By John Akubo, Abuja
Senator Alex Usman Kadiri, an APC stalwart, who represented Kogi East from 1999 to 2003 in the National Assembly, told JOHN AKUBO in Abuja that for refusing his assent on the 2021 Electoral Act the lawmakers should veto President Buhari.
The National Assembly passed the electoral amendment bill 2021, which gives INEC leverage to transmit election results electronically at its discretion. The other is the Direct Primary to decide how parties decide persons to field for elections. As a former lawmaker, what’s your position on the controversial stalemate?
The President is so weak that it is the governors that dictate to him, that is what he accepts. My stake on that is very simple. I am in support of the National Assembly vetoing the President’s refusal to assent to this bill. Buhari cannot be bigger than Nigeria. This is a man who came in through direct primary himself. Don’t forget the primary he won in Lagos, they voted throughout the night and Tinubu made sure that he won. Why is he now opposed to direct primary because the Governors don’t want it? The Governors want a situation where delegates would be brought to their capitals so that they will just bribe them overnight. That is all. It is very sad that my President is not allowing the growth of democracy in Nigeria. I am an APC member, if they like they can expel me. But it’s tragic. INEC that will supervise said they can do it. INEC said they can transmit election results electronically, so what is Buhari’s own? That the N580b INEC is requesting is too much? What of the cost of the flights he makes to London for medical checkups every now and then. Is the money they are asking for up to that? Is he more important than the country? Carrying our money to London, all the entourage and the monies paid to the doctors in the UK, all that put together is more than what INEC said they need for this exercise.
On the insecurity, it is like the killings have become a normal affair, the government seems not perturbed any longer. How can government deal decisively with insecurity?
Well they started by telling you and I that they were bringing Tucano jets from the U.S. These Tucano jets cannot kill bandits. There is a war of the mind going on in Nigeria. The people who are giving refuge to these bandits are Nigerians. Why are they doing it? The Government has not been able to address that. Tucano jets cannot wipe out banditry. The people flying those jets are Nigerian pilots, how sincere are they? What is the capability of the armed forces to confront the bandits? I heard barracks are being overrun in Borno and Yobe, killing soldiers and seizing their armory and vehicle? What is this? We don’t have a government in place, we have to be very frank. We have failed.
What is the way forward?
The way forward is that we must look for visionary leaders not the rubbish going on. We need somebody who is fit, we need a Paul Kagame. Let me tell you, I read books, Paul Kagame is successful in Rwanda because he came out of a situation – their war. We need somebody who has come out of a situation to lead us. Nyeson Wike wants to lead, he is now an agitated person, you can see it in him, he is agitated but I don’t think that if his party puts him up that he will win. Zulum from Borno is the only agitated politician in this country right now. He is in the midst of a war and he is showing bravery aside the bravery he is also showing performance. Aside that he is also a modest person. He didn’t even have a personal house, he was staying in the father’s house as a commissioner in Shetima’s Government. Every now and then you see them trying to kill him, I believe those trying to kill Zulum are not only bandits, his fellow Nigerian politicians want to get rid of him because he is a threat to their existence, some of them and their ambitions. Quote me, I am convinced, that is the only person, like I said you can add Wike, these are agitated people. Something should agitate you, not that you just go and steal money somewhere distribute it or start bagging rice for distribution already.
Some are worried that your party, APC is going close to implosion if you look at what is happening between Ganduje, Shekarau and Barau and all over the states. Why?
Let me tell you, we don’t have leadership in the party right now. The current acting National Secretary John James Akpanudoedehe I go to him, both in the house and in the office and I tell him my mind. Right now the APC is dying and it is almost dead. Take me for example, the role I played to bring APC into existence in Kogi State. We had a PDP Governor from my village, if you go to my village, my house is at the beginning, he is at the end. We come from the same village not just ward. I chased him out of office. What appreciation have I got from the party? Which Igala man is going to work for the APC to win any election in Kogi unless you bring guns again because that is how they do it?
Recently the National Assembly Condemned UK for slamming the Omicron ban on Nigeria. Not long after the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Canada followed suit. It appears the country is losing on many fronts, including diplomacy. How did Nigeria become so vulnerable?
Every country on earth has a right to put obstacles on the way of other citizens entering their country provided they believe that such entry is inimical to their own citizens’ wellbeing. Britain, Canada, France UAE, Saudi Arabia, where we go to burn money every year have now said they are not allowing Nigerians in, fair enough. Let us stay here and die here.
