PDP: Time for fresh start after 16 years

By Gbenga Daniel page source url  

As a loyal party man who desires the best for our great party, the PDP. I have done informed study of the myriad of problems which confronted our political party in the last few years, especially the one which had cost us several electoral victories since 2011 and most especially the Presidency in 2015. I have come to the conclusion that the challenges which face our political party are not permanent. They could be rectified through a careful deployment of resources, the willpower and ability to work through difficult situations, concession and compromises if need be, and ability to move all our people into one disciplined accord on all matters.

I therefore use this medium to declare my aspiration to contest for the office of the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party at the National Convention which has been slated to hold on the 9th of December, 2017. I come to this resolve after careful analyses of the challenges confronting the PDP and on the strength of clear understanding of my personal ability to provide the needed leadership in our collective search for solutions.

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Let me state that most Nigerians today have come to recognise that our party, the Peoples Democratic Party midwifed democracy for Nigeria and the country fared better under our political party. Regrettably, the people did not vote out our party for want of performance. We lost out because we miscalculated on certain aspects of our politics; outside the management of the nation’s economic resources. We failed to ask some critical questions needed for planning. For instance, when President Muhammadu Buhari in 2011 as the candidate of the CPC got less than 5,000 votes in Abia State, we did not ask why? When in 2011, the 15 states that Muhammadu Buhari had the least votes came from Southern Nigeria, we did not ask why? When the trend repeated itself in 2015, who asked why?

Again, in 2015 we failed to appreciate that it was not just an election, it was a referendum. A referendum not for secession, but for “effective governance”. I hold firmly that more than planning, leadership needs to ask more questions at all times. Asking the right questions is what the new leadership of the PDP under my watch will focus on.

Our inability to ask the needed questions at the appropriate time no doubt affected the fortunes of the PDP and reflected in the final outcome of the party in the 2015 general elections. For instance, for every four (4) persons that voted for President Muhammadu Buhari in the North, he got only 1 vote in the South. Muhammadu Buhari polled 12,374,890 votes from the North and only 3,050,031 from the South. In 2015, during the presidential election, Candidate Muhammadu Buhari received the least number of votes from the South Eastern region. He got less than 200,000 votes in an election that had a turnout of more than 2.7 Million people. That was a referendum.

The low votes meant that a large number of people did not trust or want Muhammadu Buhari. That was and is still the fact (evidence from IPOB and recent restructuring debates from the South.). The various agitations for restructuring in different parts of the country and in isolated cases, of calls for secession were a referendum not for secession, but a referendum on ‘leadership trust’. That is President’s leadership litmus test.

We do not just have enough evidence as to why so many people did not want Muhammadu Buhari. But the low side of his administration reveals a bit of possible why. The solution to a national problem cannot just be in fighting corruption; the solution is to first fight ‘national disunity’.

Recently, Prof Ricardo Hausman of the Harvard Kennedy School concluded a research where he stated “Fighting Corruption will not end Poverty”. His research showed that improving Government effectiveness played a significant role in fighting poverty, and that fighting corruption had an insignificant role in ending poverty.

Part of the questions we also failed to ask and provide answers to was why many young Nigerians became unhappy with our party. The pattern of the votes reflected not only who people elected as their President, it more importantly showed who people ‘refused‘ to elect as their President. When the results were finally announced, the evidence had shown that the priority and fight of the next Nigerian leader (Muhammadu Buhari) should have been ‘National Acceptance’ before fighting ‘National Corruption’

Let me also say, that today, the difference between the PDP and APC is in two words ‘Vision’ and ‘Mission’. The PDP has a ‘Vision’ for Nigeria, while the APC only has a ‘Mission’

Like I said, especially in the light of current reality in the management of our Commonwealth in the present dispensation, Nigeria’s economy was better managed, under the PDP. For instance, under President Olusegun Obasanjo’s leadership (1999 – 2007), a government ran by the PDP, the Nigerian economy grew by 91% (as measured by GDP), while during the administration of Alhaji Umar Musa Yar’Adua/Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (2007/2010 – 2014), the economy grew by 24%. That has been the fastest growth under civilian rule in the history of our great nation, and it happened under the PDP.

Since 2015 however, Nigeria is yet to have an appreciable 12 months of economic growth under the APC. That’s an F9; failure.

It is disquieting that the APC led government claim to focus on fighting corruption, while facts on the ground suggests that Nigeria has become worse off and sinking low even in graft. For instance, latest corruption index in Nigeria (2016) according to Transparency International (the global watchdog for measuring corruption) was 2.8/10. Before 2015, Nigeria had a P8 in corruption but and A3 in economic growth, now we have an F9 in both economic growth and corruption.

About two months ago, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Nigeria’s number 1 repository of facts and data, revealed that more than N402 Billion was paid as bribes within the last 12 months. What is N402 Billion? – It is more than the Federal Government’s capital budget for Defense, Education and Health combined together.

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Our Party, the Peoples Democratic Party was founded in 1998 on the wisdom and vision of some of our founding fathers on certain noble ideals. In 1999, the PDP won 206 out of the 360 seats of the House of Representatives; 59 out of the 109 seats of the Senate; 21 out of the 36 states Governorship seats and the Presidential position with 62.78% of the votes cast. In 2003, the fortune of the party soared higher as we won 223 out of the 360 seats of the House of Representatives; 76 out of the 109 seats of the Senate; 28 out of the 36 states Governorship seats and the Presidential position with 61.94%.  Similar feats were recorded in 2007 and 2011 where we won resoundingly across the country. All these we achieved before we moved away from our guiding principles.

