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2020 guber: Edo APC and the search for a common front

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2020 guber: Edo APC and the search for a common front

Ahead of the 2020 gubernatorial election in Edo State, CAJETAN MMUTA reports that the political terrain in the Heartbeat of the Nation had been so much troubled leaving almost everybody in the whirlwind of uncertainties.

 

 

It is not in doubt that the witty battle engaged by Governor Godwin Obaseki against his estranged political godfather, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, for the soul of the party and the state ahead of the 2020 governorship election has left the party members and the state with frazzling experiences.

The two ‘warriors’ have had measured appraisal of mastery of how much weaponry, funds, contacts and connections, strategies and other logistics to expend as time and tide allow them to continue or retreat from the raging political gimmick, which has drawn so much focus, criticisms, confusion and fanfare.

Unfolding events at the popular Anthony Enahoro legislative chambers and elsewhere within the last two months have brought many to ungodly poise, with lots of curiosity and questions about what may have indeed prompted the seeming rumble between the gladiators. Many had expected that either or both gladiators should be raising false alarm if they believe that there was no lion off the cage to force many to run for their lives.

Sadly, the state has been given a steep and deep bloody scratch and no doubt it may take decades to heal. Not a few were recently jolted to their marrow to hear and read what Oshiomhole said, that the media and other interested bodies were behind the quakes and shakes that have left many in fussy guess over the frosty relationship between him and Obaseki. The propriety or otherwise of the inauguration of nine out of the 24 members of the Edo State House of Assembly by the Clerk of the House, Alhaji Yahaya Omogbai, has remained contentious.

The outcome, criticisms, commendations, pretenses, denials, neutrality, bravado and condemnations have brought all the leaders, elders and other stakeholders to a rough edge. While people of the state keep groping in the dark over the brouhaha, the dramatis personae are presumably seeing themselves off with mimicked smiles about what is believed to be swords sheathing in the guise of reconciliation. Reconciliatory efforts The recent peace meeting in Iyahmo in Etsako West Local Government Area of the state on Sallah Day between Oshiomhole and his political son and successor, Obaseki, was a clear but brief attention shift from the tautly ring of still pending rage and rough political tackles ahead and a smokescreen in the long search for an elusive peace by both parties and the stakeholders. Already, sleep had been murdered.

This is so because it is rife that behind the cotton lie the obvious that both sides are armed to the teeth with stiff and steel political daggers hounding for possible scapegoats. While that final time comes having reneged in all fronts to yield to the voices of reason and peace; the day, month and year of the chameleonic adder of death nail is near and no prophesy can stop the warring parties. Interestingly, from all indications, the sword of Damocles is swirling dangerously and irretrievably for its deadly cut of pounds of flesh.

Few weeks back, strong indications emerged of how powerful forces in the Presidency and influential traditional institution, politicians and business mogul waded in to resolve the feud. Findings by Saturday Telegraph revealed that Obaseki in company with his deputy, Hon. Philip Shaibu; the Chief of Staff, Mr. Taiwo Akerele; the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Ogie Osarodion; and some other members of the State Executive Council had visited Iyamho’s country home of Oshiomhole to felicitate with him as part of activities marking this year’s Sallah celebration by the Muslim community.

This annual rite had been seen by many as a reconciliatory move in many circles and an attempt by the state’s helmsman and his aides to beg Oshiomhole to soft pedal. Oshiomhole during the said visit had told the world that Obaseki is his brother and that he had no problems with him. Obaseki on his part had also echoed the same. Oshiomhole had said: “From time to time, we have always been meeting. It is not an unusual visit, the meeting afforded me the opportunity to meet with my brother and with people I have worked with”, adding that it was unfortunate that the media enjoy creating factions for their own gain. On his part, Obaseki said there is nothing unusual about the meeting, noting that it is Sallah Day.

“We have just finished celebrating with former National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, in Benin City and we decided to come here (Iyamho) to celebrate Sallah with my predecessor”, he said, urging those who think there is a rift between the duo to perish the thought. Chairman of APC in the state, Anselm Ojeua, told our correspondent that, “those people saying there is no peace between the governor and APC national chairman are not honest. They met and have said they have nothing against each other.

“My position had been that there is no problem between them. Those who think that they have problem with the governor because he is not bringing money to share felt if they create the problem it will capitulate; it is the third party that is causing the problem”.

He urged Edo people to remain calm as they expected more dividends of democracy from the present government under Obaseki. Waiting on Mr. President The question, therefore, is; on whose account is the lingering crisis in the hallowed chamber of the state Assembly? Insider sources close to the Oshiomhole group of 12 members-elect, who are still holed in Abuja told Saturday Telegraph that all the hue and cry about reconciliation was a ruse as both actors “bid themselves bye after the Iyamho visit” and that, “nothing was ever discussed”. According to one of the credible sources, the members-elect are waiting for the intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari on the matter.

