Thursday March 5th, 2015
Thursday March 5th, 2015
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Battleground South West

  /   in People & Politics 12:41 am   /   Comments

Buhari and Jonathan

A BATTLEGROUND is a place where an election will be keenly contested between two or more major political parties or their candidates. Of Nigeria’s three traditional “tripod zones” where the nation’s demographic ethnic majorities live – Arewa Muslim North, the food basket of Nigeria; Igbo heartland South East, the engine room of the Nigerian society; and Yoruba homeland South West, the landlords of the Nigerian economy – the hunt for votes between President Goodluck Jonathan of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and General Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressive Congress (APC), will be fiercest in the South West come 28th March, 2015.

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Troops: To deploy or not?

  /   in People & Politics 12:03 am   /   Comments

A handout picture from the Nigerian military taken on February 26, 2015 shows troops posing with a flag of Boko Haram after dismantling a Boko Haram camp along Djimitillo Damaturu road, Yobe State in northeastern Nigeria, following fierce fighting that resulted in the capture of machine guns and rifles as well as the death of a number of the insurgents. Boko Haram has vowed to disrupt March 28 elections, which originally were planned for February 28 but rescheduled following security threat. AFP

THE issue of deployment of troops for elections in Nigeria has been an enduring dialectic in the annals of our democracy. Many chroniclers of the crises that led to the truncation of our democracy in the First and Second Republics have often blamed military intervention on the use soldiers to manipulate elections.

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Please don’t catch Shekau alive!

  /   in People & Politics 12:22 am   /   Comments

Shekau

One mid-morning early in December last year, I stood in the balcony of my house and watched as aircraft, as usual, lazily came in to land. I live along the very busy international plane route leading to the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos. But this morning, there was something unusual about the incoming flights. Within the space of 45 minutes, I was able to count thirteen Nigerian Air Force Hercules transporters. I immediately knew Nigeria’s war against Boko Haram was going to take a turn for the better.

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How the rigging odds favour Buhari

  /   in People & Politics 12:26 am   /   Comments

BUHARI-optimism

ELECTION rigging is not just about falsification of the results of elections, snatching of ballot boxes, illegal thumb-printing of ballot papers or announcement of results different from the expressed wishes of the electorate. Any action that violates the Electoral Act will automatically result in election rigging. Any act that renders an electoral contest not FREE, FAIR and CREDIBLE means the election has been rigged.

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Eight years later, OBJ surrenders

  /   in People & Politics 12:21 am   /   Comments

OBASANJO—Ex-President Obasanjo (left) watches as Alhaji Usman Oladunjoye tears the PDP membership card. Right: Obasanjo's card after it was torn, yesterday.

By Ochereome Nnanna A FRIEND of mine who has read Brigadier General Godwin Isama-Alabi’s book: The Tragedy of Victory: On-The-Spot Account of The Nigeria – Biafra War In The Atlantic Theatre, has a mischievous way of calling or sending me text messages any time General Olusegun Obasanjo dances in the public square. Isama-Alabi, the Chief

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So, we were fooled!

  /   in People & Politics 1:44 am   /   Comments

nnpc-cartoon

SOMETIMES you have this feeling that Nigerians can be a very gullible lot. Some of us can be very easily hoodwinked. We have a penchant to leave things that matter and pursue things that have only empty noise value. Perhaps, people like General Olusegun Obasanjo discovered this long ago. That is why, in spite of his atrocities against the people and the country, even at his sensitive family level, some people still attach some importance to his words and activities when he ought to have been consigned to absolute ignominy long ago.

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Down with America’s interference

  /   in People & Politics 12:56 am   /   Comments

Jonathan-Buhari

LET’S start by congratulating the two major political parties – the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC), especially the latter, in the matured and nationalistic way they absorbed the shift of election date from February 14th/28th to March 28th/April 11th 2015. It would have complicated matters if the APC had made good the threat by Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, to “take to the streets”. It would have served no useful purpose.

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Wanted: a president for new Nigeria (2)

  /   in People & Politics 12:44 am   /   Comments

President Goodluck Jonathan at the PDP presidential campaign rally in Maiduguri, yesterday.

