Buhari: How To Empty Aggressive Into Progressive By Sonala Olumhense
That base year was the year he and Umaru Yar’Adua, who at their inauguration had labelled themselves “children of independence”, took power.
2007 was before Mr. Jonathan famously declared corruption in Nigeria to be “exaggerated”. It was before he swore he would never publicly declare his assets, and before he elicited the collective gasp of history as he declared acts of stealing not to be mistaken for corruption.
But on that occasion, less than two months after his inauguration, he said he was re-launching the “war against corruption”, and that his government would be governed by the principles of transparency and accountability.
Mr. Jonathan’s speechwriter, presiding over a carton of Gulder, must have been guffawing hard as he as he listened to the president mouthing all the made-up cliches.
“We will carry out a comprehensive audit of all Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government beginning from June 2007,” he must have mouthed along. “You must observe due process in all that you do…
“The anti-corruption agencies have been directed to beam their searchlights on the ministries, departments and agencies of the Federal Government, and also focus on the states and local government areas, in order to send out a clear signal, that no form of abuse will be tolerated.”
It is evident now that the Nigeria leader was merely reading a script. Not once thereafter did he even refer to such an investigation, no report was ever issued, and nobody has suffered as a result of his “war”.
But just in case you didn’t know, the nation’s constitution is categorical about one standard expected of public officials:
Section 140 (1) says: “A person elected to the office of President shall not begin to perform the functions of that office until he has declared his assets and liabilities as prescribed in this Constitution and he has taken and subscribed the Oath of Allegiance and the oath of office prescribed in the Seventh Schedule to this Constitution.”
In Sections 149 and 152, it prescribes the same standard for Ministers and Special Advisers.
To be fair to Mr. Jonathan, he never said he had not declared his assets: the nightmare which kept him awake was always the one about the public finding out what he really owns.
But that is the very point, and our history is firm proof that a secret declaration is no declaration at all.
That is where that speechwriter who manipulated him got it wrong in the transparency double-talk. In Mr. Jonathan’s March 2015 electoral collapse, Nigerians confirmed they did not forgive the duplicity.
But the outgoing president was also assisted by the mistakes of the Founding Fathers, who imagined that asset-declaration as non-contact sport would someone help Nigeria along the way.
That must now be corrected, and it is hopefully one of the first few things that Muhammadu Buhari chases first when he assumes office. It is not enough for him and his appointees to declare their assets, even at Abuja’s Eagle Square. The task is to end impunity, and he can commence that process by working to make public assets declaration by public officers a matter of law.
But this must also be tied to two other extremely important correlations. The first is that the three cited categories of public—and allied—officials must also publicly declare their assets when their tenure ends, or within two weeks if they are fired or impeached.
A declaration of assets at the beginning is worthless if it is not accompanied by a control declaration at the end.
The second correlation is to combat the highest level of impunity at the source: the immunity cause in the constitution. If a President or a governor has time to create assorted and repeated mayhem in office rather than focus on serving the public, he can certainly face necessary legal action.
This is hopefully the tone that Buhari will set four weeks from now: leadership of action, laws and institutions.
But Buhari is not bringing miracles, and Buhari himself it is who must understand this. He does not have to do everything, because he cannot. What he can, and must achieve, is to set a bar below which Nigeria must never again sink. He can do that by establishing appropriate law, building a meritocracy, and motivating Nigerians to take their fate in their hands.
We expect action where there have been hollow words for over 50 years.
But of course he will also speak, especially at his inauguration, when every word will be as powerful as anything he will ever do.
He should throw himself at the mercy of Nigerians, reminding them that neither they nor the leadership given him can accomplish anything unless we all change. He should call out to Nigerians to reach deep so as to rise high; to replace selfishness with compassion, and corruption with nationalism.
He should remind Nigerians that everyone can serve, and everyone can give, and that it takes every man and every woman serving a little and giving a little for a people to reach the skies.
He may paraphrase another famous leader. “Ask not what this government can do for you or for yours, but what you and yours can do for this country.
“You don’t have to see me, or hold office, in order to serve.
“You don’t have to see the Vice-President.