“President Buhari had during the screening of new ministers promised to wade into the crises in Bauchi and Edo states. He has also asked the Inspector General of Police and the Attorney-General of the Federation to look into the cases in both states. From the 21st of August we shall know the final stand. So, there was nothing like reconciliation; it was a mere visit. The peaceful reconciliation should be left for them. We are waiting for the direct intervention of President Buhari”, the source said. Previously, it was gathered that the timely intervention and pressures mounted on the governor by the Presidency, the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, the Oba of Benin, Omo N’ Oba Nedo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare 11, the Ogidigan and other eminent personalities may have forced the governor to take the latest plunge. Sources close to the feuding parties disclosed that the deputy governor had earlier visited the APC national chairman during which he tried to appeal to Oshiomhole to soft pedal on the political impasse between him and Obaseki as well as other key actors in Edo State APC.

This newspaper gathered that the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kari, has personally expressed his displeasure over the seeming soured relationship between Obaseki and Oshiomhole. He was said to have insisted on the need for the governor to take necessary steps to settle with his predecessor. Besides, President Buhari was also said to have seriously frowned at the manner the state government is handling the Edo crisis, particularly as it regards legal issues against the ruling party and apparent disregard of various directives for Obaseki to issue fresh proclamation for the inauguration of the 24 members House of Assembly. Dangote, on his part, was said to have, alongside Deputy National Chairman (South) of the APC and one of the new ministers, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, personally pleaded with Oshiomhole and Obaseki to sheathe their swords in the interest of the state.

At a meeting held earlier at the Abuja residence of the Africa’s richest man, with Adebayo, Oshiomhole and Obaseki in attendance, it was gathered that Dangote and Adebayo, particularly prevailed on Oshiomhole to allow Obaseki visit him during the Sallah holiday, during which both parties in the impasse would click glasses amid talks and bid bye to the over two months old disagreement.

Although this was not to be as this paper learnt that the encounter was merely a cheery one with no serious issue discussed as both the host and his guests had their banter in the open sitting room, it was clear then that the presumed talks for peace between Oshiomhole, Obaseki, Shaibu (Deputy governor), Chief of Staff and the SSG, Osarodion Ogie, among others, did not hold as expected. Sources close to the APC in the state said issues over the running of affairs of the state were identified as the major cause of the problem between Oshiomhole and Obaseki. Also pointed out was the way some key political aides believed to be loyal to Oshiomhole were booted out of office by the governor.

 

More puzzles

How far the Sallah visit will smoothen glaring rough edges for the governor ahead of the eventful year 2020 gubernatorial race in the state and possibly enthrone lasting peace remains a mirage. There is mutual suspicions among the gladiators. This is as questions are being asked as to what would happen to all the aggrieved parties. In addition, the hanging fates of the 12 memberselect who are presently holed in Abuja following alleged threat to their lives since the onset of the crisis remain a puzzle too. Sadly too, the National Executive Council (NEC) of the APC is also said to be highly embarrassed and unhappy about the situation in Edo state.

At the moment, it is not clear how the matters in court would be resolved. There are three cases in court; one each in Benin, Port Harcourt and Abuja. But unbent as ever, Obaseki is not bulging into all the seeming threats from any quarters including that of the national leadership of the ruling party and Ad hoc committees set up by both chambers of the National Assembly, although one is yet to witness a frightening muscle flexing as the senate and House of Representatives are both on recess and will soon resume to revisit the Edo imbroglio. Also, the Presidency and office of the AGF may soon take decisive actions aimed at bringing all the parties together in the affected states where political crises are taking tolls.

Fears over the battle ahead

In another development, amid the festering stalemate over the barrage of orders from various quarters, there is still uneasy calm and uncertainty. The state government appears set for the worst. It had tagged the recent Senate resolution on Edo Assembly as unconstitutional and a flagrant disregard for principles of separation of powers. It also warned that the said resolution could spark fire that would set the state  ablaze.

A chieftain of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Don Obaseki, in his view, urged the state government not to allow miscreants or motor-park touts to feed fat on the resources of the state. A statement issued earlier by the state government described as unconstitutional and a flagrant disregard for the principle of separation of powers, the resolution of the Senate directing Obaseki to issue a fresh proclamation for the inauguration of the state House of Assembly.

In the statement signed by the SSG, the state government declared that the “illegality will not stand” and advised those it referred to as “powerful persons” not to set the state ablaze, “merely to satisfy their thirst for power and control.

