December 10, 2013
The tortoise will tell you it won’t embark on a journey it can’t end but that is not the case with the federal government as it made a u-turn on the threat and ultimatum given to the striking members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities to resume work or face sack, citing appeals from well-meaning Nigerians and substantial compliance by lecturers nationwide. Sounds like the words of a reasonable gentleman, but I refused to be cajoled. The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, at a press conference said since there was already about 70 per cent compliance to the order, the issue of ultimatum was no longer an issue for discussion. He emphasized that all the federal government was interested in was how to peacefully resolve the six-month old crisis in the interest of all and that government had been forced to issue the ultimatum, which it was very serious about, because it had explored all avenues to no avail. And finally, it used the Nigerian only option. Na by force? No, it should be by sense.
December 11, 2013
What a sight to behold on the front page of various Nigerian national dailies. A missive was dropped that sounded like a bomb to the eyes and ears of the President. It was an 18-page stinker crafted by Obasanjo that agitatedly attacked President Goodluck Jonathan and his office. The content of the letter included among other things that Jonathan’s government stinks of corruption; Jonathan’s fuelling and mishandling the crisis in the ruling PDP; Nigeria’s situation a semblance of the Sani Abacha era; 1,000 people on political watchlist and personal agenda such as having a killer squad geared towards his staying in Aso Rock come 2015; the one-way military standard approach of stemming the Boko Haram debacle which is only giving awful results; the President is administering the country along lines of factionalism and clannishness; Jonathan promised to spend one-term; oil companies withholding investment and cover-up of non-remittance of $7bn by NNPC; National conference plan fraught with danger. Well, much of the content of the missive were recycled headaches that have been expressed by Nigerians. It was only by virtue of Obasanjo’s wield of influence that he was able to wield the stick. Obasanjo’s letter got a reply from the Presidency who described the former President’s letter “baseless, reckless and indecorous” while the President described Obasanjo as being “reckless, hypocritical, disrespectful” and countered that he will reply him personally.
ASSU STAGING A WALK IN IBADAN
December 12, 2013
Trouble strike again as confusion sets in Port-Harcourt when operatives of the Rivers State Police Command thwarted the chances of pro-Amaechi lawmakers in gaining entry in to the House of Assembly complex. Twenty-five members of the state House of Assembly loyal to the state governor were stopped by policemen, who mounted a roadblock with two armoured personnel carriers and 14 patrol vans on both end of Moscow Road ostensibly prevented the lawmakers from gaining entry into the House of Assembly complex. The pro-Amaechi lawmakers led by the Deputy Speaker, Mr. Leyii Kwanee told the policemen that they (Assembly men) were acting on a court ruling in Abuja that the National Assembly should no longer take over the functions of the state lawmakers. However, all entreaties from the 25 state lawmakers did not sway the policemen, the former decided to hold a makeshift session on Moscow Road to the surprise of passersby. As if that was not okay, the police suddenly began to fire teargas canisters to disperse the lawmakers, their supporters and some APC leaders. Meanwhile, the interim chairman of the state APC, Chief Davies Ikanya, alleged that the police were planning to sneak in five anti-Amaechi lawmakers into the Assembly complex. Just another story of pawns in the hands of a desperate dictator.
December 13, 2013
In an interview with a former governor of Oyo State, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala, who was asked how true is it that he bleaches? His reply was thunderous of abuse to his interviewers. He retorted “You’re very stupid to ask that question; anyone who says I bleach is stupid. Is it part of your own fashion to bleach?…Bleach? That is stupidity; you are asking a very stupid question, how can I bleach? You are very stupid to ask that question. What do you mean by that? What gave you that impression? (He pulled up his clothe and singlet to show his fair complexion.). Is this bleaching? Have you seen the cream that I use that makes me bleach or did you know me when I was black? So if you want to write that, put it there that I said you are very stupid to ask me that kind of question. Don’t ask that kind of question again. What you don’t know; you ask. You don’t even know my parents. Is my wife complaining or my children? I don’t know what gave anybody the impression that I bleach. You don’t know me; do you know what it takes to bleach?. Stupidity seems to be the new word the former governor has added to his word bank. Next time you go on to interview people of this kind, be careful of the kind of questions you ask them.
