCH, on page 14 reported as follows: “Don’t blame me for naira devaluation – Okonjo-Iweala.” In the report, the Minister of Finance, was quoted as saying that “Nigeria has what it takes to manage its way through. Benchmark for the budget 2015 had been lowered to more realistic $73 per barrel. Never in the history of budgeting in Nigeria had a Finance Minister been so often wrong as Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala had been this year. But before presenting the irrefutable evidence, a quick remark is needed about her self-acquittal from blame for the devaluation. Certainly, the Finance Minister cannot be blamed for devaluation.

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Dressed in borrowed robes: My own transformation agenda

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:28 am   /   Comments

President Jonathan

I was warned by Tusser and by the Yoruba adage about borrowing clothes. But, what can a guy do when a call came “from above” that the VC (Emeritus) of UniJankara who had bested virtually the best economists in government, by being so accurate in his predictions, can no longer be allowed to have the picture of a “Palm Wine Tapper” at the top of his columns. “Go get a suit” said the voice “from above”. That was easier said than done. I had no suit to get.

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Requiem for Ekwueme’s ‘Baby’ – PDP(1)

  /   in Frankly Speaking 12:08 am   /   Comments

Mu'azu: PDP's game changer

It was no news that Jonathan would seek another term in office. Never mind that well-orchestrated deception about going to Jerusalem to seek “divine guidance”. Obama did not go there for the simple reason that nobody has ever seen God in Jerusalem. Even the “merchants of miracles”, who accompanied new “prayer warrior” know that. It was just another opportunity to collect bountiful estacodes from a depleting national treasury by the “Haves”. The former “shoeless boy” has discovered new friends – they are the jet owners. He has abandoned all those poor people gullible enough to buy his “sob stories” in 2011.

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