The Senate in a step that was not totally unexpected, directed the governor to issue a fresh proclamation for the inauguration of the Edo State House of Assembly, and ordering a fresh inauguration of the Edo State House of Assembly. “As earlier mentioned, this move was not unexpected in the light of the enormous political pressure, which had been brought to bear on the officers and members of the distinguished Senate by the highly placed and powerful persons who intend to foist their will and choices on the good people of Edo State.

“This is borne out by the recorded statements made by one Seid Oshiomhole (a member-elect and younger brother of the National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole) wherein he boasted that both the Senate President, Senator Ahmed Lawan and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, had been instructed on what to do in this matter. Ogie also noted that the Senate failed to take cognizance of the existence of a valid injunction in Suit No FHC/B/OS/70/2019 wherein the Federal High Court restrained various parties from interfering in any manner with the activities of the Edo State House of Assembly.

 

“The Edo State Government is further aware that in suit No. FHC/ABJ/ CS/815/2019, wherein the Clerk and the National Assembly are defendants before the Federal High Court in Abuja, the National Assembly and the Clerk have not only been duly served with the processes but have entered appearance in the matter.

“It is unfortunate that the distinguished Senate would act in flagrant breach of these various court orders and purport to come to factual and legal conclusions concerning a matter in which the parties are already before the courts and therefore subjudice. “We are also concerned that the members of the distinguished Senate appear to have very scant regard for the principle of separation of powers as enshrined in our constitution, which is manifested by their taking over the functions of the judiciary in dispute resolution and giving directives to a governor of a state who is certainly not subject to the supervision of the National Assembly.

“The Edo State Government maintains that there is nowhere in the constitution particularly Section 11(4), which enables the National Assembly to “take over” any House of Assembly or in this respect, the Edo State House of Assembly.” The SSG added that: “It must be further observed that it has always been the contention of the Edo State Government that the power to issue a proclamation for the inauguration of a House of Assembly as set out in Section 105(3) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was duly and completely complied with and it is not within the power of the governor to recall same once issued or to perform the same act multiple times. Once the governor issues a proclamation letter, his job is done. “It is the duty of the Clerk of the House of Assembly to inaugurate the House of Assembly and he has since performed that task. He has further approached a court of law to seek a validation of his actions.

The pronouncements of the distinguished Senate on the subject (with respect) is clearly misconceived and will amount to interference in the role of the courts, which may in fact constitute contempt with which the governor would not wish to be associated.

“The Government of Edo State firmly believes that our state is not a colony or a vassal of any person or persons exercising power in Abuja and we shall take all necessary steps within the ambit of the law to defend and validate our position and actions on this matter. “We call on all persons of goodwill to call the powerful wielders of ‘power and authority’ in Abuja and elsewhere to refrain from acts, which are clearly unconstitutional, undemocratic and a flagrant disrespect for the principle of due process and separation of powers.

“These powerful persons should not be allowed to set our state ablaze merely to satisfy their thirst for power and control. As we have always maintained on this subject: – This illegality will not stand!!!”. As the fire keeps glowing amid chest beating and bragging, all eyes are watching to see how best the entire crisis and the clash of interests will come to an end.

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Kwara Speaker hails tribunal’s judgment

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Kwara Speaker hails tribunal’s judgment

The Speaker, Kwara state House of Assembly, Hon. Salihu Yakubu Danladi has congratulated Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, on his victory at the governorship election tribunal, stressing that it was an expected triumph.

The Speaker, according to a statement signed by his Special Assistant, Media, Ibrahim Sheriff, said: “The victory is not a surprise but it’s only a manifestation of an obvious truth. We were never in doubt of your coming out victorious, owing to the overwhelming support your candidacy and now mandate enjoy.

“It was obvious and glaring to all that the PDP had already resigned to fate knowing full well that they were roundly rejected by Kwarans, but was only relying on a wide goose chase journey.

“Your Excellency Sir, on behalf of the 9th Kwara State House of Assembly, I felicitate with you and charge you to continue discharging your duties as a truly people oriented Governor, while reassuring you of our unwavering support of the legislative towards the revival of our lost glory and setting Kwara on the path to greatness.”

The Speaker, who expressed surprise at how the PDP and its gubernatorial candidate, rather than take up and task the new government on ways to take the state out of the retrogressive status they left it, preferred to muscle strength on such a frivolous and fictitious matter. He therefore advised the opposition party to be issue based and pro people, if they wanted to be taken seriously by the citizenry.

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Kaka: PDP took Nigerians for a ride

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Kaka: PDP took Nigerians for a ride

Senator Gbenga Kaka, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), speaks in this interview with Adewale Ajayi on the state of the nation and recent recent developments in the polity as well as governance in Ogun State

 

 

How would you assess 100 days of President Muhammadu Buhari second term viz a vis his promise of taking Nigeria to the next level?