AFTER what looked like a prevarication, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has finally endorsed the second term bid of President Goodluck Jonathan. This much was made known last week when its President, Chief Gary Enwo-Igariwey, led a delegation to present a document to that effect to the Governor of Abia State, Chief Theodore Orji, who is the Chairman of the South East Governors Forum.

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Wanted: A president for new Nigeria (1)

  /   in People & Politics 12:19 am   /   Comments

APC Presidential Candidate, Gen. Mohammed Buhari with his running mate Prof.  Yemi Osinbajo SAN in Abuja. Photo: Gbemiga Olamikan

IT is strange that a section of the Nigerian political class cannot find in their ranks a suitably qualified, intelligent and competent Nigerian to give their presidential ticket to confront President Goodluck Jonathan at the polls in the next nine days. The All Progressives Congress (APC) has a galaxy of stars in all fields of endeavour in their party from all parts of the country. The APC is no longer just a gang-up of Arewa North and Bola Tinubu’s followers from the South West.

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Buhari’s burdens are too much for Nigeria

  /   in People & Politics 9:17 pm   /   Comments

buhari

WE have landed in the magic month of February. All Progressives Congress (APC) supporters from the South West say February 14th, the day of the presidential election which is also the traditional Valentine’s Day is, FeBuhari. It means they are going to show love to the APC presidential candidate, General Muhammadu (or is it Mohamed?) Buhari with their votes. But supporters of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), enthusiasts of President Goodluck Jonathan, the flag bearer of the PDP and antagonists of Buhari say February 14th is Fail Buhari, because on that day they will deny him his ambition to make a second coming, having had sour a taste of him 31 years ago.

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Attacks on GEJ must stop

  /   in People & Politics 1:03 am   /   Comments

JONATHAN

ELECTORAL violence has been an ugly face of our political culture. It comes before, during and after most elections. The only election that went without the slightest stirrings of electoral violence was the annulled 1993 presidential election won by the late Chief Moshood Abiola. That of 2011, which was highly acclaimed by local and international observers, would also have been violence-free but for the organised killing of many youth corps members who helped the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to carry out the assignment in parts of the north.

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Buhari, park! Show your certificate

  /   in Elections 2015, People & Politics 12:48 am   /   Comments

Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Olajide Laleye, displaying documents on
Retired Gen. Muhammadu Buhari Certificate, during a news conference on activities of
Nigerian Army In Abuja on Tuesday . With him is the Chief Of Staff, Directorate of
Army Public Relations, Nigerian Army Headquarters, Col. Timothy Antigha.

THE raging certificate scandal of General Muhammadu Buhari, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is a big show of shame. It is making Nigeria a laughing stock out there. It shows that our laws are not supreme. The law is made for some people, while some people are not only above it but also ride it like an ass.

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Jonathan in Maiduguri

  /   in People & Politics 12:12 am   /   Comments

JANUARY 15 every year is set aside as the day when activities to remember and honour members of the nation’s armed forces come to an end. This year was not different. What was different was that it was a day the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, finally came out of his shell. Let me not say he came out of hiding.

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How the elections are already being rigged

  /   in People & Politics 8:09 am   /   Comments

File: Voter casting her vote

The opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) has threatened repeatedly that they will form a “parallel government” if the 2015 elections are rigged. President Goodluck Jonathan, while inaugurating his presidential election council replied to that threat with ominous words: “we shall see”.

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Those hawks circling Buhari

  /   in People & Politics 12:04 am   /   Comments

Buhari

WE are still discussing matters arising from the emergence of the presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) as we get set for the frenzy of presidential campaigns. The searchlight is more on the APC because it is the new kid on the block. The party is beset with a number of post-natal problems.

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Threats of a parallel government

  /   in People & Politics 12:12 am   /   Comments

L-R Founder, Leadership Group, Sam Nda-Isaiah, Governor Rochas Okorocha, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and former head of state, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) displaying their Certificates of Clearance after receiving same from Chairman, Presidential Screening Committee of APC, Chief Ogbonnaya Onu at the APC National Headquarters in Abuja on Wednesday.