For example if I were a minister of health under this Buhari regime and the man keeps going to London to treat headache every two weeks why will I continue as minister without resigning? By the time two or three ministers of health resign, he will sit up. The money he goes to London to burn could have established a similar hospital, at least two or three or four similar hospitals in Nigeria so that our doctors would not go to Saudi Arabia. Don’t be surprised that the doctors he sees in the UK could be Nigerians. Why is the man so unfair to this country? Is that the man I struggled for, entered the rain insulted people for, made sure that my brother Captain Idris Wada who was Governor was chased out of office so that my party can win? What is this rubbish? So I don’t blame UK, I don’t blame Saudi Arabia, I don’t blame Canada, I don’t blame anybody for banning Nigerians from entering their country if they believe that this new variant; Omicron will be dangerous to their own citizens. They are doing it for their citizens.
I heard the day before yesterday that Nigeria was going to stop the British Airways from coming into Nigeria. These are cheap means of reasoning, if you stop British airways from coming to Nigeria because they make a lot of money from Nigeria, does that have any dent on the economy of the UK? It doesn’t, let us look at how to control this variant of COVID-19 ourselves. Less than 15% of Nigerians have taken their first vaccination, I have taken the two jabs. The people who are afraid of their COVID-19 and the new variant some of them have 75% of their population that have taken two doses already and for us not up to 20% have taken and we are quarrelling with them, we are not serious. So I believe that any country in the world has the right to protect it’s citizens and they don’t have to seek clearance from us.
Analysts say, the senators are taking the issue seriously not because of the interest of Nigerians, but because some of them have purchased tickets for the Christmas holiday over there?
Well the issue is even bigger than that. It is sad that Nigerians are buying tickets to go to Dubai, U.S. and so on for Christmas. It is very sad because those countries currently have temperate weather, if you go to London today you cannot just wear ordinary jacket and go out. You need an overcoat, why will a man who is wearing T-shirt here want to go there and wear overcoat, give me one reason, no reason. The shopping they do in London or Dubai, most shops also have branches in Nigeria. It is this inferiority complex that’s killing our people.
It would be a sad day if it is true that members of the National Assembly in particular or these our roving governors also bought tickets to travel and therefore this restrictions are affecting them. Personally, I say so be it, I pray that these countries should bring regulations that should stop them from ever travelling out of Nigeria. Then they will sit up and do things right. We don’t have a leader in this country right now. The leadership of the APC is very poor, it is my party, if they like they can expel me tomorrow. The leadership of the APC is very poor. It is a disgrace to humanity.
Culled from the Guardian
Akpabio brags about South South capacity to deliver for Tinubu in 2027
***Says, Akwa Ibom votes for APC in 2023 surpassed all that of 5 south East States
The President of the Senate Godswill Akpabio has boasted that the entire South South States will resoundingly deliver victory for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2027 to return President Bola Tinubu for second term.
Speaking in Abuja on Friday when the zonal Leadership of the South South APC ked by the National Vice Chairman Victor Giadom Paul him a courtesy call
He said the party in Akwa Ibom made it possible for Tinubu to secure the 25% requirement to win.
He said Akwa Ibom alone devered more than 800000 votes for APC which he said was more than the votes the five South East States gave to the APC
“You will be surprised that the votes from Akwa Ibom alone for the APC in the Presidential election was more.l than the total votes from the five states of the South East
“What it really mean is that recall when David Leon contested in Bayelsa State, he won resoundingly but he was not sworn in, that happened a day before swearing in and even this last one that Timipre Sylva contested we also did very well and we are now in court so I cannot comment of that. “That shows you the strength of the APC in the region and even when the PDP is the ruling party in Rivers State where the Chairman Victor Giadom comes from, we were able to win the presidential election Rivers State, I am talking based on data which can not lie.
“I want to say that with that giant step now that we have a senate President, I don’t see any reason why the entirety of the South South Region will not become APC. “The only way we can pay back the National leaders of our party, the only way we can show the President for standing by us in the South South to produce a sente President After 45 years is for us to make sure that in 2027 we will give him and the entire APC resounding victory in the 6 States of the South South region.
“We are steadily moving on, Cross Rivers State is 100% APC. Here and there some people will emerge either in the Senate or the House of reps and the House of Assembly but in the governorship and government of the State is totally APC.
“Akwa Ibom has the Senate President, so for you to have members of the House of Representatives it shows that things are about to happen.
“For you to have won the presidential election in Rivers State where the Zonal chairman comes from, means things are beginning to happen.
He said in 2019 APC won in Bayelsa State except for technical issues in the court.
“That shows clearly that APC has come to stay in the entire South South,
“Edo State the APC governor took government house into another party and so election is coming next year, we expect the chairman to double his effort with all of us to be included in the campaign and ensure we get back what belongs to us. “Your visit is timely and I believe strongly that working together with you, APC can only be stronger in the South South Region
“On our part, we are working across party lines to support President Tinubu, all the senators of the South South are determine to give Tinubu the support so that he can succeed irrespective of party affiliation and that is a good sign
Nasarawa govt berates PDP over protest against Appeal Court judgment
From Daniel Abel, Lafia
The Nasarawa State Government has challenged the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state against blackmailing the judiciary over Nasarawa governorship tussle.