There is always hope till the end of human race, the only thing we can say is when will the hope materialize, is it going to be at the current next  level or the other farther next level? So, to help the current administration, the best thing we can do is to contribute our individual quota to help the administration to lead us with wisdom from God. We want the administration to perform because its failure is the failure of everybody and its success is the success of everybody. We are in it together, so we can’t say there is no hope, there must be hope and the hope must be sustained. The only way to sustain the hope is to encourage the government of the day to do the right thing because we want Nigeria to survive.

There are bad eggs, there is no doubt about it, but we should expose them, no matter how highly placed they are. If we don’t expose them, we will also feel the negative impact of their nefarious activities as it was our failure to expose them that led us to where we are today. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) took us for a ride for 16 solid years and when we add the four years Buhari has spent, it adds up to 20 years. More than 20 years ago, we had Prof. Wole Soyinka saying that his generation is a wasted generation; I wonder what he will call this generation. This is an alienated generation, so we need to appeal to our leaders, the opposition and the elite should let the country be. They are directly or indirectly contributing to the destruction of the country, deliberately holding down the masses.

How is the political class holding down the masses?

When Chief Obafemi Awolowo introduced free education in 1955, many other regions appreciated it, but they lacked the good will to replicate that. It was after the gains of the free education started manifesting that they started running. Initially, they thought about using quota system and federal character to hold us down. When they realized that things are not going the way they wanted, they decided to adopt Universal Basic Education (UBE). We have since adopted UBE, so that every state will take it as a priority, but many of them don’t meet up with their counterpart funding.

If you look at the economy, the situation is the same. That is why the elite are comfortable with high interest rate of 25 per cent and in some 40 per cent. The same elite use religion to hoodwink the people and make them to become subservient rather than emphasizing the need for them to use their brain in order to  make life better, not only for themselves, but for the society.

Insecurity is one of the major problems threatening the peace of the nation and there is the feeling that concrete steps have not been taken by the Federal Government to tackle the issue. How can this problem be addressed?

I will refer to those perpetrating the heinous crimes as criminals. I don’t want to know which ethnic group they belong to. Only those who are looking for escape route, call it one name or the other. Take as an example, it is obvious that over 90 per cent of people from the South-South and South-East are Christians; if there are criminals in those areas, the probability is that you will have a ratio 9/10 of having a Christian as being responsible. It is the same thing if you go to area with preponderance of Muslims.

It is unfortunate that some leaders are misleading the people by saying that what is going on in the country is an attempt to Islamise the nation. Such people needed to be educated. If they are educated, they won’t be saying such things. They are using a different cloak to cover the face of the reality. However, the solution to the problems we have is true federalism.

There are certain things the Federal Government should not saddle itself with beyond the basic one, which is the security of the nation and issues bordering on the arm forces, and probably immigration and some others. Power should be decentralized. Some people are clamouring for community policing, but it will not occur in isolation. There is a bridge between the community and the Federal Government and that bridge is the state. It is well recognized, it is the state that is the federating unit.

The states cannot be by passed, when community policing is being talked about. There must be synchronization and where the power of the community is being over stretched, the state police will come in. If the police at the state level is becoming over bearing, that of the federal will intervene.

What is your position on the RUGA initiative being promoted for cattle rearers? Do you think that will end the faceoff between farmers and the herdsmen?

Act of dishonesty is what is troubling us. Dishonesty in the sense that we always remain in a state of denial of what has been done that is commendable and can be emulated. I talked about free education introduced by Chief Awolowo, we have been dancing round it, we later settle for Universal Basic Education. RUGA was not well defined and badly marketed; that’s why we are having problems. The RUGA they are talking about is not different from the farm settlement that Awolowo did, but it takes the deep to call to the deep.

Does that mean RUGA is not the solution to incessant clashes between herdsmen and farmers?

It is not in the sense that there is no livestock production that is exclusive to any particular tribe. As an agriculturist, if the environment in my area is conducive, I will stay within that farming community. It is just the terminology that was not well interpreted. Awolowo did not give it any name than farm settlement. In the body of its establishment,  it was highlighted that the purpose is to develop the community into farming activities, providing basic necessities of life, assisting them with produce to go into farming, and their produce to the market and  value addition through cottage industry and export where they have excess.

Let anybody come and tell me, that what they are proposing now is better off, but if they are basing it mainly on livestock, livestock is a business, if you must go through ranch system, that is extensive, you must be prepared to acquire large expanse of land, whereby you have your pasture planted with assorted grasses that will satisfy the protein, fiber and carbohydrate need of the animal. Since you are in business, a business of which the product, you will be free to determine the price, the government has lesser business beyond providing the necessary infrastructure.