WITH the emergence of the presidential candidates of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC), the stage is set for the February 2015 general elections. However, there are certain issues that give reason for grave concern as we get ready to embrace the polls. Of particular interest to me in today’s write-up is the series of threats by the main opposition APC to form a parallel government if the elections are “rigged”.

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A new signpost for disaster

  /   in People & Politics 12:43 am   /   Comments

Jonathan or Buhari  who will you pick ?

THE ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the “wanna rule” All Progressives Congress (APC) have chosen their flag-bearers for the presidential election of February 2015. The PDP, through a ratification convention on Wednesday, December 10th, affirmed President Goodluck Jonathan at the Eagle Square, Abuja. The APC took their act to Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos where Alhaji Muhammadu Buhari dusted four other contenders to the presidential ticket.

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Praying for Atiku Abubakar

  /   in People & Politics 9:05 am   /   Comments

ATIKU

THE title of this article may suggest the topic I am treating is already stale. This is because the result of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential primaries, which started yesterday at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere Lagos, will already be known, especially these days of the internet when news circulates across the globe just as it is breaking. But you will soon know why I settled for this title.

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Emir Sanusi and the Kano mosque attack

  /   in People & Politics 12:43 am   /   Comments

The emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sunusi II (C), visits the central mosque in northern Nigeria's largest city of Kano on November 29, 2014, a day after twin suicide blasts hit the mosque during weekly Friday prayers. At least 120 people were killed and 270 others wounded when two suicide bombers blew themselves up and gunmen opened fire during weekly prayers at the mosque, a week after the emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II, of one of Nigeria's top Islamic leaders called on northerners to defend themselves against Boko Haram Islamists that have been carrying out deadly attacks and seizure of territory in the northeast. AFP PHOTO

By Ochereome Nnanna FOLLOWING the savage bomb and gun attacks on defenceless worshippers in the Kano Grand Mosque last Friday, some misguided commentators, especially in the North have, as usual, been looking for scapegoats or fall guys to carry the can of blame. Shortly after the ugly incident that claimed the lives of dozens of

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OBJ, the prowling goat seller

  /   in People & Politics 7:58 am   /   Comments

jona-obj1

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo is haunting his hand-picked former protégé, President Goodluck Jonathan, like a malevolent ghost. You may wonder why OBJ, after four years as a military ruler and another eight years as an elected president, is still butting like a stubborn, demon-possessed ram at the doors of Aso Villa, Abuja? What does he still want? What did he forget in the seat of power after occupying it for 12 years? Why can’t he just go home and enjoy his new-found affluence after his latest eight years as president during which he doubled as Minister of Petroleum Resource for six years?

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Rage of impeachment hawkers

  /   in People & Politics 2:16 am   /   Comments

Police attack at National Assembly: Lawmakers scaling gate of National Assembly as Police blocked National Assembly gate in Abuja. Photo by Gbemiga Olamikan

The impeachment clauses in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999) are some of the powerful instruments granted the Legislature under the presidential system of government to hold the Executive Branch to account or actually remove them in extreme cases of serious misconduct. Sections 143 and 188 spell out the process in detail. The implications of this will be addressed shortly.

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Why Jega must go now (II)

  /   in People & Politics 3:32 am   /   Comments

APart from serial demonstrations of gross incompetence by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, under Professor Attahiru Jega, which we analysed in the first part of this article, the nation’s Chief Electoral Officer seems determined to implement a dangerous sectional agenda that will guarantee explosive outcomes starting from 2015.

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Why Jega must go now (I)

  /   in People & Politics 12:38 am   /   Comments

JEGA-INEC

By Ochereome Nnanna There is an adage which says: “be careful what you wish for; you might get it”. As the tempestuous tenure of former Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Maurice Iwu, drew to an end, there was near unanimity that his tenure should not be renewed. Iwu had presided over a presidential election

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Waziri Tambuwal for president

  /   in People & Politics 12:37 am   /   Comments

DEcamped—Speaker Tambuwal after decamping to APC, yesterday.