One of such guiding principles which defined the essence and character of our great party was transparency. We showed the world, and especially Africa, through internal democracy, the exemplary guidelines on how democracy should be practiced. Our party slogan ‘Power to the People’ was not just another political catchphrase but one that portrays our socio-democratic ideology that, beyond the distractions of public offices and class differences, the ultimate authority of governance does not rest in the hands of the rulers but the ruled; that the welfare and indeed wellbeing of Nigerian citizens, including that of our party members come first before that of any party or political office holders.

In the last few weeks I have gone round visiting many of our leaders and stakeholders. I believe that I have sufficiently interacted with many of our party leaders, elders and members to have identified various fault lines which needed closing up so that we can return to the ideals and vision of our founding fathers. One of my focus as the National Chairman is to bring back many of our party men who have left. My ultimate goal is to work towards the victory of our party in the 2019 general elections and in all other elections in between. To achieve this, I am prepared to work with all leaders of our party, various interest groups and individuals.

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Various reasons have been given about how we got to where we are. Chief of these are indiscipline and impunity, lack of internal democracy, imposition of candidates as well as dangerous introduction of ticket racketeering to unpopular candidates. The alteration of the time-tested zoning formula and convention also contributed in no small measure to the undoing of the PDP. A party which was hitherto governed by ethos and administered by internal conflict management mechanism based on equity, fairness, transparency and democracy became hostage to judicial controls only. Today we still carry the scar, and in some cases, wounds from the misunderstanding and a breakdown in party discipline and order.

But this is not the time to start passing the buck; enough of the blame games. It is time to move on, up and forward. It is time to start afresh…I believe, together we can take us there.

The Eagle is a very powerful bird. That is why it is the symbol of our collective national strength. As a political party we also have a lot to learn from; and take strength from the regenerative energy of this all-time powerful bird.

In my own part of the world in the South West, there is a believe that the Eagle spends an average of 1000 years, the mythical immortality of the Eagle is supported by the science which confirms that at every turn and cycles in years the Eagle finds space in the deep forests to pluck off its time-worn feathers in the heat, and regenerate. The truth still is, the same Eagle remains in body and spirit which represents the legendary never dying and ubiquitous spirits and wisdom of our elders and founding fathers, which needs from time to time to regenerate, refresh so that it can live into the next generation. In other words, we can retain the old and still live in the present and into the future.

Fellow compatriots, the need for a more focused, disciplined and reinvigorated PDP transcends the desire to merely hold office,  rather it is a clarion call to provide an alternative political platform to offer distinctive leadership our nation so much desire today. A platform whose ideology is based on collective governance, all round inclusive leadership, national unity and economic development.  Doing otherwise will be sending our fatherland to eternal political condemnation, neo-dictatorship and totalitarianism. This will not only make mockery of the sacrifices of men and women who paid the ultimate price so our nation can enjoy the freedom and unity we so much deserve but equally erode the collective vision of a more prosperous Nigeria.

The fate of Nigeria seems intertwined with that of PDP, Nigeria needs us, the citizens are looking up to us, and we cannot afford to fail them. I am also proud to say that our Peoples Democratic Party was and still remains the greatest political party, not only in Nigeria, but in the entire continent of Africa. We were one big happy family, representing the greatest hopes and aspirations of most Nigerians.

source link How do I feel I can do it?

I think I am most eminently qualified to correct some of our mistakes of the near and remote past having served as a Chief Executive officer of one of the most complex States in Nigeria, Ogun. Having supervised and won elections twice under the platform of the PDP. I have conducted and managed not only national elections, but also local government elections with all their attendant complexities. I have built a network of personal relationships across the length and breadth of Nigeria, both in my private capacity as a businessman and public life as a governor and politician; these networks are expected to come handy in the process of healing wounds and building bonds and synergies necessary in rebuilding and refloating the political party. I stand as a bridge in between conservatively hostile and restlessly progressive different and diverse generations. We must harness the abundant energies of our youth and gain from the timeless wisdom of our elders. The PDP needs a Chairman that can lead the party to meet the needs, aspirations and yearnings of young Nigerians.

As a professional engineer, I have learnt over the years, both in the course of training and years of practice that whenever there is a near system collapse, sometimes we need to reinvent the wheels; sometimes, we need to pause and go back to default settings, we need to refresh, recreate and regenerate. And I believe, as a member of the most prestigious Academy of Engineering in Nigeria, I am equally qualified in the engineering of default setting and the strength of character to do what has to be done.

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The new PDP leadership is going to fight Poverty like never before. The judiciary, legislative or several unhappy people are not our enemies. We have a common enemy in ‘failed promises’. A common enemy in ‘poverty’. A common enemy in ‘high interest and inflation rates; which by the way is not interesting.

Restructuring means different things to different people in Nigeria. To make it simple, I say we need to “Rethink Nigeria”. Rethinking Nigeria means our new PDP will focus on what works and less on what is failing. Added to that is what ought to work that is failing. In practical terms, we are already in a ‘State of emergency’ in Poverty. The APC blames the PDP without cross checking the facts; stopping the policeman from collecting bribe is a good achievement, but does that improve his policing skills?