The composition of the federal cabinet has generated mixed reactions from Nigerians. The President was criticized for picking only politicians and failing to consider technocrats. What is your take on that?

The way our people think is grossly pedestrian. Politics is a vocation, so those people who call themselves technocrats have the option of remaining as technocrats or be in politics as a vocation. If they refuse to partake and other technocrats, who are probably better and socially responsible decide to embrace politics, after going through the rigour and winning election, people will start shouting bring in technocrats. What were they doing when decisions were being taken; what were their contributions?

They want to reap where they did not sow. If truly they are technocrats of goodwill and social responsibility standing, they should have been involved from the scratch in educating the electorate on the best candidate to choose and providing the needed assistance to win elections, giving necessary input into the manifesto and assisting in the implementation strategy.

Anybody can write any policy, but implementation is our major problem. They will stay somewhere, the conception would be done, the ideas would be generated, the election would be won, and when it comes to implementation of the idea, they want to get there and get it done. Can they do it better than those who generated the ideas, it is not possible.

Does it mean that one has to be a politician before one serve ones country?

I am not saying you must be a politician. Technocrats can contribute and assist the politicians, but not necessarily gunning for ministerial or commissionership positions. If they want to be in the executive, let them be involved from the beginning, right from the writing of the constitution of the party. Who is a technocrat? We have medical doctor who are fully involved in politics. We had late Dr Tunji Otegbeye, he operated his hospital in Ebute Metta, Lagos and was involved in agriculture farming activities, when it comes to politics, he was a committed Awoist.

When it comes to community service, he was always available. How do you compare that to somebody, who will remove himself totally from the people he is supposed to serve, who will remove himself from those who drafted an idea he did not help in generating only to jostle to implement it.

But we’ve had technocrats, who did well in the past; the likes of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Akinwunmi Adesina and Oby Ezekwesili, among others…

If you say they did well; did well in what form. If they did well, we won’t have problem, the problem will not keep on lingering, I don’t want to go to issue of personality.

Is the problem with them or those who failed to heed to the advice they gave?

I am telling you many of those people you are talking about, they may have what seems to be good ideas, but which are not workable. Some of the ideas they brought were Utopian. There is no foundation laid for some of those ideas they brought from America and Europe and they are propounding the same theories for us to implement. That is negative.

How would assess governance in Ogun State given the various steps so far taken by Governor Dapo Abiodun? Will you say he is moving in the right direction?

The day is still so young, he has just spent three months and we have 48 months in the first instance. I want to believe that we should give him the room. Just as I talked about Buhari, let him pick those he can work with, but he also must be careful. There is a limit to the use of the so called technocrats. Those who worked for the party must be given opportunity to translate their ideas as he who wears the shoe knows where it pinches most.

The politicians were the ones who made promises to the electorate; they were the ones who campaigned on his behalf and other public office holders. So, they are expectant for themselves and those they made promises to.  A technocrat that does not know where you are coming from can’t implement anything. The politicians appealed to the electorate and they should be considered for positions, not people from outside, who will take one or two years to learn and before they stabilize, the tenure is over.

Those of us who know the nooks and crannies of the state know where the shoe pinches. I will advise the governor to think deeply and not allow himself to be hoodwinked by the idea of appointing more technocrats into his cabinet.

Are you saying that the governor is not carrying party members along in what he is doing?

I am saying is that he should carry party members along, he has not done anything wrong for now, but the rumour is rife that he would engage more technocrats in the administration of the state. Are they going to come from the moon or the sun? If they are in the system and they believe in the cause, they ought to have come on board to champion the cause they believe in and not coming when election has been won. If they want to implement something, they must participate in generating it.

How about his Initiative of launching job portals for the unemployed?

It is a very good initiative because we need statistics. You know that these statistics being branded about are arbitrary, we have those who are not employable, not educated, they are entrepreneurs in their own, they are employers of labour, they are working, if they do not supply their profile on the platform, it shows that they are not unemployed.

At every point in time, you will see that they will get the accurate figure of those unemployed and willing to work. Those who are unemployed and not willing to work will be extrapolated. Those who are not ready to work, government will decide what could be done to help them instead of becoming nuisance to the society. But, in implementing the information got government should be honest, if they derail, it will rubbish the effort made.

What do you make of the xenophobic attacks against foreigners in South Africa and its implication on Africa’s unity as well as steps taken by the Federal Government on the development?