This is contained in a statement signed by Mr, Peter Ahemba, Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Gov. Abdullahi Sule on Public Affairs and made available to newsmen on Monday in Lafia.
The reaction followed the recent protest in Lafia against the Appeal Court governorship election judgment by a group purported to be coalition of indigenous people of Nasarawa State.
The Appeal Court sitting in Abuja on Thursday, November 23 had set aside the judgment of the tribunal of Oct. 2nd and declared Sule as the winner of the election.
The governorship elections petition tribunal on Oct. 2, annulled the election of Gov. Abdullahi Sule of All Progressives Congress (APC) and declared David Ombugadu of PDP as the winner of March 18 election.
The governor’s aide described the protest as the shameful step against the judgment of the Appeal Court by a group hired by the PDP.
Ahemba added that the decision of the Appeal Court was a true reflection of the popular mandate freely given to the governor by the electorates on March 18.
He explained that the government has confidence in the judiciary and believed that justice would be served at the Supreme Court.
He further explained that when the PDP was declared at the tribunal nobody protested, rather, the governor challenged the decision at the appeal court.
He advised PDP and its candidate to also challenge the outcome of the appeal court as they cannot takeover power through the backdoor.
“The same party that was crying of external interference on the governorship dispute in the state is now calling on President Bola Tinubu and international communities to interfere,” he added.
Credible election in 2027 under APC, Tinubu is a mirage, Timi Frank tells Nigerians
Nigerians should not expect free, fair, transparent and credible elections in 2027 under the administration of President Bola Tinubu and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, has said
Frank made the call in his reaction to the just concluded off-cycle governorship elections in three states of Kogi, Imo and Bayelsa.
Frank in a statement issued on Tuesday in Abuja, indicated that the level of electoral fraud, manipulation and rigging witnessed in Kogi and Imo states especially, points to the fact that no credible result can come out from future exercises.
“The elections were nothing to write home about and to imagine that it was the first set of elections conducted under the watch of President Tinubu. What happened in Imo and Kogi is a clear indication of the kind of elections Nigerians will witness 2027.
“Our electoral system is presently in dire straits under our highly compromised Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which has now graduated from rigging by manipulating the INEC Result View (IReV) portal and the Bi-Modal Voter Accreditation System (BIVAS) to writing results of polling units before the people cast their ballot.,” he said.
Frank who is the United Liberating Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) Ambassador to East Africa and Middle East, lamented that when INEC which is now a rigging department under APC has finished manipulating results, the judiciary which is unfortunately now the legal department of the ruling party, will simply legalise what the electoral body has done.
Besides, security agencies that were meant to protect voters and arrest riggers also take part in the rigging. The police, and other security agencies are now a security department in the APC.
He insisted that the brazen level of rigging in Imo and Kogi was not surprising because Tinubu himself was installed President through rigging and other acts of impunity which the judiciary validated.
Frank said: “It is sad that when our democracy in Nigeria is meant to be progressing, it is rather retrogressing. Nigeria is now the worst country in terms of compromised election results compared to other African countries.
“We don’t make improvements, we don’t make progress. Things are getting worse. So in 2027, if Nigerians do not take the bull by the horns to fight to restore credibility in our electoral system we’ll continue to have elections where the will of the people will not count. This is even so when the APC has appointed 10 of their card carrying members as Resident Electoral Commissioners of the INEC.
“This anti-democratic and unfortunate development is a clear indication that the conduct of the 2027 elections will be a formality to endorse only APC candidates either as freshers or for second term in their various offices.
“So if Nigerians want change, they should wake up and do the right thing, like other nations have done to defend their democracy.”
According to him, now that all the institutions of government that are meant to defend democracy, have practically compromised, “if we are not careful, Nigeria will turn to a one party state.”
He added: “It’s quite disappointing for a man, who under in the PDP regime was always crying, that the party wanted to turn Nigeria into a one party state, is unfortunately the one that is practically poised to officially turn Nigeria into a one party state like Uganda, Zimbabwe and Cameroon that have been under one party rule for decades.”
He lamented that opposition governors have compromised their parties and have failed to perform their role as opposition because of harassment and blackmail.
He added: “So the opposition governors, especially the PDP governors, have turned themselves into praise singers because they have been blackmailed them to jettison their role as leaders of opposition in the country.
“That’s why some of us have decided to bear the pains by doing everything in our power to legally defend our democracy and our country from turning into a one party state.
“We have commenced mobilising Nigerians especially in diaspora to save the country from the hands of election riggers and make sure our democracy stands.
“If we don’t stop Tinubu and APC, they will turn Nigeria into a one party state like Cameroon, Zimbabwe and Uganda.”
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