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Ekiti primaries and defeats of the big guns



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By Ehichioya Ezomon

In Ekiti politics, every notable politician claims to be a kingmaker. None, at least openly, acknowledges having been assisted by others to climb the ladder to where they’re politically.
That’s why at every election, they, too, want to be the king, as witnessed in last week’s primaries by the two dominant political platforms, for the June 18, 2022, governorship poll in the state.
So, to keen watchers of the polity, the results of the primaries weren’t much of a surprise, but the bombshell is the free-fall of the big-name and mighty politicians that took part in the processes.
In spite of the larger-than-life image carved for themselves, many of the aspirants, without even casting a ballot, had foreseen defeats, but hoped, like all Nigerian politicians, that a miracle could happen.
In the run-up to the contests, all the boastful politicians had literally written, in their favour, the outcomes of the primaries of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), respectively.
But when the real balloting were held by the PDP on Wednesday, January 26, and the APC on Thursday, January 27, in that order, the politicians, not short of excuses, fell like a pack of cards.
During the campaigns for the primaries, politicians on both divides had complained about the processes being manipulated against them by the state leaders of the PDP and APC: former Governor Ayodele Fayose and Governor Kayode Fayemi.
Specifically, the aspirants, while presenting themselves as “the best man/woman for the job” of governor, had accused the past and current governors of “anointing” their favourites, for whom they’re gaming the processes ahead of the primaries.
The PDP aspirants alleged scheming of the congresses by Mr Fayose, to favour his protégée, Otunba Bisi Kolawole, at the primaries, and to swing the June poll for the rival APC.
They alleged that Fayose had received a princely amount from Governor Fayemi, in order for the PDP to present “an unviable candidate,” for a “walk-over” by the APC at the June election.
Repeated interventions by the national headquarters and South-West branch of the PDP didn’t seem to work, as the allegations continued into the primaries on January 26 in Ado-Ekiti.
For instance, a key PDP aspirant, representing Ekiti South, Senator Abiodun Olujinmi, playing the hot-button gender card, “and an unfair resolution of matters arising from a lingering controversial congress of the party,” pulled out of the primaries before kick-off.
In a press interview, she said the list prepared for the primary election put her at “a disadvantage,” as her local government “is left with only 12 delegates,” as decided by the party leadership.
In other words, Olujinmi, besides seemingly relying solely on the votes of delegates from her local government, had banked on being treated specially as a female, to gain the PDP ticket. And sensing that none of her expectations would materialise, exited the poll.
When the results of the delegate primaries were called, the sceptical aspirants’ misplaced claims to political formidability, rather than their fears, were overwhelmingly debunked.
Fayose’s anointed candidate, Otunba Kolawole, a former member of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, who resigned as the PDP chapter chairman to contest in the primaries, trounced former Governor Segun Oni and others, including Senator Olujinmi.
The Chairman of the Primary Election Committee and Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom, declared Kolawole as the winner of the election, having polled 671 votes against 330 votes by Chief Oni, who placed second.
While former Deputy Governor to Fayose and PDP’s candidate in the 2018 polls, Prof. Kolapo Olusola, came third with 93 votes, Adewale Aribisala scored 56 votes, Kayode Adaramodu 10 votes, Kazeem Ayodeji six votes, Olujimi two votes, and the remaining four aspirants ostensibly got their self-cast ballot of one vote each.
Oni, who succeeded Fayose in his first coming as governor between 2003 and 2006, rejected the results, on the grounds that the delegates’ register was mutilated and many delegates’ names were missing from the register.
Slamming the results, the Director-General of the Segun Oni Campaign Organisation, Mr. Yemi Arokodare, accused Governor Emmanuel of threatening to “arrest and lock up some 32 “automatic delegates,” even as the governor “deliberately” allowed Fayose “to sit in the hall after he has voted,” a situation, Arokodare said, was against the rules earlier pronounced by Emmanuel.
“Udom (Emmanuel) allowed aides of Fayose to sit in the hall purposely to intimidate other delegates,” Arokodare said, alleging, as Chief Oni had done prior to the primaries, that Fayose was chairman of the primary committee that oversaw Emmanuel’s election in Akwa Ibom, and that the Ekiti PDP primary poll was “a payback for Ayo Fayose.”
It’s a similar story in the APC, but more intriguing, as seven of the eight aspirants pulled out in the morning of the primaries, over alleged manipulation of the processes in favour of Mr. Biodun Oyebanji, reportedly backed by Governor Fayemi.
The primaries were almost a repeat of the 2018 experience, in which political thugs, engineered by aspirants, who smelt defeat at the poll, disrupted the franchise, with security agents deployed to the venue standing by while the mayhem persisted.
So, the big guns, who called for the stoppage and cancellation of the primaries, were beaten by Oyebanji, immediate past Secretary to Ekiti State, who resigned to contest in the primaries.
The results, as announced by the Chairman of the Primary Election Committee and Governor Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa State, showed that Oyebanji won in all 16 local government areas of Ekiti, securing 101,703 votes from the 107,877 accredited members.
The breakdown of the results for other aspirants are as follows: Sen. Opeyemi Bamidele, 760 votes; Mr. Femi Bamisile, 400; Mr. Kayode Ojo, 767; Sen. Adedayo Adeyeye, 691; Mr. Bamidele Faparusi, 376; Mr. Ademola Popoola, 239 and Chief Oluwasola Afolabi, 47 votes in the “Option A4” variant of direct primary adopted for the poll.
Governor Badaru expressed shock that the aspirants boycotted the primaries he said were free and fair, noting that, “as we have earlier promised, we have ensured a level-playing ground for all aspirants.”
He denied allegations by the aspirants that they weren’t consulted, saying that 20 names each were submitted by the aspirants, “and added to the list of Returning Officers and they were all captured.”
Badaru explained that a meeting between the committee and the aspirants, slated for the primary morning, was cancelled “because there was security report that the venue was tensed,” and the committee called for security assistance to arrest the situation.
As winners and losers in the PDP and APC await intervention of their parties’ Appeals Committees, either to approve or cancel the balloting, the January 26 and 27 primaries have indicated that when “push comes to shove,” many politicians are mere paper tigers.
Consider the performances of Chief Oni, Senator Olujinmi, Prof. Olusola, Chief Adeyeye, Senator Bamidele and Mr Bamisile (who vigorously canvassed zoning the governorship to Ekiti South), hiding under nebulous allegations of hijacking and manipulation of the processes, to boycott and/or reject the primaries they’d vowed they’re the aspirants to beat.
Particularly noteworthy is Governor Fayemi’s acceding to the agitation for direct primaries in the APC, mostly championed by Senator Bamidele, who expressed optimism that the contest would be credible, only to join six other aspirants to shun the voting.
Finally, the primaries have revealed that there’re “real kingmakers” in Ekiti politics in Mr Fayose and Governor Fayemi. Though Fayose, as incumbent, had “anointed” Prof. Olusola in 2018, it’s the backing, out of power, for Otunba Kolawole that’s proved his political mettle.
Similarly, Dr Fayemi’s crowing of himself as candidate of the APC in 2018 was largely ignored, but this time, he’s deployed the power of incumbency to produce a candidate, who, like Fayose’s candidate, might receive the crown jewel in the June 2022 poll.