Xenophobic attacks will not destroy Africa’s unity. The labour union will say injustice to one is injustice to others. So, it is unfortunate that we have allowed ourselves to be disorganized by the colonialists. The incalculable damage they have done to our psyche is better imagined, but if they have done that damage, the question is, what effort are we making to liberate ourselves, not just through aluta, but through genuine reconstruction of our life. We allowed them to give us education that will bring us back to them, we did not change the curricula, we still tailored everything towards the colonial masters.

We can domesticate whatever thing we perceive to be good from them for our own use; otherwise we make innovation and decide to go entirely local by beginning from the scratch. What is happening now is a psychological repression in South Africa. If you look at it, Ghana has done it before to we Nigerians; Nigeria did it to Ghana; many other have done it and it all shows that they are misplaced aggression in the sense that they don’t properly identify their problem. They have not gone to the root of the problem and they are attacking the symptoms that were prepared by the colonialists.

Before the advent of the colonialism, we had a system of managing our lives, if they call it primordial, we don’t call it primordial; if they call it primitive, we won’t call it primitive. That was our way of life.

How about steps taken by the Federal government on the issue?

I want to commend the Federal Government for its maturity despite the several calls for severance of diplomatic relationship with South Africa. If they are our brothers and sisters, we should find a way of assisting them to resolve their issues.

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Mugabe: End of an era

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Mugabe: End of an era

FELIX NWANERI writes on the life and times of former Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe, who passed on September 6 and was laid to rest at the weekend

 

 

 

It was end of era in Zimbabwe at the weekend as the remains of the country’s former president, Robert Mugabe, was interred.

Mugabe was hospitalised in Singapore for months for an undisclosed ailment until his death on September 6 at the age of 95.

The revolutionary, who was Zimbabwe’s first post-independence, Mugabe was forced to step down by his country’s military in November 2017 following nationwide mass protests after 37 years in power.

A leader, who was initially lionized, Mugabe later came under fire for being autocratic and brutal. He was prime minister from 1980, before the Zimbabwean parliament amended the country’s constitution in 1987 to declare him executive president.

This saw him combine the roles of head of state, head of government and commander-in-chief of the armed forces. It also gave him the power to dissolve parliament, declare martial law and run for an unlimited number of terms.

The then Speaker of the country’s parliament, Jacob Mudenda, announced Mugabe’s resignation during a parliamentary hearing to impeach the long-time ruler.

According to the Mudenda then, Mugabe’s letter said he was resigning “with immediate effect” for “the welfare of the people of Zimbabwe and the need for a peaceful transfer of power.”

The case for impeachment was hinged on Mugabe’s age and the machinations of his wife, Grace, for “usurping constitutional power.”  The move caps an astonishing eight-day crisis, which started when the military took over and the country’s ruling Zanu-PF party, which voted to make sacked Vice President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, its leader and demoted Mugabe to a rank-and-file member, moved the impeachment motion and the opposition seconded it.

To celebrate Mugabe’s ouster, lawmakers roared in jubilation, while Zimbabweans trooped to the streets to celebrate the end of an era. Mugabe had previously refused to resign despite the military takeover and days of protests.

Before then, Mugabe won elections for 15 years,, but the polls were marred by violence against political opponents. He also presided over a deepening economic crisis in Zimbabwe.

But, Mugabe, who was at the time (2017), the world’s oldest head of state, was a victim of his own allies. What triggered his ouster was his dismissal of Mnangagwa as vice-president.

That decision was seen by many as clearing the way for Mugabe’s wife, Grace and her faction within the Zanu-PF to succeed her husband as leader. This riled the military leadership, which stepped in and put Mugabe under house arrest.

Though Mugabe was 93 then and his health visibly deteriorated, he was still officially going to seek re-election the following – 2018.

The key to understanding Mugabe is the 1970s guerrilla war in which he made his name. Though some still consider him a hero of the country’s liberation struggle, many reviled him as a dictator prepared to sacrifice the economic wellbeing of 13 million people to remain in power.

He had ruled Zimbabwe through a mixture of coercion, bribery and revolutionary rhetoric, but support from the security establishment waned before his fall.

Born on February 21, 1924, into a Catholic family at Kutama Mission northwest of Harare, Mugabe was described as a loner and a studious child. Reports had it that after his carpenter father left the family when he was 10, the young Mugabe concentrated on his studies, qualifying as a schoolteacher at the age of 17.

He embraced Marxism and enrolled at Fort Hare University in South Africa, meeting many of Southern Africa’s future black nationalist leaders.

After teaching in Ghana, where he was influenced by its founder, President Kwame Nkrumah, Mugabe returned to what was then Rhodesia, where he was imprisoned for his nationalist activities in 1964 and spent the next 10 years in prison camps or jail.