“You don’t have to be acknowledged or to be rewarded.
“Let us change what being a Nigerian official means: not a means of self-enrichment, but an opportunity to serve. Let us change what being a Nigerian citizen means: from being a spectator of a kleptocracy to being an active champion of our democracy.
“We will identify and provide opportunities to contribute to the common good, but you do not have to wait to be shown how to serve. We will list worthwhile and unfinished projects throughout this country. You will have a chance to serve, to uplift, to serve, to contribute, to complete.
“Pledge. Commit. Cooperate. Improve your community
“Donate your time. Write a cheque. Donate scholarships and we will find deserving students who never need to know your name unless you insist, who will honour them in the name of Nigeria.
“Donate a privilege, a car, a bus, airline tickets or opportunities, rather than ask for them. Donate land or good buildings for public use, but not stolen funds. If you have stolen funds in your hands, return them: it is the right, safe and advisable thing to do.
“Build or furnish a library, a playground, a park, a community centre, a tennis court. Generously endow a chair or join with others to endow a chair or a scholarship in perpetuity in the name of an honourable Nigerian. Volunteer your expertise.
“We need functional communities, rising on the backs of volunteer and group work. Let us have local response to local needs and problems: villages and streets and neighbors and associations organizing and cooperating to improve the environment or conquer a common menace, so as to rebuild our battered country.
“We need students, parents, schools, civic and professional associations putting down the pens and pencils of criticism, and replacing them with the rakes and shovels of national commitment and social action…”
Something like that.
- Twitter: @SonalaOlumhense
I’ll Probe Sanusi’s Allegation Of Missing NNPC $20bn – Buhari
by JOHN ALECHENU, ABUJA Apr 26, 2015
President-elect, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari(retd.), on Sunday said his administration would take a second look at the claim by a former Governor of the Central Bank, now Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II, that $20bn, that was supposed to be remitted by the NNPC to the federation account, could not be unaccounted.
Buhari said this while receiving a delegation of party supporters and newly elected officials on the platform of the All Progressives Congress from Adamawa State at his campaign office in Abuja.
The President-Elect, who spoke in the local Hausa language, expressed surprise that instead of probing the allegations by the former CBN governor, the authorities chose to fire him.
According to him, since Sanusi’s claim was documented, his administration will take a second look at the document when he assumes power on May 29th.
Buhari said, “On the issue of corruption, I heard that some people have started returning money. I will not believe it until I go and see for myself.
“You all know what the Emir of Kano talked about when he was the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. He said $20 billion dollars, not naira, $20 billion dollars, was unaccounted for; they said it was a lie. Instead of investigating it, they sacked him. And God in his infinite mercy made him the Emir of Kano. In any case, that is what he wanted. And since this was documented, the new administration will take a look at it.”
This is against the background of a pronouncement by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has started refunding the unremitted $1.48bn into the federation account.
While expressing gratitude to the visiting delegation, Buhari in response to several requests, said his administration would work in tandem with the manifesto of the APC.
He listed priority areas to include security of lives and property, the economy, job creation and the war against corruption.