Mr. Ezomon, Journalist and Media Consultant, writes from Lagos, Nigeria.

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Tinubu’s Cabinet Of Controversy




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By Zainab Suleiman Okino

In all ramifications, it appears the euphoria and excitement that greeted President Bola Tinubu’s assumption of office are gradually ebbing away. Quite expectedly, having started with the tough decisions of fuel subsidy removal and floating of the forex, the President now needs to do more and urgently too.

Both policies have since worsened the woes of the Naira and Nigerians. From accusation of being surrounded by “Lagos boys”, (his cabinet as Lagos State Governor between 1999 to 2003), to policy somersaults to somehow nepotistic appointments (and vengeful dismissal of some CEOs), questions are being asked about Tinubu’s pro-people and pan-Nigerian credentials.

He started with politically correct appointments. The geographical spread of his service chiefs was received positively. His swift policy statements, though criticized, were timely, compared with the sordid silence of his predecessor.

The misnomer became apparent during ministerial nominations flip-flopping into high-wire politics that led to a ministerial nominee in person of former Governor Nasir El-Rufai being dropped at the last minute over a so-called security report after screening. We also witnessed how a nominee from Kano State, Maryam Shetty was refused screening by the senators after she was already seated at the National Assembly lobby, which showed clearly a scene from the playbook of Ganduje’s dirty politics under Tinubu’s government.

Two former governors were appointed to man the Ministry of Defence; former Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State, was downgraded to serve as a junior minister under his colleague, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar, former governor of Jigawa state. Looks so incongruous. Some MDAs were “reorganized”, and we expected a more compact arrangement. But what did we get? Some ministries were boosted and some downgraded. To which end, except to favour some ministers and appoint others to less juicy or relegated ministries, just to satisfy constitutional provision. Tokenism? Maybe.

The result was a boosted aviation sector renamed Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development under the supervision of an equally controversial figure, Festus Keyamo, while the Ministry of Transportation was debased and can safely be called ministry of railway, after the removal of everything maritime like NIMASA, NPA, Shippers’ Council etc now under the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy.

