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Electoral Act 2021: President Buhari not bigger than Nigeria, NASS should veto him

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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

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Politics

APC chieftain says Tinubu is capitalist, not concerned if Nigerians die of poverty

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***Accuses President of running a ‘Lagos-Boys’ Government

Fiery All Progressives Congress (APC) Chieftain, Garus Gololo has described the federal government’s tariff and tax increase economic policies as having the trappings of capitalism in President Bola Tinubu who doesn’t care about the welfare of Nigerians.
Speaking to newsmen on Saturday in Abuja, he accused the President of not living up to his “Renewed Hope” promise to the country as he insisted the government was insensitive to the plight of Nigerians.
According to him, he is waiting to see what the APC will use to campaign in 2027, maintaining that he was convinced Nigerians will not give the party another chance.
“If you want to choose from the people, watch the person’s track records. Is he for the masses? We have Senators, we have House of Reps members 366, we aren’t supposed to have poverty in Nigeria.
“Under the present economy you want to buy a bottle of water which used to be N100 but now it is N400. How do you want to solve the problem? Where do you want to start from fixing this economy?
“If you go to the market where you want to buy salad they will tell you Dollar. If you want to buy maize or Guinea Corn they hinge the price on Dollar. The bag of Guinea Corn I bought yesterday was N70000. What concerns Guinea corn with the Dollar, did we import it from the US?
“From the time we returned to democracy in 1999, let me just take it from Obasanjo, before he became president, a bag of guinea corn and Maize was N300, it increased to N500 and later to N1500. After Obasanjo, Umaru Musa Yaradua who was ready for the masses, he did not stay long if not God would have used him to liberate us from where we are today.
“When Yaradua came on board he returned the price to N1000. After Jonathan took over the price went up to N2500 and later N5000. When Buhari took over it moved from N5000 to N15000. Before the end of Buhari’s tenure it was N25000. As I speak it has moved from N25000 to N75000.
“Rice N80000, sugar that we used to buy and give out during fasting, this year I could not give anybody sugar because sugar is N80000 per bag. Ordinary sugar. If you go to many shops today you can not see sugar to buy.
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu told us about renewed hope. Pump price of fuel he jacked it from N180 to N640. We don’t need this hope, the renewed hope is zero.”
This is as he revealed an upcoming merger that would create a political party which would wrestle power from the governing party in the next election.
He explained, “As far as I am concerned our votes in Nigeria have become our Albatros. As the masses vote and forget about it. We masses will come back and forget about the Muslim-Muslim ticket. The religious colouration is a lie, they are only doing it for their families.
“Look at the appointments. All the appointments Buhari made were skewed in favour of the North but when Tinubu came all his appointments are from Lagos.”
The APC chieftain also accused President Tinubu of running a ‘Lagos-boys’ government in which “All where money is coming from is Lagos only. Does it mean only Lagos that voted him, where he lost woefully to the Labour Party? So you can see the one sided game.
“Buhari gave appointments to Northerners from different States but in Tinubu’s case they are from only Lagos State. He did not appoint people from Ogun State, Ondo State, Osun but only Lagos, so it is a Lagos boys affair and people who served him as commissioners in Lagos almost all of them were appointed including the present MD for NIMASA, he served him as Commissioner. Even the former Governor of Osun State was a Commissioner under him, he is his brother who he has made the minister for Blue Economy.
“So there is a bloated cabinet of 45 ministers doing nothing. All key positions where money is he put Lagos boys. His government has become a Lagos show.”
Continuing, the former military officer turned politician kicked against the federal government’s student loan programme, insisting that many Nigerians will not benefit from it, he added that “the money will end up being siphoned.”
On opposition political parties, he said, “Another thing we should understand is that Nigeria no longer have opposition, the only opposition we had before was PDP, who is even campaigning for the PDP now. Atiku has been fighting for himself not for Nigerians.
“The Labour Party whom we were thinking would pull a string, the chairman of the Party now wants to inherit it as a permanent chairman.
“After he finished his tenure he is imposing himself on the people by hook or crook. If they have accused you, why not resign so that the party can make headway. The other Party AA, Sowore who is the owner of Sahara Reporters is only a Television Presidential candidate.
“The other day he was saying they should arrest Malami, Buhari. Do your campaign, Buhari is gone. Campaign against the present government so that we know you are a real opposition. Look at the Senegal President, the guy came from Prison and he won the presidency because he was a true opposition, he went to prison, came out and he was imprisoned again.
“In Nigeria we don’t have opposition, the only opposition is to fight for themselves and their family.”
Gololo bemoaned prevailing economic hardship arising from government’s policies as he stressed that, “Formerly in Abuja you see people raising structures. People can take up menial jobs of carrying blocks but as of the present cement is expensive, the sand is expensive so people are not building.”