During his 10 years in prison, Mugabe gained three degrees through correspondence, but the years in prison were wrenching. His four-year-old son by his first wife, Ghanaian-born Sally Francesca Hayfron, died while he was behind bars, but Rhodesian leader Ian Smith denied him leave to attend the funeral.

Mugabe later rose to lead the fight against Rhodesia’s white-minority government, which unilaterally declared independence from Britain.

When he came to power in 1980, Mugabe was a self-identified Marxist-Leninist whose intellect and political flair brought him support from across the world. In 1983, then United States Vice President George H.W. Bush called him a “genuine statesman.” In 1994, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.

But his government’s descent was swift and dramatic. In the early 1980s, he was accused of backing the murder of 20,000 people of the Ndebele tribe, whom he considered dissidents. In the 1990s, economic mismanagement brought hyperinflation to Zimbabwe, resulting in the printing of bank notes of 100 trillion Zimbabwean dollars.

In the early 2000s, in an effort to satisfy his political allies and reaffirm his anti-colonial bona fides, Mugabe presided over the violent seizure of farmland belonging to white Zimbabweans. Much of that land sat fallow after it was redistributed. The country once called “the breadbasket” of southern Africa was forced to start importing food.

As Mugabe grew older and frail, opposition to his presidency mounted. Zimbabweans began talking openly about how his reign might end. For years, rumours circulated that he was critically ill, but Mugabe always reemerged, giving cogent, if meandering, speeches into his 90s.

But he often trailed off into anti-colonial rants that made it seem like Britain was preparing to invade. “Zimbabwe will never again be a colony,” became his trademark rallying cry, which meant little to young Zimbabweans who found it increasingly difficult to find work.

The unemployment rate soared over 50 per cent. More than two million Zimbabweans moved to South Africa in search of jobs as their country’s economy collapsed.

This, notwithstanding, Mugabe enjoyed acceptance among peers in Africa, who chose not to judge him in the same way as the United Kingdom, United States and other Western detractors. For instance, his criticism of the International Criminal Court (ICC) was welcomed by regional leaders who also thought it was being unfairly used to target African leaders.

Little wonder, the torrents of tributes that have continued to flow from leaders across the continent since his demise.

Mugabe’s successor, Mnangagwa, for instance, wrote:  “Mugabe was an icon of liberation, a pan-Africanist who dedicated his life to the emancipation and empowerment of his people. His contribution to the history of our nation and continent will never be forgotten.”

Former South African president, Thabo Mbeki, on his part, described Mugabe as a tried-and-tested compatriot and a great pan-African who defended his beliefs.

“The message is very clear: one of the cadres and comrades we should always value as one of the combaters for the liberation of South Africa is President Robert Mugabe,” said Mbeki.

For ex-Nigeria president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, in a condolence letter to the government and people of Zimbabwe, wrote: “The former president of Zimbabwe was a frontline leader, activist, an indomitable fighter for the liberation of Zimbabwe from apartheid and oppressive racialism, a statesman per excellence and a tireless advocate of the preservation of the mystique of Africa’s moral and cultural values.

“He had selflessly dedicated himself to public service for most of his life, particularly as prime minister of Zimbabwe from 1980 to1987 and also as president from 1987 to 2017.

“Having followed with keen interest his heroic struggles to secure an independent Zimbabwe in 1980, President Mugabe had become much more than a leader to his people. He had become the living symbol and embodiment of their long and valiant struggle for their rightful place in the comity of nations.

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Reconciliation: APC forms 39-man steering c’ttee for Adamawa

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Reconciliation: APC forms 39-man steering c’ttee for Adamawa

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Adamawa State All Progressives Congress (APC) has named a 39- member Steering Committee to oversee affairs of the party in the state and reposition it for victory.

The committee, headed by Abdulrahman Adamu, has Secretary to the Government of the Federation Boss Mustapha and Minister of FCT, Mohammed Bello as co-chairmen is to work with the APC National Working Committee (NWC).

According to a document made available to newsmen in Abuja on Thursday, a robust term of reference given to the committee was a charge to reconcile all aggrieved aspirants/candidates and other chieftains that vied for positions during the 2019 general election.

APC in Adamawa State has been in crisis, which led to the electoral victory of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.

Also according to the document, the committee is also charged with the task of developing programme of action to reposition and strengthen APC in Adamawa State, as well as propose modalities that ensure free and fair primaries ahead of the coming local government election and future elections in the state.

Other members of the committee include the immediate past governor of Adamawa State, Mohammed Umaru Jibrilla Bindow, former EFCC Chairman, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, Dahiru Bobbo and Sen. Ahmed Hassan Barata among many others.

 

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Court grants Nasarawa PDM senatorial candidate bail

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Court grants Nasarawa PDM senatorial candidate bail

Cheke Emmanuel, Lafia

The senatorial candidate of the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) in Nasarawa State, Alhaji Abdullah Agwai was on Thursday granted bail by a Lafia magistrate court III amidst tight security.

The court was beefed up with armed security in the early hours of Thursday to deal with any security breach following threat of invasion of the premises by hoodlums.

He was granted bail in the sum of N1million and one surety who must be a resident within the jurisdiction of the court and must deposit four passport photographs.

Agwai was arraigned by the police for alleged defamation following a formal complaint by the immediate past governor of the state aand now Senator representing Nasarawa South senatorial district at the National Assembly, Tanko Al-makura.

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Court grants Nasarawa PDM senatorial candidate bail

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on

By

Court grants Nasarawa PDM senatorial candidate bail

Cheke Emmanuel, Lafia

The senatorial candidate of the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) in Nasarawa State, Alhaji Abdullah Agwai was on Thursday granted bail by a Lafia magistrate court III amidst tight security.

The court was beefed up with armed security in the early hours of Thursday to deal with any security breach following threat of invasion of the premises by hoodlums.

He was granted bail in the sum of N1million and one surety who must be a resident within the jurisdiction of the court and must deposit four passport photographs.

Agwai was arraigned by the police for alleged defamation following a formal complaint by the immediate past governor of the state aand now Senator representing Nasarawa South senatorial district at the National Assembly, Tanko Al-makura.

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Politics

Court grants Nasarawa PDM senatorial candidate bail

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on

By

Court grants Nasarawa PDM senatorial candidate bail

Cheke Emmanuel, Lafia

The senatorial candidate of the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) in Nasarawa State, Alhaji Abdullah Agwai was on Thursday granted bail by a Lafia magistrate court III amidst tight security.

The court was beefed up with armed security in the early hours of Thursday to deal with any security breach following threat of invasion of the premises by hoodlums.

He was granted bail in the sum of N1million and one surety who must be a resident within the jurisdiction of the court and must deposit four passport photographs.

Agwai was arraigned by the police for alleged defamation following a formal complaint by the immediate past governor of the state aand now Senator representing Nasarawa South senatorial district at the National Assembly, Tanko Al-makura.

Continue Reading

Politics

Court grants Nasarawa PDM senatorial candidate bail

Published

on

By

Court grants Nasarawa PDM senatorial candidate bail

Cheke Emmanuel, Lafia

The senatorial candidate of the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) in Nasarawa State, Alhaji Abdullah Agwai was on Thursday granted bail by a Lafia magistrate court III amidst tight security.

The court was beefed up with armed security in the early hours of Thursday to deal with any security breach following threat of invasion of the premises by hoodlums.

He was granted bail in the sum of N1million and one surety who must be a resident within the jurisdiction of the court and must deposit four passport photographs.

Agwai was arraigned by the police for alleged defamation following a formal complaint by the immediate past governor of the state aand now Senator representing Nasarawa South senatorial district at the National Assembly, Tanko Al-makura.

Continue Reading

Politics

Court grants Nasarawa PDM senatorial candidate bail

Published

on

By

Court grants Nasarawa PDM senatorial candidate bail

Cheke Emmanuel, Lafia

The senatorial candidate of the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) in Nasarawa State, Alhaji Abdullah Agwai was on Thursday granted bail by a Lafia magistrate court III amidst tight security.

The court was beefed up with armed security in the early hours of Thursday to deal with any security breach following threat of invasion of the premises by hoodlums.

He was granted bail in the sum of N1million and one surety who must be a resident within the jurisdiction of the court and must deposit four passport photographs.

Agwai was arraigned by the police for alleged defamation following a formal complaint by the immediate past governor of the state aand now Senator representing Nasarawa South senatorial district at the National Assembly, Tanko Al-makura.

Continue Reading

Politics

Court grants Nasarawa PDM senatorial candidate bail

Published

on

By

Court grants Nasarawa PDM senatorial candidate bail

Cheke Emmanuel, Lafia

The senatorial candidate of the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) in Nasarawa State, Alhaji Abdullah Agwai was on Thursday granted bail by a Lafia magistrate court III amidst tight security.

The court was beefed up with armed security in the early hours of Thursday to deal with any security breach following threat of invasion of the premises by hoodlums.

He was granted bail in the sum of N1million and one surety who must be a resident within the jurisdiction of the court and must deposit four passport photographs.

Agwai was arraigned by the police for alleged defamation following a formal complaint by the immediate past governor of the state aand now Senator representing Nasarawa South senatorial district at the National Assembly, Tanko Al-makura.

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… CLICK HERE TO GET IT!

 

 

 

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