Indeed, inconsistency in pronouncements came too early in this administration. Tinubu made history when he reshuffled a cabinet that was yet to be inaugurated. Engineer Abubakar Momoh was redeployed from Ministry of Youth to Ministry of Niger Delta that the president hitherto ignored.

Imagine the embarrassment that followed the declaration by the UAE government, that they are yet to resolve and reverse their visa ban on Nigerians, after the President’s spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale went to town to announce same. Propaganda should have limits. Why the hurry? To impress who? The disinformation has since taken the shine off the president’s diplomatic engagement with his UAE counterpart. So, after the UAE denunciation, where exactly are we now?

Tinubu does not seem bothered about over-bloated personnel costs or reducing the cost of governance. For the first time, Nigeria now has almost 50 ministers under its low per capital income of 5,200 PPP dollars in 2021 compared to USA’s 25 ministers and per capita income of 70,480 PPP dollars as at 2021.

Consequently, Nigerians have resigned to fate that they may never have pro-people government in their lifetime, since most of the policy initiatives of the new government favour only the rich, the haves, high-end businesses and high class of people and interests. It is obvious that the president must have made many commitments to friends and associates, who in his own estimation must be fixed, regardless of an ailing economy like ours.

Still smarting from all these came the issue of lopsided appointments, which we thought we had seen the last of after Buhari. The protests over Tinubu’s skewed appointments started from “home”, when a group from the Southwest accused him of appointing only people from Lagos contrary to the notion that Yorubas had an edge in his government.

Last weekend, evidence of such slanted appointments went viral. Critics reeled out at least 20 consequential appointments from the Southwest including MDAs like Justice, Finance, Customs, Police, FIRS, Immigration, NIMC, CBN, Power, Digital Economy, COAS, Maritime, Interior and Communications in the president’s kitchen cabinet. Muslim groups like MURIC have also cried out complaining that Christians hold key economic positions. The cry of marginalization has always been part of governance and politics in our clime, and Tinubu is not in a hurry to end it.

In addition to his hard-to-swallow economic direction, Tinubu’s choice of appointees is somehow causing concerns among the elite too. Without a semblance of inclusion and symbolism, the people feel let down by a president they thought was going to be pan-Nigerian, gradually becoming provincial, in deeds, even though appointments only enrich the beneficiaries while the conditions of ordinary people remain unchanged.

I believe competence and capacity should be uppermost in considering people for appointments, but I also know that all regions or ethnic groups harbour such competent people among them. Going forward, the president should be more circumspect, and look elsewhere instead of his “household” in a delicate balancing act that Nigeria needs, and which will surely give him (Tinubu) more support and goodwill. No matter how inconsequential he thinks these issues are, they have already got tongues wagging. As a minority myself, I can’t help but notice this potentially damaging and divisive subject in our polity.

Already an internal revolt is brewing in APC over Tinubu’s style of leadership and appointments. In what a group called “yorubanization of the current APC government”, the “APC members in Coalition for a United Nigeria (CUN)”, said “86% of the critical appointments made so far have been people from your (Tinubu) geopolitical zone, the Southwest.

Moreso, to our greater bewilderment is the fact that 90% of these people are your “Lagos boys”, imploring the president to “drastically balance this prejudice by giving attention to other regions outside the Southwest”. If members of the party are disappointed in their government, what do you expect from the rest of the country?

Okino, is the chairperson of Blueprint Editorial Board, a fellow of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (FNGE), her syndicated column appears on News Point Nigeria newspaper on Thursdays. She can be reached via:

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Essentials of institutional effectiveness, transparency and accountability as panacea for good governance




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Why would I think I can PROFFER A CURE FOR the ailing systems in the governance of our great nation? At least a good man can try, I have for over period of time now perused the thought —consistently- of the possibility of good governance, at least good governance, not great or excellent governance- even though that is easily achievable using the same principles for good governance- but at least we would do well to appreciate good governance in our good homeland of Nigeria, before I go on ranting about my thoughts, my people let me be quick to return to the subject of our discuss; “the essentials of institutional effectiveness, transparency and accountability as a panacea for good governance”.

Let take a deep breadth as we explore this topic, the irony of the truth is that The Panacea for good government is good governance, there is no hard and fast route about it, here we have a few of its components in institutional effectiveness, transparency and accountability, Good governance is like the proverbial good deed you give it and it comes right back at you, what is governance? Governance is simply the manner or style of government practiced in a particular location; in this case (our case) it is democratic government, which is a government of the people for the people by the people so good governance would be a complete cycle of the being a government elected by the people and then the delivery of the goods of its governance for the people (who duly elected the ones in governance), which would have to take us back to an even more important question for good governance to be anticipated, are the people in government democratically elected?

