By Kola Animashaun

Nigeria now counts the days to the general elections.  The parties are now on the hustings.  And, they are criss-crossing the cardinal points asking for votes. Some of them are still busy canvassing new alliances.
PDP would have been very sure if their ranks had been what they should.  Their ranks have been broken on account of their not keeping their words.

PDP primaries would have been a simple matter where they had been of good faith; it would have been a touch-go.

The North said there was an unspoken agreement that it was a turn for it. And, in fact, it was the turn of the North because it was the turn of Umar Yar’Adua who unfortunately died in lasy May 5, after three years in the saddle.

It should be for the North to continue to mount the presidency.  But, thanks to the kingmaker – Obasanjo and his minions who upturned the apple cart.

The same unspoken arrangement are being followed by the many other parties, including  CPC and ACN.  For CPC, it was northerner  Muhammadu Buhari and for ACN it is Nuhu Ribadu.

PDP may have a good candidate, but has goofed on its choice not from the North.  And, the NPLF is still insistent on the Northern candidate.

In a statement, NPLF’s  chairman, Malam Adamu Ciroma, said: “…the Forum will continue to stand on the principles it has espoused, i.e. justice, equity and fairness to all, encapsulated in the principles and practice of zoning and rotation (emphasis mine) of public offices among the diverse peoples of Nigeria, as enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution and in the constitution of the ruling political party of today.”  It calls on Nigerians to seize the opportunity of the forthcoming general elections to re-establish and strengthen these principles in order to secure long-term peace, unity and political stability in the country.”

You need to read within the lines to see that NPLF has not changed its mind. Ribadu, in Kano, last Sunday, said he was prepared to ‘co-operate with other parties (CPC, etc) to clinch the presidency from PDP.
In the West and the North, even in the East, the disenchantment has caught people in these places and they are changing camps. And, I will be surprised if we do not have a new party in government.
My Golden Nights – 5

By Prince Bola Ajibola

…Happily I passed two of three A level (GCE), and passed all the subjects at O’level (GCE) and obtained my passport, all in July.

With all these accomplished, I felt I could sail to the United Kingdom in August.  One of my elder brother’s wives who was working then in the Customs was able to obtain a passage for me to sail around the 9th of August.  I had expended all I had by paying for the cost of my passport. It was thereafter that I went to my father, urging him to plead with my brothers to provide me with only 49.10 pounds – for my sailing to the United Kingdom by boat.

For reason best known to them, they were not prepared to assist me, thus my sailing in August was cancelled. But I booked for another sailing on 22 November 1958.Before then I was able to save 43 pounds and a kind lady in our home (Mama Kayode) gave me a loan of 6 pounds that I added to this sum to pay for my ticket of 49.10 pounds.  I must not forget to add that my father of blessed memory also squeezed 100 pounds in form of a loan to assist me during that initial stage of my studying in London.

(May his kind soul rest in perfect peace).
On that memorable day on 22 November, as aforementioned, a large number of our pupils from St. Jude’s School came to Apapa to bid me goodbye.  They composed a good song, wishing me goodbye and good luck and I could still remember so many of them crying when the boat started sailing on the Atlantic Ocean.  Of course, with 49.10 pounds as my fare, we were in the 3rd class cabin.

Those who were more affluent than those of us in the 3rd class cabin were in the 2nd class cabin and they, of course, enjoyed better facilities than us.  I still remember that Barrister Badru Olaogun who is now a Bencher sailed with us on that occasion.

Another one that came to my mind now is Honourable Justice Oni-okpaku (nee Moore). Many other chaps from the South-East travelled with us.  In fact, they had obtained their first degrees in Art when they decided to study Law in Britain.

We landed in Liverpool on 8 December 1958 and thereafter travelled to London Euston by train where I was met by the late Justice Ligali Ayorinde, who eventually became my brother-in-law. I was  lucky that he came to receive me.  It was terribly cold and he came with a top coat which I used to follow him to 157, Malden Road in Priory Hamstead Health Area, London NW5.

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