You must have noticed the newest political speculation in town. It must have been invented in the ongoing political transition period because I don’t seem to have noticed it before. It is the act of buying nomination forms for candidates for high office. President Goodluck Jonathan was favoured with this uncommon benevolence by thousands of groups drawn from across the polity.

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A reminder to retiring governors

  /   in People & Politics 12:44 am   /   Comments

Uduaghan, Oshiomhole, Imoke, Amaechi, Dickson and Akpabio

I have watched the disengagement antics of retiring governors with interest over the past six months, and I feel impelled to pen them this open advisory about the vanity of political greed and godfatherism. The retiring governors are those who have occupied the exalted seats for the maximum two terms and will be handing over to fresh hands by May 29, 2015.

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Marshall Badeh as a metaphor

  /   in People & Politics 12:16 am   /   Comments

Alex Badeh

On January 16, 2014, the President appointed new service chiefs to man the principal commands of the Nigerian armed forces. Among them was Air Marshall Alex Badeh, who was promoted from Chief of Air Staff to the Chief of Defence Staff. Badeh thus became the absolute top gun in the Nigerian military. He coordinates the effortsto flush out the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East.

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Fr Kukah’s Witness to Justice

  /   in People & Politics 12:00 am   /   Comments

*Bishop Kukah

It was nearly one year in transit before arriving on my desk after the author, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, promised to send it to me. Looking at the amount of intellectual effort and physical exertion that must have gone into the 519-page excellently packaged tome, I decided to delay it further to this, more auspicious occasion, of launching the new logo to commemorate 20 years of myPeople and Politics column here in Vanguard.

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Tambuwal: Kudos to Police

  /   in People & Politics 12:37 am   /   Comments

Sulaiman Abba and tambuwal

By Ochereome Nnanna Section 68: TENURE OF SEATS OF MEMBERS (1)    A Member of the Senate or of the House of Representatives shall vacate his seat in the House of which he is a member if: (g) being a person whose election to the House was sponsored by a political party, he becomes a member

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Sheikh Gumi: Like father like son

  /   in People & Politics 12:58 am   /   Comments

Sheikh Gumi

When I read the first letter by a certain Sheikh Gumi to All Progressives Congress, APC, presidential hopeful, General Muhammadu Buhari, I was a bit confused. But on closer inquiry, I discovered that this was Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, not Sheikh Abubakar Gumi, the late leader of the Izalatul Bidi’a wa Ikamatul Sunnah (Izala) Islamic sect whose utterances often set Kaduna and other parts of the North on fire up till the time he died on September 11, 1992.

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General Gowon, saint or sinner?

  /   in People & Politics 2:31 am   /   Comments

Gen. Yakubu Gowon

Whenever we interrogate the roles a man like General Yakubu Gowon played in the history of Nigeria, it is time to be reminded how we made our diversity to work against us rather than for us. Gowon is one of those giants of Nigeria’s history about whom you cannot discuss without reopening the unhealed sores of our past.

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Another Boko Haram decoy?

  /   in People & Politics 12:55 am   /   Comments

File photo strategizing: The Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen Kenneth Minima (left); his Air Force counterpart, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu (middle) and General Officer Commanding 3rd Division, Nigerian Army, Maj. Gen John Zaruwa, aboard a Nigerian Air Force plane strategising with the aid of maps in the ongoing counter-terrorist operations in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states, during a visit to the area, weekend.

AS a commentator on unfolding daily events, I strive to keep within issues before they are overtaken by new developments. I gauge an issue, write, then pray to come out before something new takes away the interest of the reading public. But this time, I am making an exception. I am praying that as you read this article, it would have been overtaken by events.

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Buhari: What’s new?

  /   in People & Politics 7:37 am   /   Comments

BUHARI DECLARES: General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) declaring his intention to seek the All Progressives Congress, APC, nomination to contest next year’s presidential election yesterday.

On Wednesday, October 15, 2014, former military head of state, retired Major General Muhammadu Buhari, made his much awaited declaration to run for the presidency on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, at the Eagle Square, Abuja. It was the fourth time since 2003 when he broke into the quadrennial vocation of seeking to rule Nigeria again.

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