This question alone helps us to see that institutional effectiveness is first of all key in attaining good governance, as the question poised above is in reference to institution the Electoral Body, in our case INEC.

So what are the essentials of effectiveness for institutions to live up to expectation?

  1. Key and Competent Personnel: – not just getting the competent people but getting the right people for the right places.
  2. Policy Guided operations according to the institutions’ founding principles.
  3. Ethical interpretation of Law and legal processes
  4. Ethical Operations, Management and of all activities
  5. Optimization of standards with International acceptable modus operandi
    In addition to the above with the afore mentioned virtues of Accountability and transparency, good governance is left from aspirations to affirmative reality; Accountability is the act of being held responsible for your actions this helps to hold good governance players responsible for their actions in tandem with institutions, which is why the first factor is very important, and finally being transparent, being frank, firm and open, saying exactly what one means and meaning what one says, this when institutions and people in them say what they mean and mean what they say, not with hidden motives or agenda.

When all the factors described above are bundled to form a complete system of governance; good governance is sure to thrive.

Finally in addition to all these my personal opinion rests upon the afore discussed as already known factors and processes needed for good governance, especially by the Nigerian institutions and people in governance, as we have notable institutions, what i think is that the Nigerian institutions and people in governance should ‘Take Action’ in doing the right thing!

All Nigerian institutions, people in government have knowledge of all this factors, or at least moral inclination to do the right thing, but what we lack is the actual DOING, and if we as Nigerians, can cultivate the habit of DOING; then all our ideas, ideologies institutional effectiveness, transparency and accountability as well as every other factors that contribute to good governance would then become a conscious cultural norm of the Nigerian people which will necessitate the birth and practice of good governance in our nation.


Peter Ameh

-2019 Presidential Candidate

  • Former National Chairman Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC)
    -National Secretary CUPP
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Tinubu cannot remove a CBN governor without 2/3rd senate majority




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By Frank Tietie

The recently announced removal of the embattled Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emiefele and the Deputy Governors of the Bank by the fiat of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is not in compliance with the provisions of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2007. Therefore, it is illegal!

Whereas Section 11 of the CBN Act provides for several grounds for the removal of the CBN Governor or Deputy Governors, whenever such removal is based on the decision of the President, as in this reported case of Emiefele and his deputies, it can only have effect where the President has first sought and obtained the approval of a two-thirds Senate majority.

Clearly, there is no evidence that the President indeed sought and obtained the required two-thirds majority of the Nigerian Senate before announcing the formal removal of Governor Emiefele with his deputies and the appointment of a new Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Consequently, the president is in error, and all his recent actions in removal and appointment of a Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria can be set aside by the courts.

According to the Court Appeal in the case of Olotu v. President of Federal Republic of Nigeria & ors, it held that:
It is a trite point of law that when a statute dictates a certain mode of doing something, then that method and no other must be employed in the performance of that act. Put differently, where a legislation lays down a procedure for a thing, there should be no other method of doing it

Nigeria operates a Presidential-Federalist system of government with a high concentration of political and executive powers in the person of the President. Therefore, this infraction of the CBN Act by the President on the removal of the CBN Governor may pass without any censure of the National Assembly or review by the Judiciary. But it is such disregard for plain provisions of the law by the President who is supposed to set the example of legal compliance, that creates the usual incipient negative impact on constitutional democracy which rests on the rule of law.

Therefore whenever an administration starts glossing over express provisions of the law that serve to guarantee order, peace, good governance and economic prosperity of Nigeria, the culture of disregard for court order and widespread violation of human rights begins to cascade down the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government together with all the other strata of government across the states and local governments. This has been the bane of Nigeria’s stable development in all spheres and the recipe for corrupt abuse of political power and violation of human rights. That’s why military junta often truncated national democracies. May that be far from us!

The Nigerian state spends huge financial and human resources to maintain its democratic structures. Therefore, the National Assembly and its leadership must stand up at all times to live up to their responsibilities in upholding the principles of democracy and separation of powers to avoid tyrannical acts of the executive by requiring strict compliance to every law that mandates its approval on such matters the President is required to apply for.

Therefore, when the National Assembly indeed discharges its roles in the political equation of checks and balances with the President and the Judiciary, there will be less of interventions by self styled but well-meaning activists and civil society organisations who are often referred to as busybodies but are determined to seek judicial review of executive actions to ensure the rule of law and a stable Nigerian society.

Frank Tietie,
Lawyer, Social Commentator & Executive Director of Citizens Advocacy for Social & Economic Rights (CASER), writes from Abuja, Nigria

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