• Diezani: We’ve started repaying •Says ‘No plan to flee Nigeria’ Far from being over, the controversy over alleged missing oil remittances may have only just begun. Although the outgoing government of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says forensic report has put the figure at $1.48 billion dollars, the incoming party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), says it has evidence that the sum is pretty much higher. The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, on Wednesday told State House Correspondents that the $1.48 billion is already being refunded to the Federation Account. The forensic audit was conducted by an international audit firm, PriceWaterHouse Cooper (PwC), after the then Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), now Emir of Kano, His Highness Muhammad 11, caused an uproar that about $49 billion had been misappropriated from the account of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). He later brought the figure down to $20 billion at a Senate hearing on the allegation, while the Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala put it at $10.8 billion. But faulting the amount, the APC Presidential Campaign Director, Policy, Research and Strategy, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, told Bloomberg that the NNPC would need to refund more than $1.48 billion. Fayemi added that the incoming APC administration of General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) would publish the full audit report of the NNPC and expects that the corporation will need to repay the government more than previously recommended. The APC had during the recent election campaign asked the PDP-led Federal Government to publish the full report of the audit report, not the abridged version that was released by the office of the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF). Fayemi said: “I have a figure that’s more than $1.5 billion that’s been talked about. We’ve seen credible information that what PwC says is more than that. We will release the report. We’ll make it available to Nigerians as soon as we have full information on this.” Fayemi disclosed that the APC may also reorganise the NNPC, adding “NNPC will not be in the form or shape it’s currently in. Some measure of unbundling will happen.” Daily Times learnt that Fayemi travelled out to the United Kingdom shortly after granting the interview to Bloomberg in Lagos on Tuesday. Speaking to State House correspondents at the end of the weekly meeting of the Federal Executive Council at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Alison-Madueke disclosed that the NNPC had started refunding $1.48bn into the Federation Account as recommended by PwC. She however did not disclose how much had so far been refunded by the corporation. The Federation Account Allocation Committee had on Monday night constituted a committee to find out the reasons for the delay in the refund of the sum. According to the AGF, PriceWaterHouse Coopers had in its forensic audit report recommended that the NNPC refund the amount to the Federation Account. The AGF report had quoted PWC to have stated that while the total gross revenue generated from crude oil lifting was $69.34bn between January 2012 and July 2013 and not $67bn as earlier stated by the Senate Reconciliation Committee, what was remitted to the Federation Account was $50.81bn and not $47bn. The audit report was credited as revealing that $28.22bn was the value of domestic crude oil allocated to the NNPC, adding that total amount spent on subsidy for Premium Motor Spirit was $5.32bn. Alison-Madueke however explained that the unremitted fund was owed by NPDC for a block that had been assigned from NNPC to NPDC. She said: “The PriceWater- House Coopers forensic audit that was done a few weeks ago, in its recommendation mentioned that $1.48bn was owed by NPDC for a block that had hitherto been assigned from the NNPC to NPDC which is its subsidiary. “They felt that the right process would be that NPDC will refund that money to the Federation Account. NPDC has apparently started those refunds and it is also in discussion with NNPC and DPR on same. So the refund has actually begun.” While saying that the payment was being done under her directives, she insisted that the sum was not missing but transferred by the NNPC to NPDC which is a subsidiary. In a related development, Alison-Madueke, on Wednesday, denied reports that she was on the run on account of her activities and some actions she had taken while in charge of the Petroleum sector. Lately, there had been reports that the minister was seeking asylum in several countries over fears that the incoming administration of General Buhari, might probe her activities at the petroleum ministry. She disclosed this while speaking to with State House Correspondents, adding that there was no need for her to flee Nigeria as she had not committed any offence. “Let me state it clearly for the records that Nigeria is my country and I am not going anywhere. I love my country and I do think that I have done the best for my country”, the minister said. Alison-Madueke explained that she had done the best for the country and attained many firsts in the history of oil and gas industry especially in the reforms that had taken place. She also denied that she had been meeting with some former Heads of State including General Abdusalami Abubakar to protect and save her name. The minister noted that Gen. Abdusalami had already addressed the issue when he described the story as unnecessary mischief. She said: “I have the privilege of meeting with many senior statesmen, during that course of my job in the Federal Executive Council and I was surprised that he should be singled out in any such form. “I have not sought such assistance because I am not aware that I have been indicted of any crime that I will need a soft landing. Over the last four years, I have been severely and unfortunately accused and labelled in so many malicious and vindictive ways. “I have explained these things and pushed back robustly on these accusations and I have even gone to court on many of them. Yet, they keep being regurgitated and I think it is unfortunate, particularly when we are moving into a transition period and looking forward to an incoming government which is coming to take over where we have ended. “For everything that has a beginning there is an end and that is not a surprise. What is the surprise is the sort of malevolence bordering on personal malicious libel to my person during this period of time”. Alison-Madueke however admitted that she had stepped on many toes in the cause of reforming the oil industry, adding that the cabal in the sector were not happy that she opened up the industry to Nigerians. According to her, she had been maligned and castigated for her efforts to ensure that the oil in dustry is brought back to perform optimally for the interest of the nation and all Nigerians. Her words: “We have done enough for this industry, we cannot please everybody. Yes, we have stepped on toes but we did that in the best interest of Nigeria and we have opened up the oil and gas industry to all Nigerians, thousands of Nigerians have benefited from our reforms in the system. “I have said several times that we will open up the industry to all Nigerians and we have, but that is not to the pleasure of a certain cabal and I have been continuously maligned because of this and we have taken millions and in fact billions of dollars out of the hands of non performing multinationals and their subcontractors and put them in the hands of Nigerians through the Nigerian content law. Hundreds of thousands of Nigerians have come into the oil and gas industry because of our reforms. “I think as unprecedented as it is, it does not please everybody and that cannot be helped but let us remember the unprecedented reforms that have happened in the oil industry during our time such as major gas reforms, the Petroleum Industry Bill, which has been completely revised, reformed and put into the hands of members of the National Assembly where it has languished for two years”.