As at today, the APC has 44 senators from the North, but more than half have been PDP members. What do all these mean? The APC is picketing the PDP. It clearly shows that APC is not building leaders. The PDP built leaders and will continue to do that.

Finally, I share in Robin Sharma’s belief that: “Leadership is no longer about your position. It is now more about a ‘passion for excellence’ and ‘making a difference’.

You can lead without a title. The new PDP leadership under my watch will keep working towards reducing corruption, but using a different strategy. Rather than fight other arms of Government, we will promote national integration. I want to be a leader not just the National Chairman of the PDP. My role is more important than my title.

We can, we must, and we will definitely start afresh … Together!

Otunba (Engr.) Justus Gbenga Daniel, FNSE, FAEng was the Governor of Ogun State (2003-2011) and aspirant for the National Chairmanship of the Peoples Democratic Party. 

Buhari’s ‘ethnocentric display’ upon public perception

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While the controversy surrounding the leak of Ibe Kachikwu’s letter is still raging on, the Presidency is under fire again following the comments of World Bank’s president, Jim Yong Kim, in an interview where he claimed that President Muhammadu Buhari specifically asked him and his organization to focus on the North in their aid interventions.

Many have held this as further proof that President Buhari is ethnocentric and unfit to preside over a multi-ethnic country like Nigeria.

To be clear, and I have to make this clarification before I proceed, I believe we owe it to the people of North East to help them rebuild their communities and ease them back into life following the carnage they suffered under Boko Haram.

I consider strongly the fact that the context within which the president made the request to the World Bank may have been rooted in the pitiable condition of several states in the North East in areas of infrastructure, housing and basic humanitarian needs – and that is by no means wrong, or a portrayal of ethnocentrism.

These people are after all, Nigerians, and the president swore an oath to protect and care for them.

Also, the scarcity of resources compels the president, at given periods, to prioritize needs in order of urgency or other criteria he deems fit in good faith.

However, the general perception of the president as ethnocentric is largely his fault as on several occasions, either deliberately or inadvertently, he has displayed ethnocentric tendencies. It was a narrative that followed him during the campaigns and upon election victory, his actions did little to counter it; on the contrary, they fueled it.

To start with, in July 2015, two months after Buhari was sworn in, he paid a visit to the United States of America where he met then-President, Barack Obama. During his visit, the president made a stop at the United States’ Institute of Peace where he fielded questions from journalist and, unprovoked, he delivered a line that all but raised the first alarm.

Asked for his approach to issues related to the Niger Delta region of the country, particularly amnesty, bunkering and inclusive development, our own president responded by asking a woman journalist, who put the question before him,  if she has obtained a copy of our (Nigeria) electoral results before explaining that literally, constituencies that for example gave me 97% cannot in all honesty be treated on some issues with constituencies that gave me 5%”. According to Buhari, “these are political realities”.

For a man who just emerged as president of a multi-ethnic and religious country in what was deemed the most divisive election since the country returned to democracy in 1999, his comments, two months after taking office, confirmed wide-spread allegations by his opponents and set the tone for the perception of his actions throughout his tenure ,  and this was evident in the criticism that followed his appointments believed to be lopsided and favoring his ‘kinsmen’.

In, perhaps, another show of character, president Buhari enraged a lot of Nigerians, particularly the southerners, during the last Eid-el-Fitri celebration when he phoned in from London where he had gone to receive treatment of an undisclosed ailment and addressed the country in Hausa, a language predominant in the north.

No tangible explanation was given for the Buhari’s action as it was generally expected of him, as President,  to address the country using the lingua franca to avoid allegations of segregation and alienation.

Moreover, the celebrants, Muslims, cut across several ethnic groups and regions of the country. Selecting the Hausa language suggested, implicitly, that the president directed his message specifically to his “brothers in the North”, as was speculated by members of the main opposition party, PDP.

It should be noted that this happened weeks after the president phoned in to a special prayer led and organized by the Kano State Government, under the leadership of the state Governor, Umar Ganduje, to calm fraying nerves that he was okay, and much better.

It cannot be disproved that there are people who constantly seek to disillusion the public by offering a partial or tailored explanation of every move the president makes to justify preconceptions and score political points, especially now that another election season is almost upon us.

However, on the subject of ethnocentrism, the president makes his job easier as his actions, both direct and indirect, project one who indeed considers his 97% constituents superior to the 5% constituents.

And he has himself to be blamed for that.

Writer can be reached on Twitter via the handle – @shina_pitta

Ambode and Lagos leaning against silent screams from LASPOTECH

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In Nigeria, people are internally displaced for many reasons amongst which are: terrorism, militancy, natural disaster, territory conflicts, civil war, etc.

Whatever reason that may be responsible for internal displacement, the situations at all settlement camps remain the same. Neglect, malnutrition, mental and physical abuse, vulnerability, diversion of funds/aids from donors, even intermittent external aggression.

In some cases, the persons prefer the enemies’ camp to the IDP camp if given the opportunity to choose.

This situation in any typical IDP camps is not different from the harrowing experience that has plagued the Lagos State Polytechnic ( LASPOTECH) students.

The 40-year-old institution has witnessed up to four strike actions in the last 40 weeks for numerous faulty reasons, hence, disrupting and prolonging the academic years of the innocent students.

The industrial dispute that was said to have started in July 2016 had led to total shut down of the polytechnic on different occasions, starting from Thursday 20th -31st October, 2016; 20th April – 15th May, 2017; 5th -21st June, 2017 and 1st August – 15th.