HOUSE OF REPS MEMBERS AT A SESSION
December 14, 2013
See boasting, the Supervising Minister of Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, said Governor Rotimi Amaechi, with whom he is currently locked in a bitter battle for the soul of the state is paying the price of underrating him, macho man. Wike described Amaechi as a tyrant, who does not take kindly to those with ambition. But you know say you no holly pass Wike. He spoke in Port-Harcourt, against the backdrop of the court ruling, nullifying the take-over of the functions of the State House of Assembly by the National Assembly and attempts by members of the State House of Assembly on both sides of the divide to return to the complex. He vowed that nothing could stop him should he decide to contest the 2015 governorship election in the state. Nigerians already know that, it’s been acted. Further dismissed suggestions that he betrayed Amaechi, who made him chief of staff. He said as far as the governor is concerned, it is a criminal offence to have an ambition. But it was not a criminal offence to be appointed a chief of staff, no be so? Yam, pepper don scatter scatter.
I think Ngige should verify his facts or lies before informing or misinforming Nigerians o… The standard bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the last governorship election in Anambra State, Senator Chris Ngige has accused the federal government of playing the game of a green snake under a green grass. He alleged that the federal government gave Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi, N8 billion to prosecute the election. He said the money which was given in the guise of Ecological Fund by the FG was to ensure that APC was rigged out in the election. He added that the N8billion is apart from the N4billion state resources used by Obi for the election. Na wa o, dis one na primary school style, can you still remember? When you fail you tell your parents your teacher don’t like you.
December 15, 2013
The heat is on and the race for 2015, without doubt has seriously begun. Amidst a letter that has generated controversy and every Tom, Dick and Harry’s comment instead of a constructive response from the presidency, the presidency has threatened to charge the spokesman of the All Progressives Congress, Alhaji Lai Mohammed for treasonable felony over his alleged promotion of public rebellion in the country. Does it worth it? President Goodluck Jonathan also challenged former president Olusegun Obasanjo to prove his claims in the 18-page letter accusing the president of sundry misdemeanor including the training of 1000 snipers towards 2015 elections or shut up forever…enn, agbalagba. I think I should let you know if you were not in the country then, that it was this man they asked to shut up forever that gave golden political shoes to that boy that had no shoe, what a world.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has grilled a former head of service, Mr Stephen Oronsanye, over his alleged involvement in the diversion of N6.2bn pension fund. Oronsaye was grilled following a statement made by a deputy Director, Pension Account in the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs Phina Chidi. According to available information, Chidi linked Oronsaye to the diversion of N6.2bn pension. Chidi, a former Director of Pension in the Office of the Head of Service, Dr. Sani Shaibu, and eight others were being charged to court by the EFCC over a pension fund scam. It was stated that the missing funds put at over N6.2bn was diverted through fictitious contracts for biometric enrolment and computer accessories and consumables which were not supplied. The EFCC, we heard was making arrangement to perfect the process of charging the former head of service and other indicted officers to court after conclusion of ongoing investigations. But if na poor man pickin we go don see him face for Crime Fighters.
December 16, 2013
You don hear am, na like dis we go dey, so said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. The Secretary of the anti-corruption agency, Mr. Emmanuel Adegboyega said the EFCC has been further starved of funds to finance its operation thus it won’t be able to fight corruption as you and I desired. Anyway, who said it’s not a deliberate act? Adegboyega accused the presidency of not funding the agency. He lamented that the agency was at the moment broke with only less than N2m in its account. “We have been complaining that no money was released to us for operations. As at now, we don’t have up to N2m. if we can afford to pay salary this month, that is all. That is the position under which we operate.” Good news for the same set of looters.
The Independent Electoral Commission has said it may spend not less than $7.9 on each of the 73.5 million electorate in its register for the 2015 elections. Don’t get it wrong, they are not paying you for voting o, they will only use it on your registration exercise. The amount was estimated at N93bn when converted to naira and multiplied by the number of registered voters. INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega said this at a stakeholders forum organized by the Senate Committee on INEC, in collaboration with the Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre, Abuja and the United Kingdom Department for International Development. He also hinted that the elections might be conducted either in January or February 2015 instead of April. “Our estimate is that the cost of election per voter, which is an international standard for viewing the cost of elections is coming down in Nigeria. We project that for 2015 elections, this would come further down by almost $1 from $8.8 in 2011 to $7.9, representing almost a 10 per cent drop. This compares favourably with some other African countries. However, we are anxious about all our funding requirements being met well in advance of the 2015 general elections”, he said. Jega, best of all and we wish you a less controversial conduct.
December 17, 2013
At last, it came to pass. The 169-day old strike of the Academic Staff Union of Universities was called off on this day following a marathon meeting of the National Executive Meeting (NEC) of the union at the Federal University of Technology (FUT) Minna, Niger State. The union’s President, Dr. Nasir Faggae disclosed the directive that the union has suspended its strike as he said: “NEC resolved to suspend the strike embarked upon on the 1st July, 2013, with effect from Tuesday, December 17, 2013 and directs its branches to resume work forthwith”. He said the NEC considered the reports from various branches and resolved to accept the resolutions between ASUU and the federal government on December 11. The lecturers’ comrade noted that the NEC wanted areas in the ASUU-FGN agreement of 2009, that require policy and legislative steps to be promptly addressed for the challenges facing the system to be effectively tackled. While assuring the positive aftermath of the suspension, the ASUU President said “It is our hope that government will honour these resolutions as signed and nobody shall be victimized in any way whatsoever for his/her role in the process leading to these resolution and agreement”. Meanwhile, another strike looms as the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association (PENGASSAN) and its sister union National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) would embark on an industrial action in an attempt to counter the proposed privatization of refineries by the FG to its cronies in 2014. PENGASSAN President, Babatunde Ogun told members of the association at the headquarters of the NNPC that an indefinite strike will be declared in the first week of January 2014, to press home their demand.
December 18, 2013
A major political tremor hit the House of Representatives today with the defection of 37 members of the new Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress. This development now put APC in the majority as its increased its numerical strength, which now gives it a simple majority position , a situation that pose serious threat to the presidency and the Peoples Democratic Party. The defectors wrote a letter to the Speaker, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal, citing alleged “Divisions and factions” in the PDP as their reasons for moving to APC. The speaker read out the letter and the names of the defectors on the floor. They stood up to acknowledge their decision to abandon the PDP amidst cheers and clapping by the APC lawmakers. The letter read “We, the undersigned members of the House of Representatives elected on the platform of the PDP, wish to inform you that we have joined the APC”. Another part read that the faction of the PDP which they belong to has formally merged with the APC. There was shout of “APC! APC! APC!”. PDP members on the floor also countered with shouts of “PDP! PDP! PDP!” as they tried to outshine their APC counterparts. Old APC members in the House then went round the chamber, shaking hands with the new members and chatting with them in groups. Efforts by a member, Kingsley Chinda (Rivers PDP), to get the Speaker to reverse the defection was not accepted. He urged the Speaker to ensure “That they defect at the proper time”, as if there is regulated time for change of mind. “I have listened to your point and have taken note”, the Speaker rejected and that was the end of discussion. Is the umbrella tearing? This must be a tough time for the PDP.
December 19, 2013
While the Supervising Minister for Education, Nyesom Wike was busy slugging it out politically with his arch rival, the governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi, as that is the sole of his ministry, more than 70 per cent of candidates who wrote this year’s November/December West African Senior School Certificate Examination might not gain admission into the universities, simply because they failed to obtain the required credentials in five subjects, including English and Mathematics. The West African Examination Council announced the release of the results in Lagos. According to WAEC Head of National Office, Mr. Charles Eguridu, only 86, 612 (29.17 per cent) of the candidates obtained credit in five subjects, including English Language and Mathematics. This year’s result, when compared to that of 2011 and 2012, he said showed a decline in candidate’s’ performance. Lailai, Wike can’t be aware of this, his mission is in Rivers, most especially when his children won’t attend government schools, that is if they study in Nigeria.
POLICE BAR RIVERS LAWMAKERS FROM ASSEMBLY
December 20, 2013
The presidency has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission and the Speaker, House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, to declare the seats of the 37 lawmakers that defected from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress vacant. It has also asked the electoral body to begin the process of conducting fresh elections in the affected lawmakers’ constituencies with a view to replacing them since there is still one more year in the lifespan of the current legislature. The Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Mr Ahmed Gulak said though the president is not losing sleep because he has not committed any offence, but “We have asked the Speaker and INEC to declare the seats of the lawmakers vacant. Anyone that wants to remain in the House should face the electorate and contest on the platform of their new party”. Stay tuned