Threat to make Ekiti ungovernable: Fayose drags APC to AU, UN
on April 22, 2015 / in News 2:41 pm / Comments
The governor of Ekiti state, Ayodele Fayose, has noted that he has reported the All Progressives Congress, APC, to the United Nations (UN) and the African Union (AU) on the imminent reign of impunity by APC as from May 29, stressing that there is an alleged threat by the party to make Ekiti state ungovernable.
“In alerting the international community on what to expect from May 29 as regards the threat by the APC to make Ekiti ungovernable, I have decided to put on notice the United Nations (UN) and the African Union (AU) on the imminent reign of impunity by APC as from May 29.
“Since Ekiti people are certain to resist the planned plundering of their land, Nigerians and the world at large should know who to hold responsible in the event of anarchy in Ekiti State in particular and the entire Yorubaland,” he noted in a press statement.
Read full statement below:
It has become imperative once again to address the media on the constitutional and political crises being foisted on our dear State, Ekiti by irritants of unbridled ambitions, who are not only devoid of spirit of sportsmanship but implacable even when all odds are against them and roundly rejected by the good people of the state.
Fayose and Buhari
Fayose and Buhari
It is no longer news that I defeated an incumbent governor in all the 16 Local Government Areas in the State and that for the first time in the history of Nigeria, attempts were made to use the courts to prevent someone who clearly won a governorship election from assuming office.
Since June 21, 2014 that the All Progressives Congress (APC) suffered that humiliating defeat, the party has suffered defeats in the entire local government areas in Ekiti State in four other elections, the latest being the House of Assembly election in which APC won no single seat out of the 26 seats.
Ekiti people have been persistent in their preference for me and my party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to correct the ills of the last four years and set the State on the path of greatness.
Despite that Ekiti people have consistently spoken with their votes against the APC, Nigerians are witnesses to the litany of illegalities being woven by both the national leadership of the party and its Ekiti State chapter, all in an attempt to rob Ekiti people of the mandate freely given to me.
Despite receiving bloodied nose in both the political and judicial arena in the hands of the Ekiti masses as represented by me, these desperate politicians are unrelenting in their shenanigans, the latest being the information at my disposal that even after May 29, the state would not know peace.
I however trust Ekiti people to do what is right in securing peace in their land.
I have been severally informed that I became the prime demolition target of the APC national leadership because of my overt and unalloyed support for President Goodluck Jonathan during the campaigns.
Insiders in their party also told me that APC leaders were also yet to get over the fact that in the entire South-West, Ekiti was the only state they could not “rob” for General Mohammed Buhari (rtd). The eagle-eyed surveillance of Ekiti people ensured that.
I wish to declare unequivocally that I remain loyal to President Jonathan even after May 29 as my support for his re-election and administration was not about bread-and-butter. I was convinced he was moving Nigeria in the right direction, despite all the noise. I have no regrets supporting him. If same situation presents itself again, I would do it all over.
Let me state It clearly that if President Jonathan is deserted by all Nigerians today, I, Ayodele Fayose, would remain with him. I have chosen to be his last-man standing.
If for this show of loyalty to Mr President and my party, APC and its leaders believe that the best way to pay me back is to make Ekiti ungovernable, the decision on appropriate reaction belongs to the people, whose mandate I keep in trust.