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LP digs into archives, unearth document that limits NLC power to take party

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In its effort to regain legitimacy the Labour Party (LP) has started digging into its archive to produce historical limitations to the powers of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) over the Labour Party (LP).

According to the letter displayed by the LP, the Nigerian Labour Congress does not have any status conferred by the statute over the Labour Party; instead, it enjoys the status of any member of the Labour Party.

The letter written in 2015, signed by Mrs Augusta C. Ogakwu, Secretary to the Commission, and addressed to the former leader of the Labour Party, Ayuba Wabba, reads: “With reference to your letter on the above subject dated August 5″, 2015, I am directed to inform you that the Commission has reviewed relevant documents and records in its possession in respect of the Labour Party and has established the following:

“Membership of the Labour Party as provided in Articles 1 and 9 of the Labour Party’s Constitution, 2009, does not confer any special or superior status on the Nigeria Labour Congress.”

The letter, INEC/DEPMI/LP/16/T/68, is entitled: Re: request for INEC’s Urgent Intervention To Arrest The Activities Of An Imposter Group In Labour Party

The letter further said, “In accordance with Article 15(7) of the Labour Party Constitution, 2009, the elected National Executive Committee (NEC) has a tenure of four (4) years.”

In a commentary signed by the National Publicity of Labour Party, Pastor Obiora Ifoh, Labour leaders should acquaint themselves with history to avoid unnecessary conflict

The comment reads, in part: “A good student learns from history. If people refuse to learn from history, history will continue to repeat itself. When the Nigeria Labour Congress attempted to crookedly take over the leadership of the Labour Party in 2015 and wrote INEC, INEC replied that they had no locus standi to interfere or change the leadership of the party.

“They have failed to learn from that trajectory, and it is surprising that Joe Ajaero’s NLC is also taking the same line of action and trajectory, and they are expecting a different result.

“A reasonable NLC would have been thinking of how to consolidate with the leadership of the Labour Party having made huge exploits and having achieved great results from the 2023 general election; rather, they have chosen a collision cause that will neither help them nor help Nigerians.

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Olusola Oke says, he did not commit crime for marrying an Igbo woman

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Barrister Olusola Oke addressing the media after the submission of his expression of interest and nomination forms for the November Governorship election in Ondo State.
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**Admits he is a polygamist

A governorship aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the forthcoming Ondo State governorship election, Olusola Oke has put to rest the misinformation about his marital status and the politics of the first Lady of the State disclosing he is a polygamist

The Social media had been awashed with tweets from his opponents in Ondo State telling people not to vote for him as his Ibo wife will visit tyranny on the State like the immediate past first Lady, Betty Anyanwu Akeredolu.

Reacting to a poser on the issue with reference to a tweet making the round on social media that reads,
“Say no to Olusola Oke, we don’t want another Igbo tyrant first Lady in our place. The last 8 years had been hell under Mrs Betty-Anyanwu Akeredolu, Olusola should simply go to his wife’s state to contest”
He said, in a contest like this, you don’t expect everybody to be your friend and when they cannot find fault in you, they will look for something.
“First and foremost there is a good population of Igbos in Ondo State who are members of APC, when you say that what you are doing is provoking them to support me.
“In Nigeria, it is unconstitutional for anybody to discriminate against another on the grounds of the circumstances of his birth, his tribe or marriage. So what the person is tweeting is unconstitutional.
“It is not against any law in Nigeria to marry from another section of the country but these people have also forgotten, they keep writing about my junior wife, I am a polygamist.
“They have checked my credentials they know they cannot find fault in terms of relevant requirements, they cannot say that I am not well educated, they cannot question the integrity based on my certificate, they cannot question experience.
“They cannot question my good looks, so they must get something to talk about. Yes the social media is awashed but you will never see me comment. We are talking about competence and the development of the State, you are talking about being married to an Igbo.
“It is a funny story, but the truth of the matter is I married a Yoruba woman first in my life, an Ilaje woman, we have been married for the last 41 years. She is a PhD holder, she has served Ondo State for 35years, even in her right she could be governor of Ondo State, yet when they write, they misinform deliberatly to denigrate my person.
“I haven’t committed any crime and I am happy at the tweet, look at what some said, that the Ibo woman is the most generous woman they had ever seen.
“I have got women, pretty, don’t look at them, they are well mannered women, I have not told anyone who will be my first Lady. Obviously those who write, are not with me.”
The aspirant had visited the Party’s national secretariat to submit his expression of interest and nomination forms on Friday

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