At different periods, the strike actions featured demonstrations, press conferences, media appearances, visits to the Lagos State House of Assembly, visits to the state governor’s office, letters to the governor and even invasion of the campus by armed military men which attracted public outrage.

In all of these, the students languish in pains while the governor seems to enjoy the rhythm of their silent screams.

The absurdity of it is that nothing has been done to investigate the bestial treatment of the students by the soldiers who earn their living through the taxes paid by parents.

No doubt, there is a structure put in place by the governor to mitigate in situation like this. The structure starts from the rector of the institution, who believes that the staff unions cannot force him into the payment that is yet to be domesticated.

In such situation, one would have expected the governing council which is to serve as the representative of the Governor to mediate between the warring parties, but got enmeshed in the dirty mud.

Next is the Special Adviser on Education to the governor whose intervention has fallen below average and yielded more confusion. The latest wrong move of the SAE was the court summon from an industrial court to the unions, which is a clear reflection of his bad handling of the protracted industrial disharmony. As at today, all parties are at limbo and waiting endlessly for the final sound of the gavel.

The Permanent Secretary in Lagos Ministry of Education and his counterpart in Ministry of Establishment could not salvage the situation as their interpretations of policy continue to somersault in their faces. The House Committee on Education’s intervention looks promising but has only handed the students another row of strike action.

One year after, if the structures put in place to see to the smooth running of the institution fail, the governor needs to start questioning the competence of his men and complicity in the seemingly unending drama.

The students and their parents did not vote for their lecturers, rector, governing council members, SAE or permanent secretaries. Guardians and parents don’t also pay their taxes to the same set of people, but to Lagos State Government under the leadership of the State Governor Akinwumi Ambode.

Another electioneering starts in earnest, ‘Ambo lee kan si’ and we can not afford to close our eyes to the harvests of votes that could come from any angle. The students pay and they deserve quality service delivery. After all, when the strike actions were called off, the rector and the staff still received their pay packs. Who pays for the wasted years of the innocent students?

Enough of this conspiracy of silence by the powers that be. The students should be treated as future of Nigeria not as IDPs that are mentally wounded and physically brutalized. It may interest his Excellency to know that, the Ikorodu medical centre of the polytechnic at the just concluded 2016/2017 second semester examination in the month of September recorded highest number of casualties in the history of the Polytechnic – no thanks to the examinations that were cramped into eight days to forestall possible fresh industrial strike by the staff unions.

Avoidance and denial do not work in a matter of this importance, the Governor just need to face it and rest the matter finally.

From all indications, the governor seems to trust his boys, but it won’t be out of place if he raises an independent panel of inquiry to look critically and holistically into the issues affecting the polytechnic. What if the issues go beyond arrears? What if there is an issue of integrity deficit on the part of the stakeholders? What if the governor has been fed with wrong information? What if the only thing that staff, students and pensioners want is an assuring words from the amiable Governor? What if this is an opportunity for the staff unions to learn a better approach to conflict resolution without ‘placards’? What if the managers of the polytechnic need the ongoing crisis to learn modern business intelligence and better handling of men, machine, money? What if the staff and their unions meant good for the polytechnic? What if it is time for the governor to re-position the polytechnic as the hub and bedrock of technological excellence in Africa? What if?

Taking your employee to court is not a strength sir, it is a weakness in conflict resolution because all internal avenues have not been exhausted. You have only succeeded in creating more disgruntled elements, recalcitrant, and vulnerable victims of the IDP camp.

Unless there is a miracle, getting injunction on “no work, no pay” won’t stop further agitation and industrial disharmony. No good father transfers his domestic affairs to his neighbour or village chief and earn the respects of his children after settlements.

Yes, the staff unions goofed by not trusting her Excellency, the Deputy Governor and the House Committee on Education’s efforts to mitigate in the crisis. The unions and all other actors in this avoidable crisis deserve corrective spanks and not destructive spites.

As there is no alternative to peaceful co-existence, I also believe it is not too late for the father of all in person of Governor Akinwumi Ambode to restore permanent peace to the polytechnic of excellence.

As the polytechnic clocks forty this year, all hands must be on deck to move the Institution to a lofty height and not the current palpable animosity that envelopes the bedrock of technology.

The products of a peaceful family are always the harbinger of progress in every society.

Owolabi, a public commentator, lives in Ikorodu.

Where activism fails, economics doesn’t

By Adeshina Peter

Saudi Arabia made a historic announcement on Tuesday, September 26, that it would now allow women, both indigenes and those living in the country, to get behind the wheel and drive. While this may seem trite given that we are in the 21st century and Saudi is about the only country where such law still exists, it is a great leap forward for a country described as “ultraconservative” and women still require permission from a male guardian, sometimes son, to travel or take up jobs.

For Saudi women, this victory has been for a long time coming. It took years of activism and big movements of defiance that sometimes resulted in jail terms. While the activists can, rightly, take credit for the victory as their moves increased the pressure on the government, it wasn’t their activism or continuous shaming of the government in western media that tipped the scale in their favor. Rather, it was simply because the government could no longer afford to have the repressive law in place; economics.

The country’s status as the world’s home of the second-largest oil reserves and consequential oil-dependent economy, like Nigeria, made the sharp decline of oil in the international market a great blow that affected everything, from the serious to the mundane. In a bust or bail move that propelled Prince Mohammed bin Salman to greater prominence, the country decided to pull the plug on several government expenditures, especially those that are unproductive in the face of falling revenue.

Part of this unproductive expenditure includes posh government job for Saudis. It has been cut down severely, with the government encouraging citizens to join the private sector and help, in the real sense, to grow and diversify its economy.

And because women account for the most numbers of Saudis out of jobs, relying on the government for upkeep, they were targeted them in a desperate bid to grow the private sector and save funds from citizen’ subsidies; a move that gave the women an opportunity to drive home their message, literally.

It makes no sense for them (the women) to work when more than half of their pay would go to hiring male drivers to drive them to and fro work when they can just stay at home and receive fairly decent pay from the government. So the government was presented with two choices: increase/complement pay from the private jobs (subsidies) or eliminate the rather unnecessary avenue for the extra cost.

Given the problems that came with low oil price, the decision to make was clear. It is not the first time economics is forcing the government to abandon what it hitherto considered “non-negotiable” or cultural.

Late last year, Saudi Arabia, a country considered the birth place of Islam, abandoned the lunar Hijri calendar otherwise known as the ‘Islamic Calendar’ for the western solar Gregorian calendar. This was because while the structure of the former is arbitrary and reliant on sighting of the moon, the latter is well-defined. With the switch, the government cut down on payment days for its employees, putting them on the same pedestal with those in the private sector; all in a bid to save cost and survive the economic downturn occasioned by low oil prices.

The lesson from this is not only that economics always find a way to triumph, but also that nothing really is ‘non-negotiable’. It is only so when the question of survival is yet to be asked. If you are thinking this is a subliminal message to the Nigerian government and its stance on the unity of Nigeria, it is. And while I am not predicting doom unless the country is divided with a fork, I encourage the government not to approach the matter with closure but with an open-mind which gives room for healthy debates and workable solutions like  custom ezessays us paper paper paper school term term term genuine restructuring. Or, like Saudi, we can otherwise wait for the non-negotiable to become negotiable in the fullness of time.

Historical facts behind Idumuje Ugboko palace coup

BY Hezy  Odoh

Historically, Idumuje people who are part of Idumuje clan in Aniocha North L/G.A. Delta State trace their roots to ancient Bini kingdom, just like most of Ezechima and Odiani people that left Benin in the 18th century.

Idumuje Unor and Idumuje Ugboko are one people that settled in different locations. They share boundaries with towns like Igbodo in Ika North East LGA, Onicha Ugbo and Ugbodu,in Aniocha North LGA and Ewohinmi in Edo State.

They belong to the Igboid linguistic group, but their political power structure, institutions and practices; draw largely from the ancient Bini kingdom.

Agriculture was their major preoccupation, but over time, commerce and other crafts as well as blue collar jobs, professional training, etc, have become part of the transformation that came with access to education and exposure to other civilisations.

Idumuje Ugboko is the epicenter of this analysis and it must be said that to understand a people one must look at their history, mores, social and interpersonal relationship, religion, culture and other values that inform their world views.

Hence they say that those who ignore the lessons of history would repeat its tragedy.
A lot of half truths and misleading facts are been fed to the public through a media team whose mandate is to propagate false hood.

To understand the unfolding events, it is important to follow the historical trajectory of the hidden discontent and structures in the Royal family and the Idumuje Ugboko before the death of the king.

The Royal family in Idumuje Ugboko is among the ten largest in the world. Idumuje-Ugboko which is some four kilometers away from her sister community Idumuje-Uno was founded by a large number of people who migrated Idumuje-Uno as a result of a quarrel on the Odogwu traditional chieftaincy title as it where then at Idumuje. This exodus was led by Nwoko a candidate for the Odogwu chieftaincy title who later became the first Obi of Idumuje-Ugboko.

What is happening in Idumuje Ugboko kingdom today has all the trappings of a palace coup d’état and the two surviving widows of the late monarch are not hiding their views about the bizarre event.
They have written a petition to the Inspect General of Police, demanding for an autopsy of the late monarch whom they claimed was strangled to death. and the IGP has directed that an autopsy should be carried out on the late king.

At the time of this report, a petition was written to the Assistant Inspector General of Police zone 5 in Benin city to enforce a warrant of arrest which has been issued against Prince Nonso Nwoko is battling over five criminal cases.

Bench Warrants of Arrest has been ordered against Prince Justin Chukwunonso Nwoko in the stated charge no: CMA/420C/2016 and CHARGE NO: MUO/5C/2016 since March, 2017 and renewed on 29th June, 2017.

It is a fact that when the case came up for continuation of hearing on 29th June, 2017, the Police Prosecution Counsel who at the sitting of the court on 31st May, 2017 had applied for an order of the court which was granted by the court in (charge no: CMA/420C/2016) to enable the police verify the medical certificate from the Hospital Management Board, Owa-Oyibo tendered by Prince Barr.

Mbanefo Nwoko (Counsel to the Accused) as reason for the first accused absence in court, tendered before the court a disclaimer of the medical report from Hospital Management Board, Owa-Oyibo which was tendered on behalf of Prince Nwoko who was absent in court on 31st May, 2017 by the counsel.

The Chief Magistrate in his ruling on 29th June, 2017, ordered the police to investigate the said medical report from Hospital Management Board, Owa-Oyibo with a view to unraveling those behind it.

The medical report is alleged to have been forged. So far, Nwoko has used the excuse that he is mourning the death of his father to avoid responding to the police invitations. A conviction on any of them could disqualify him from the kingship aspiration.

The move to drag the star university project into the kingship tussle is only a ploy to exploit the emotive content associated with land matters to garner support for his schemes and divert attention from real problems that are rooted in history, culture and destiny of the people.

As stated above, there are historical and socio-cultural issues associated with who becomes the next monarch in Idumuje Ugboko after the demise of the last monarch. Before his exit, there were deep crisis in the Royal family as reflected in a position paper presented by Prince Dan. O. Nwoko, to the inaugural meeting of the Umu Obi Omorhusi Executive Council in the Royal Palace on April 6, 2016, in Idumuje Ugboko.

Some of the issues raised centered on lack of respect for senior members of the Royal family, exhibition of acts of indiscipline and unbridled ambition, disregard for traditional and protocols, usurpation of the functions of the monarch and the concept of primogeniture in Idumuje Ugboko kingdom.

Prince Dan O. Nwoko raised issues concerning primogeniture, qualifications and eligibility of the presumed Crown Prince eventually qualifying to exercise his birthday right. In other words, “the term Crown is a floating term as it hovers over whosoever is tagged the ‘Crown Prince’, until it crystallizes and rests on his head that is when he is put on the throne.”

Therefore, it can be frustrated under unwritten customs and laws. Such frustration can take place under the following circumstances: If the Crown Prince is pre-deceased the reigning monarch; If the Crown Prince is of unsound mind and is incapable of knowing or understanding what he is doing. No one will have an idiot as a king; and if he is arraigned before a court of competent jurisdiction of criminal offence, found guilty, sentenced and or fined. Certainly, no one will like to crown a criminal or ex-convict as a king.

This has three dimensional phases taboo stage, tragic stage and tragedy stage. The three stages must be completed, before action can be taken for the ambulatory (floating) crown to continue its movement and search for the right person.

The tradition of Idumuje Ugboko allowed the period of regency from 1955 to 1981 when departed HRM Obi Albert Nwoko, III, Ph.D, MON, JP was crowned the Obi of Idumuje-Ugboko.
Even though it is an established tradition that to be crowned king, both parents of the Crown Prince must be bonafide indigenes of Idumuje-Ugboko, in this case, mother of Prince Nonso Justin Nwoko hails from Ubulu-Uku in Aniocha South Local government. His own wife and mother of his children hail from Anambra state.

There are two contenders to the throne, who Prince Justin Chukwunonso Nwoko, whose mother is from Ubulu-Uku, been one, and Prince Uche Stephen Nwoko, a son of a woman who hail from Idumuje-Ugboko.

Royal watchers assert that right from the first monarch, HRM Obi Nwoko I, his first son, Prince Omoje never ascended the throne because his mother was from neighbouring and sister town Idumuje – Unor. The crown went to Prince Omorhusi Nwoko, Prince Omoje s first son whose mother hailed from Ogbe-Ofu village.

When Obi Omorhusi died, his first son Prince Justin Nkeze Nwoko whose mother was from Atuma village in Idumuje-Ugboko became king and known as Obi Nwoko II. When Obi Nkeze died in 1955; the issue of succession came up because the actual first son died before him.

Prince Rowland S. O. Nwoko, who showed interest, was denied because his own mother was from Idumuje-Unor. The choice fell on Prince Demas Nwoko, but declined because his wife is from Umunze in Anambra state and that disqualifies his children from succeeding him as kings.

The mother of Prince Albert Nwoko was from Ugbodu and his wife was from Ubulu Uku, these precipitated a regency period from 1955 to 1981 (26yrs). The situation became unbearable for the people. The elders and the chiefs then met and contrived a plan to make Prince Albert Nwoko the king but with a proviso that he must marry a woman from his native land whose first son would succeed him for the throne.

Even before his contrived death on February 6, 2017, the late Monarch had been held prisoner in the Palace by Prince Nonso, Prince Richard Obiajulu and Prince Ejimofor amongst others. He was made unreachable and rendered incommunicado by some cabals in the Palace. Not even his wives nor the chiefs could reach him yet he was not in poor health.

The crown prince took over the administration of the kingdom, issuing proclamation which led to the Chiefs instituting a civil case in suit No. HCI/1/16 before the State High Court Issele-Uku in March, 2016 and obtained an Injuction retraining Prince Chukwunonso and others from usurping the duties of the Chiefs. This court order he has flouted severally.

Prince Dan O Nwoko warn him in his Position paper of April 2, 2016, cited earlier in this article. According to the tradition of Idumuje Ugboko, a Crown Prince does not participate in the administration of the kingdom while the father is alive. In one of such Court matters, Prince Edwin Nwoko deposed to an affidavit discontinuing with the matter claiming that they were acting without authority of the king or the family at large.

The Iyase of Idumuje Ugboko, Chief Chris Ogwu, the Odogwu Chief Sunday Edemodu, the Chairman of the Land Allocation Committee, Chief Kennedy Illoh, members of the Onotu amongst others participated in the Izu-Ani where the application for the allocation of the land for the Star University project have all become victims of acts of vandalism, arson and threat to their lives.

These issues have not been resolved and could not be resolved by evoking emotions on issues that are already in court of law. Some of these excesses have been afoot in the past four years when the Crown Prince relocated from Lagos to Asaba, as he claimed, to monitor the events in the kingdom..

The issue of acquisition of land and payment of compensation to the farmers has been in Court in the past two years. The process of ascending the throne in towns within Aniocha North is duly recognised by the Council of Traditional Rulers and the Delta State Government, it would be a bad precedence to allow a palace coup and usurpation of the kingship throne in Idumuje Ugboko to succeed no matter how persuasive the propaganda may seem, the rule of law must prevail above the rule of the jungle and brute force.

see Assertion from the publication is that of the author, Ugbaja, who wrote from Lagos

Qatar supposedly committed crime and GCC crisis in recent years

http://awwadco.com/?p=small-business-planning-guide By Disu Kamor

It’s time the Muslim world firmly and sincerely tells Saudi Arabia to end it’s tacit supports for Israel and the occupation of expropriated Palestinian lands. If Qatar is guilty of supporting terrorism by supporting Hamas (Hamas came to existence solely as a result of the Israeli occupation), then Saudi Arabia is guilty of much worse crimes in its support of various violent groups in the region; of sponsoring Iraq’s Saddam in the 80s during his war against Iran with a resultant of one million causalities on both sides (within 8 years); it’s supports and funding of a UN sanction programme in Iraq in which between 400,000 to 500,000 children of under 5 died (a programme that clearly meets the definition of genocide.

Denis Halliday, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq during the same period was so enraged by the consequences of the sanctions he had to resign from UN, after a 34-year career, in order to gain the freedom to criticise UN. Not Saudi Arabia which was ready to starve a whole population to death to depose a man it helped impose on Iraq. A man Saudi Arabia used to try and destroy Iran).

The same type of travesty is going on in Yemen as we speak, where heaps of dead and starving bodies are resulting from a carnage being inflicted on poor Yemen by the Saudi-led coalition. Saudi Arabia evidently has no remorse about it’s sordid track records and roles in helping to decimate these populations nor for it’s supports for tyrants at different times, starting from Idi Amin to modern day despots.

Through its immoral meddling in Bahrain and Yemen, it’s fueling of the raging conflagration in Syria, its pumping out to the Muslim world violent and divisive ideologies (although Sunni Muslims make up between 80% and 90% of the global Muslim population, a staggering 94% of all acts of terrorism attributable to Muslims are committed by Sunni Muslims due largely to the type of extreme ideologies and funds flowing out if the Gulf States, Qatar included), and with the Faustian Pact it’s signed with those whose only intent is to suppressed and ruin the Muslim world are all part of its blemishes.

Evidently, the Saudi Arabian regime is a tragedy that has afflicted the Muslim world from the onset and a major dis-stabilisation force in the entire region.

In a move that looks like an attempt to heed Mr Trump’s impassioned appeal in Riyadh to “drive out” terrorists, Saudi Arabia coordinated its decision to sever diplomatic ties with Qatar with Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, with the decision of Qatar to welcome Hamas, which Washington brands a terrorist group, as one of its primary demands.

But if Saudi Arabia is mad with Hamas because of Hamas’ use of violent methods in the past, including some widely considered to be reprehensible and unIslamic (e.g. suicide bombing), Saudi Arabia must first turn its war on anti-terrorism gun against itself to make any meaningful sense of the Saudi-bloc’s schoolyard sermons on terror. 15 of the 19 alleged 9-11 hijackers were Saudi citizens, and so was Osama Bin Laden, the leader of the Al Qaeda terrorist group.

In fact almost all the groups that Saudi Arabia funds and sponsors in all its proxy wars use such methods and not surprisingly, they all continue to get their bills written off by Riyadh. The UK government has blatantly refused, despite repeated calls by opposition leaders in the UK Parliament, to release the Home Office report of an investigation into the source of funding for acts of terrorism perpetrated in the UK, a report that indicts Saudi Arabia.

Prime Minister Theresa May, even in the light of the horrific attacks in Manchester and London has flatly refused to release the report of the investigation, calling the report ‘sensitive’. Obviously, Saudi Arabia does not only use its petrodollars to buy weapons from the British government, it has also bought the British Government’s silence.

Egyptian despotic ruler, President Al Sissi, during the rule of the last monarch, got a huge cheque for overthrowing President Morsi, a democratically elected government. The late king awarded the handsome bounty to Sissi for getting rid of a democratically elected government. In fact Hamas’ only crime is that it has refused to become subservient to the Saudi monarchy and towed it’s unconscionable line.

Saudi Arabia needs to stop behaving like a petty bully that it is and stop employing crude methods and (outsource) violence to suppress it’s neighbours, wanting to force them into submission and a feeble alliance in its unpopular wars and to amplify it’s schizophrenic outbursts against Iran.

In a nursery school rhyme, Saudi government lectured the rest of the Muslim world during President Trump’s visit on the need to end the propagation of extreme ideology that fuels violence. But conveniently, it forgot to add it would commit to switch off its own extreme and sectarian ideology that has seeped into the blood circulation of almost all Sunni extremist and sectarian preachers and violent groups such as ISIS, Boko Haram, Taliban.

Last month, Russian hackers (according to FBI and an independent Qatari investigation) published false remarks attributed to Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani on QNA platforms. The fake report said Sheikh Tamim, in a speech at a military graduation ceremony, was critical of renewed tensions with Iran, expressed the need for contextualising Hezbollah and Hamas as resistance movements, and suggested US President Donald Trump might not last long in power.

The hackers targeted the Qatari News Agency and all its social media platforms to release the fake report and the only news channels which, without any sort of verification, breathlessly broadcast these fake reports to the world were those of Saudi Arabia and UAE. It is not difficult to see that there was a ploy to discredit the Qatari leaders and enrage the Muslim world on one hand, and President Trump on the other, against it.

Descending below the ridiculous, the Saudi-bloc has designated as terrorists dozens of people with alleged links to Qatar and closed their airspaces to Qatar, and Qatari citizens. One of those designated as terrorist is Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi- an erudite theologian who is claimed to have an affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood. Shaykh Qaradawi, as early as 1997 had stated categorically that he was not a member of the Brotherhood. Earlier in his life Qaradawi was jailed three times for his relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood and subsequently stripped of his Egyptian citizenship in the 1970s–driving him to seek exile in Qatar.

Similarly in November 2014, UAE government designated major organisations that actually represent the Muslims in Norway, the UK and US as terrorist organisations (including Muslim Council of Britain, Islamic Relief, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Muslim American Society). In fact the Norway’s foreign ministry found the designation so shocking and bizarre it publicly requested an explanation as to why one of the country’s largest Islamic groups could be so designated.

The only beneficiary from the crisis that Saudi Arabia and its GCC allies have created seems to be Israel. Israeli leaders have been exploiting Saudi Arabia actions and words to further demonise Iran, its archenemy, and hope the focus on the crisis will eclipse concerns about the Palestinian cause.

Saudi Arabia is undoubtedly helping Israel perpetuate its grip on expropriated Palestinian lands and throwing the main resistant group in Gaza, Hamas, under the bus. Of course, the Saudi monarchy may continue to play the Russian roulette with Donald Trump (since Donald Trump and the Russians.

it seems, have a thing together) and Nethanyahu, it should at least have the decency to not pretend it’s actions and belly dancing have any legitimacy and supports in the Muslim world. It is not getting clearer that what is great about Saudi Arabia are in Makkah and Madina, surely not in Riyadh.

http://fairylanddaycarecenter.com/dacda/otiarw.php?fw=bershka-bulgaria  Kamor is Executive Chairman of Muslim Public Affairs Centre (MPAC) Nigeria.

Are we really #NotYoungToRun

By Titilope T. Anifowoshe

In November 2015, my class constituted a committee of close to 10 persons to organize a befitting schedule and project for our graduating set. We were made to contribute #8000 each and up till this moment all we got was a substandard customized T.Shirt, a statue dedicated to faculty of #Law , Unilorin and an excursion to ile-ife, Osun State (whose expenses was largely donated by members of the class outside the 8K) .

Even after graduation we are yet to get our Final year book or an account of our money…. The report of the panel setup to probe the found is that the “money for the final year-book was a scam” and that 3 of the committee members embezzled the cash!

Are we really #NotTooYoungToRun ?

Here in #NLSLagos the #500,000 disbursed by the plateau state government for bursary of Law student was misappropriated by few persons.

Are we really #NotTooYoungToScam ?

In #NLSAbuja students of IMO state were made to pay #500 each to facilitate the disbursement of their bursary and till this moment they have not heard anything about their bursary or their #500

Students of #Kwara State have for 4 years been deprived of their bursary simply because of the harebrained student leaders who survive solely from the suborner they get from the Kwara state government .

Are we really #NotTooYoungToRun ?

Indeed the glitz and glamour of political offices is huge enough to make a person spend his lifetime planning and orchestrating his way to the government house or senate.

I remember how in 2015, one anorexic senator of National Association of Kwara State students with very a muddled command of vocabulary vaunted about his plans to be the governor of Kwara state in the future. Today he doubles as the SRC chairperson of Kwara State University and the Chairman of NANS/JCC Kwara and the only thing his administration has been able to do is “commend , extol and appreciate” dignitaries through open letters and votes of confidence without any viable and visible long or short term developmental projects for Kwara Students.

Have you ever met a young man who aspires to hold any political position ? Have you ever met a young entrepreneur? Can you spot the differences between their ideology and reasoning ?

An entrepreneur believes so much in his handwork and hard-work while a student politician believes so much in his influence and ambition. An entrepreneur reveres innovations and topnotch business ideas while.
A student politician reveres his political Godfathers and their success.

An entrepreneur prays for a stable and flourishing economy while a student politician prays for wealth for the purpose of getting the love of his constituency.

An entrepreneur rarely spend above his earnings because every kobo is business to him but a student politician cares less of how much he spends so far he gets the required adoration of his constituency.

An entrepreneur is always opened to learning new things that will aid his venture but a student politician only aims to get the commendation of his revered RoleModel.

How many student politician doubles as an entrepreneur character?

If the #NotTooYoungToRun bill becomes law a person of 30 years of age will be able to contest for the exalted office of president, senator or governor of a state ; and a 25 year old person can freely become a honorable member of the House or Representative or State House of Assembly . The #NotTooYoungToRun bill also seek for independent candidacy in our electioneering process.
Indeed such Constitutional amendment is going to provide a benchmark of an inclusive, competitive , modern, radical and rugged political system.
The green light is very crystal for this bill but are we really ready to #Rule and #Run ?

Anifowoshe, #LegalEagle, is an aspirant at Nigerian Law School, Abuja.
titilopeanny@gmail.com