It is ironic that those who said worse things about the President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) when they were in opposing parties, are the ones milling around him today, using him as an electoral talisman and demonizing us for saying things of lesser magnitude during a campaign that was mainly characterized by hate-messages from both divides.
I also want to put on record that if all PDP members decamp to APC today, I will remain the last-man standing for the party, even as I have no cause to denigrate the office of the president.
I also promise APC a robust and engaging opposition both in the South-West, and nationally, with me playing a prominent role.
Let me again state that I will continue to seek peace with my traducers and troublers of Ekiti.
Since the Supreme Court judgement which held my 2006 impeachment as illegal, unconstitutional, null and void and of no effect, my preachings have been peace. This is to see if a hand of fellowship as urged by elders in the state and the nation at large would bring sanity to the opposition camp. It definitely has nothing to do with cowardice; as Ekiti is a land of the brave.
In alerting the international community on what to expect from May 29 as regards the threat by the APC to make Ekiti ungovernable, I have decided to put on notice the United Nations (UN) and the African Union (AU) on the imminent reign of impunity by APC as from May 29.
Since Ekiti people are certain to resist the planned plundering of their land, Nigerians and the world at large should know who to hold responsible in the event of anarchy in Ekiti State in particular and the entire Yorubaland.
God bless our land.
Governor, Ekiti State
– See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/04/threat-to-make-ekiti-ungovernable-fayose-drags-apc-to-au-un/#sthash.i6wYynND.dpuf
BY OLUSEGUN DADA (CABLE EWS)
After observing this personality called Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu from afar, the following are leadership qualities I have observed in him that haVE made me develop a liking and respect for his “political personality”. Please note, I have never met this man in person; I have never seen him in flesh.
All I write here are basically my own observations from distance, derived from local and international news, blogs and the social media coupled with my interaction with people who are politically close to the Jagaban. For students of political leadership like me, I put this together believing that somehow, we will get a lesson or two from this political phenomenon.
While starting a political career, join a worthy cause
Tinubu wasn’t a commissioner and never had a political appointment before his election, first as a senator, and then as governor of Lagos. From his job as an accountant with Mobil and after his election as a senator of the federal republic, Jagaban launched himself into the June 12, 1993 politics by joining NADECO. He escaped the dragnet of the Abacha regime to set himself up as one of the strong pillars of NADECO abroad. You will wonder why a guy with his privileged background would do such. He really endeared himself to Yorubas. That singular act that ultimately catapulted him into the government house Marina over many political juggernauts in Lagos such as Kofoworola Bucknor and Funsho Williams.
Good works not enough; play serious politics
After becoming governor of Lagos state, Bola Tinubu realised he was in the same camp with a motley crowd; there needed to be some separation. He started building and developing his own crowd and quickly set himself apart from mainstream Afenifere. This will consequently lead to the formation of the ACN and ultimately the APC.
Get the youth involved; don’t keep them in the backgroud
Jagaban understood the relevance of youth in the demographic segmentation of Nigeria. He foresaw the emergence of this sector of our demography and quickly exploited this. The consequence of that is the emergence of young political heavyweights like Fashola, Osinbajo, Ambode, Banire, Obanikoro, Alake, Fayemi, Edun, Aregbesola, fowler etc. To have a cult following, the youth must definitely be behind you.
Keep the elders in the background
“You can’t bend a dry crayfish”. No one, while running forward, keeps looking at his back, He will definitely fall. The youth carry the vision while old people will keep reminding you of the past. If Tinubu had remained with the mainstream Afenifere, the best development Lagos would have witnessed would not have surpassed what was witnessed in Ogun state under Olusegun Osoba between 1999 and 2003. It was a mediocre performance that contributed to Osobas failure at the polls in 2003 along with his ilk in Ekiti, Ondo, Oyo and Osun states.
In politics, money matters
When people, out of myopia, come down heavily on Tinubu for having wealth, I often laugh. To them I say, go and do just a percentage of what Tinubu has done without money. How he did it will be explained later, but Tinubu understood very well the role of money in present-day Nigeria.
Empower your cronies in the private sector but never dip your hands into public till
With his background in the private sector, Tinubu had an already-built trusted network in the sector. He knew those to trust with influence and money; many of these people later proved to be worthy investments to the Jagaban. Do people now wonder why EFCC can never have anything against the man? He knew he had to keep his hands clean. The Yoruba do not entertain rogues. He was scrutinised by political foes and they found nothing against him.
Never put politicians in public leadership positions
Do this and start writing your political epitaph. With the betrayal of people like Obanikoro, Tinubu quickly realised this point and the rest, they say, is history. The likes of Muiz Banire, Ganiyu Solomon and Tokunbo Afikuyomi will be biting their fingers now. The moment Jagaban realised they were building their own political structure, it drove the nail into their ambitions to rule Lagos as far as Tinubu was concerned.
Learn quickly from bitter experiences
The Obanikoro experience is instructive here. Tinubu is a fast learner. He doesn’t make the same mistake twice. Obanikoro actually taught Tinubu never to trust a man with political ambitions. His betrayal shook Tinubu’s political structure to the foundation.
Your enemy today may be useful tomorrow
I often wonder why people marvel at the new rapport between Tinubu and Obasanjo. Asiwaju knows the essence of keeping the door permanently open to people of political significance.
There are certain people you must never work with
Your interest and that of some people will never cross; don’t make a fuss of it. Forget it, an Asiwaju will never work with a Bode George. Their paths will never cross, and only a fool will not know that!
Develop your family and those extremely close to you for leadership positions
Who better to work with and trust than members of your family! They know you and understand you better. Chances are they know the vision better than outsiders. I remember one day in Awka while attending a burial with some friends sometimes in 2004, many were crucifying the then president for only giving contracts and juicy positions to friends and cronies. One of us just stood up and silenced everybody with a single sentence. He said: “When you find yourself in a position of influence, you can as well give the contracts to your enemies.” Very instructive, you will admit. Asiwaju understands the need to put tried friends and families in positions of influence but he only does that to those he knows are fully developed and prepared to handle such demanding duties, this set of people are getting the Job done. The young Iyaloja of Nigeria is certainly doing well.
Your inner circle should comprise technocrats
Technocrats will always get things done. They have the experience behind them and they give sound advice devoid of political scheming, while politicians are always thinking of what is in it for them. This better explains the reason why Lagos, till date, remains the best governed state in Nigeria.
Aggregate people’s opinions to arrive at your policy directions
I find it amusing when people say the southwest is following Tinubu blindly when, in actual fact, the reverse is the case. For me, this is where I respect Tinubu the most. Tinubu knows his people, he knows they are well-opinionated. Maybe because of enlightenment, it is virtually impossible to mould the opinion of an average Yoruba man. What a good political leader does is to aggregate opinions and work with the majority. In 2011, the majority sentiment in the southwest was for ‘shoe-less’ Goodluck Jonathan to be president. Tinubu realised that and quickly went into a coalition of sort with the PDP and Jonathan was elected but the moment he realised the majority opinion of the people of the southwest was that the Jonathan government was a failure, no money in the world would be sufficient to make him move against the wishes of his people.
Play at the level of your people
The grassroots in Lagos are area boys. Therefore to lead them, you have to be the ‘father of area boys’! Jagaban adopted the ‘area boy’ culture; he dealt with lagosians at the grassroots level. PDP can never capture Lagos without adopting that culture!
Keep in touch with your original constituency
Asiwaju balanced the above (playing at the level of his people) by staying in contact with his primary constituency, which is corporate Lagos.
Adopt the power of mysteries and myths
The rumour has always been Tinubu owns every part of Lagos. Really? No one knows, but it helps! People do not know your real power and resources that back the power! Keep them rolling in the suspense of those myths and mysteries. By doing that, they have nothing but respect and awe for your person.
Know when to beat a retreat
Jagaban fights and runs! The Fashola case is a pointer! He knows when to beat a rapid but calculated withdrawal from a battle without losing face.
Dada, an international trade facilitator and trainer, is the immediate past national treasurer of the Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists.