The former Minister of State for Finance under former President Goodluck Jonathan, Ambassador Bashir Yuguda, has been arrested by the anti-graft agency.
President Muhammadu Buhari disclosed that the war with Boko Haram has left over 10,000 Nigerians dead and more than 2 million people displaced. The President made these remarks Friday night while attending a banquet for Queen Elizabeth II during the 2015 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Malta.
Source: | Sahara Reporters
A Nigerian man, Abuchi Ngwoke, 35, was sentenced to death today November 25th, by a Malaysian Hight Court on a drug trafficking conviction . Ngwoke was arrested at a Malaysian airport in 2012 after being found with 251.66 grams of Methamphetamine.
Source: | Sahara Reporters
Buhari: 42 months to go!
With six months already gone, the president should realise that time flies!
Going by Nigeria’s constitution, the president, governors and legislators have a four-year mandate, after which they return to the electorate to seek approval to continue, or go home to rest. So, exactly 42 months from now, Nigerians would either be waiting for the return of President Muhammadu Buhari for a second term, or be preparing to swear in another president if they deem him to have performed below expectations. The choice is the president’s.
Traditionally, many writers who remember the import of today as exactly six months since the president came on board would dwell on his activities of the last six months. For me, however, this has become predictable despite its little significance. The last six months is gone; it can never be recovered. So, we should look forward to the remaining three-and-a-half years of the Buhari presidency. And, if we even think the president has 42 months to go, we must have lost sense of the country’s political trajectory. Unless there is a new paradigm, the race for 2019 will begin at best 24 months from now. This is much more so that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that President Muhammadu Buhari’s All Progressives Congress (APC) trounced at the polls is not resting. It wants 2019 to come as early as yesterday, in its dream of returning to the same power it occupied for 16 wasted years.
In fairness to the president, when he assumed office, a few things changed for good in the country. Perhaps the most noticeable of these is power supply. Nigerians suddenly realised that electricity supply to their homes and businesses improved even as President Buhari was yet to form his cabinet, and even as he was yet to add a single megawatt to what he met on ground. Nigerians simply attributed these positive changes to Buhari’s ‘body language’. Only a few remembered that he was yet to appoint ministers then. But the recrudescence of fuel scarcity and a few other challenges have changed that perception. Buhari, where is your ‘body language’? They began to ask. The number of those asking the question began to increase as they watched the scarcity worsen from days to weeks. If the matter is not resolved this weekend, more people would still join those wondering what has happened to Buhari and his ‘body language’.
One can only imagine what could have happened if the president had not named his ministers until now because, even as there were no serious challenges before the team was finally sworn in November 11, many Nigerians had started to be apprehensive of when we will know those that would work with the president. President Buhari promised to have his cabinet latest September but when the month was almost ending and he was yet to fulfill this promise, Nigerians naturally began to ask questions: if it took him this long to name his cabinet, then how far can he go, given the time so far spent without ministers? For me, however, the time the cabinet is chosen is immaterial. This has nothing to do with the performance of the ministers. We have had situations in the past where presidents had named cabinet almost as soon as they were inaugurated; yet we had nothing to show for it. Indeed, some of such ministers left us worse than they met us. But this should not be taken as assurance that we will have value for money only because Buhari’s ministers were late in coming. Far from it. What I am saying is that the time the cabinet is formed is not necessarily a guarantee of good performance. Even after naming the cabinet, some people say if the list paraded as what the president could offer, why did he waste our time before naming them? Irrespective of what Nigerians, particularly arm-chair critics might say, President Buhari believes he has named some of the best persons that can better do the job he wants for the country.
One thing is that, as with the Jonathan administration when we had Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as finance minister and coordinating minister for the economy, former Governor Raji Fashola would appear Okonjo-Iweala’s equivalent in the Buhari administration, with his bagging of the power, works and housing portfolios! Not a few are wondering what President Buhari intends to achieve with this appointment in particular which, to me, signposts the measure of his implicit confidence in the former governor. Suffice it to say that President Buhari found a soul-mate in Fashola. Remember his hard-line posture as governor and Buhari’s tendencies too when he was a military head of state. But, whether the president has made the right decision or not is in the wombs of time. We have also seen solid minerals, agriculture and the economy as Buhari’s other areas of focus, given the ministers he appointed to oversee the respective ministries. If the ministers in these ministries (particularly Fashola) succeed and make reasonable dents on the challenges in their ministries, then Buhari’s presidency would have been made.
With his cabinet now formed, both the president and his cabinet members know the country’s problems. President Buhari knows like any other Nigerian that the economy was destroyed by the rapacious Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government that he took over from; he knows that there is insecurity in the land; he is aware that Nigerians are not happy with the state of power supply, that the roads are bad; our schools are in urgent need of revamping, our hospitals are now worse than the ‘mere consulting clinics’ that he met when he came as military ruler in 1983. With the crash in oil price and the massive corruption that pervaded the land, especially in the immediate past, it has become a daunting task to expect sudden improvement in the country.
Expectedly therefore, some Nigerians have said the government is too slow in making things happen. I have the feeling some may even be silently asking how come the government has not built ‘a single’ refinery in the last six months if it does not want to remove fuel subsidy! As a matter of fact, some are asking: how many corrupt Nigerians has the government jailed? These were the same people who accused General Buhari of high-handedness when he clamped many Nigerians suspected of being corrupt behind bars without due trial in the 1980s. That has been the case with human beings; they are hardly patient for results; preferring instead, quick fixes which often break down as soon as they are fixed. It has been like that since the days of Moses when he led the Israelites out of captivity in Egypt.
Whilst it may be tempting to see some of the criticisms, particularly those coming from the former PDP chieftains (some of who should be behind bars now but for rule of law) who ruined the country, as deserving of little attention, the president should be interested in constructive criticisms, irrespective of where they are coming from because it is part of what keeps government on its toes.
What should not be lost on him is that Nigerians not only want change; they want the change that would endure and President Buhari should know that time is not on his side. Before we know it, it would soon be one year that he took over. That would be less than a quarter of his four-year tenure because, as I said before, the race for 2019 will begin anytime in 2017 and attention would be shifting from the present government to the next, unless the president succeeds in steering affairs in a way that would make this unattractive. And one way to do that is by giving Nigerians the good governance that PDP could not give in 16 years.
With six months already gone, those asking for President Buhari’s policy direction obviously have a point. Government, like an aero plane, needs a compass. Otherwise, ministries would be working at cross-purposes and ministers will be singing discordant tunes. Beyond that, there must be yardsticks with which to measure the government’s performance. This implies the government setting timelines to its programmes and policies. We need to see all that in the coming weeks, perhaps months, to keep hope alive that there will, indeed, be light at the end of the tunnel.
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• FG didn’t tamper with salary package, says Presidency
The Presidency denied yesterday that it had tampered with the remuneration of the newly appointed ministers. According to additional information received last night, the ministers’ package is same with what obtained in the Jonathan Administration.
Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, said the President “has not tampered with the salaries and allowances of Federal Ministers.
“They remain as they have been prescribed by the Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Commission under a law passed in 2008.
“The President and the Vice President have voluntarily offered a 50 percent salary cut. This is voluntary and does not apply to Ministers and other political appointees.
“Reports to the effect that the President has imposed an austere package on the ministers are unknown to us. The administration has not tampered with the salaries of ministers and that remain as prescribed under the law.”
Documents obtained last night showed that the Buhari ministers are earning same as ministers in the Yar’Adua and Jonathan governments.
A former minister said: “The package for the new ministers is not different from what we got while in office based on the 2009 Amendment by the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC). You can see from my own copy too.
“The difference however with Buhari ‘s administration is that while it is strictly adhering to the package, there were variations while we were in power.
“For example, some former ministers flew First Class; recruited many Special Assistants, sought medical service abroad; and earned estacode more than officially approved.”
Another ex-Minister said: “It was good that Nigerians have the opportunity to know what the ministers would earn. The reality is that the salaries and allowances of ministers are nothing to write home about at all. Our package is between 16th and 17th in the world.
“Yet, people assume that once you are in government, you are in luxury. The package is insignificant.”
Ex-President Umaru Yar’Adua had in 2007 mandated RMAFC to review the Remuneration Package for political, Public and Judicial Office Holders to save cost.
RMAFC came up with a review in 2009.
FG to understudy Australian mining sector, says Fayemi
The federal government has almost concluded plans to understudy the Australian mining sector in order to improve on the country’s solid mineral sector.
The government will also be learning how the Australian government has been able to achieve synergy between communities, states and the government in resolving the recurrent conflicts between communities and miners and settling the royalties due to states.
Minister of Solid Minerals, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, said that the country needs to learn how Australia has been able to drive its country’s mining sector, which the present administration wants to improve the nation’s economy.
Speaking in Abuja during a courtesy call by the Australian Ambassador to Nigeria, Jonathan Richardson, the minister said that the increasing interest of the government is geared towards understanding the Australian mining sector.
He added, “We need to learn how you have been able to particularly drive the Australian mining industry. The president is really very focused in this sector; not that we have choices anyway with the prices for petrol dollar dwindling, so we have to look at alternatives for raising revenue for the country and clearly for the president, agriculture and solid minerals appears to be the most realistic or fastest way to begin to raise additional revenue for the economy.
“The increasing interest of our government has made me get in touch and connect with what you are doing in your mining sector. Everything I have heard in the last 10 days of being in this position points in the direction of Australia. Everybody is saying it to me factually, technically, commercially, I keep hearing, you get Australia, you fix the mining sector.
“Another area that we really can learn from Australia is you are a federal entity like us, we do have significant tension between what the constitution says about mineral resources belonging exclusively to the federal authority and the management of land belonging to the state government, so we need to find a sharing formula mechanism, what royalties comes to those who own the land, the community, state government and then the federal in other to achieve synergy and corporation because increasingly, I am hearing stories of those trying to explore minerals from local communities and facing a number of challenges there. We will be interested to know what Australia has done about it.”
Your Excellency, it’s been months since I wrote my desperate memo to you. I wish to thank you once more for reacting promptly and swiftly at that time and for giving me the honour and privilege of meeting you in your office.
I remember presenting you a special compilation of my articles, especially the many admonitions to your immediate predecessor, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. After handing over the book to you, Sir, I promised to continue acting in my self-appointed capacity as Special Adviser because of the need to tell you what those very close to you might not be able to say.
They might be afraid of you and your reaction. The truth is you are a plain and simple man imbued with a mission and a passion to save this great country but you cannot do it on your own. You can only do it if people close to you, who should be advising you, tell you as it is so that you can do that which you were elected to do.
Sir, it is on the above basis that I’m back today for reasons some of which you probably know already from your own personal observations and readings. But before I go further, kindly permit me to set some records straight before some conspiracy specialists step forward to ascribe other people’s opinion to me. I shall clearly expose my personal views and state where I belong or stand for any avoidance of doubt.
Everywhere I go people refer to me as Buhari’s man and ask “what’s your Baba doing ooo?”. I seriously have no problem with that. I’m proud that I joined so many other Nigerians as well as foreign friends in supporting a man of impeccable pedigree and solid integrity. No matter your view of President Muhammadu Buhari, one thing his bitterest enemies give to him is the fact that he is way above the level of most mortals in matters of uprightness.
This is why many of us volunteered to scream your name to high heavens and we were ready to follow you to Golgotha. Many of your opponents have not gotten over the thrashing you gave them and would forever seek everything and anything to smear you with. It is therefore not surprising that there has been so much noise about what you’ve done or left undone. Whether they are right or wrong in their assessment, I feel it is right and proper to let you know what people are saying about you including your most ardent fans and supporters.
Sir, please, let’s not dismiss them as mere rabble-rousers. A groundswell of public opinion can easily metamorphose into an ocean of disenchantment and cataclysmic confusion. In short, I believe your enemies are skilfully setting you up for failure in order to be able to taunt your supporters later by saying we “we told you so!” In this regard it is pertinent to always bear in mind the Yoruba saying ‘ehin kunle l’ota wa, ile ni a se ni ngbe’! Loosely translated it means “the enemy lurk outside in the backyard but your foe resides inside your house.”
What is the matter this time? Many Nigerians are lamenting that the change you promised them is fast becoming a mirage. It is certainly not what they are seeing right now. They insist that your style and methodology appear too slow for a nation in dire straits and in need of urgent and miraculous deliverance. They are not happy that you are no longer the prudent man they used to know.
They think you’ve already capitulated by frolicking with members of the bourgeois class and junketing around the world while Nigeria burns like Dante’s inferno. They are miffed that you are still keeping the Presidential fleet when you are supposed to have sold most of them off, if not all. They are worried that the mandate of four years they gave you is being unwittingly frittered away and before you know it all the goodwill you garnered would have evaporated and vamoosed. Time, they say, waits for no man!
The economy and the free fall of the Naira have become worrisome. There are all manner of rumours that may make matters worse, if true, about the current state and status of our banks. Though the Central Bank of Nigeria has come out forcefully to dispel the dangerous rumours, they want you to unleash your economic master-plan as soon as possible, so that what was once a baseless rumour does not somehow become harsh reality.
They are expecting a blue-print that would guarantee a farewell to poverty. On this I agree with the opinion that something drastic has to be conjured up to arrest this drift to perdition. Nothing amplifies this monumental tragedy than the debit card fiasco which stipulates that Nigerians cannot live in a civilised world by walking into any international hotel or shop of their choice and paying with their cards. This is terribly depressing.
What this means in plain terms is that Nigerians must patronise the black market and run the risk of carrying cash recklessly whenever they travel abroad. It makes a mockery of the cashless society that the CBN has fought so hard to put in place and jeopardises your fight against corruption because government officials who travel abroad must of necessity carry large sums of cash if they are not to be embarrassed or even disgraced. Sir, the most important thing is that this is not healthy at all.
The last thing your Government should be telling the world is that we are so broke that we are on our knees. The world laughs at us and treats us with derision because we have resources other than crude oil which should make us one of the richest in the world if we properly harness them. We must stop giving the impression that we are so impoverished when it is leadership, brigandage and a lack of focus that has failed us.
The other matter that continues to embarrass Nigerians is the issue of Boko Haram. The matter is made worse by the fact that you are a retired army General who should know and have what it takes to drastically reduce if not exterminate the cankerworm. But rather the menace has exacerbated. It has snowballed into a seemingly unquenchable conflagration. I had argued repeatedly that the military alone cannot achieve this result. Intelligence seems to be the key word here. Also identifying and locating some of the cells and prominent sympathisers is crucial.
Those who arrogantly and naively say that no form of negotiation should take place are very far from the theatre of war. They have probably not heard of a group called IRA, the Irish Republican Army, that terrorised Great Britain for God knows how many years. I and my directors at Ovation International were lucky to escape a massive explosion that shattered the peace and tranquillity of London Docklands when a bomb went off inside the South Quay light rail station which was next to our office at Beaufort Court.
The battle of wits and the war of attrition had to be fought using the carrot and the stick approach. It was the carrot approach that eventually succeeded and the United Kingdom has now been rid of that hitherto interminable scourge for many years!
The Boko Haram issue has defied every effort made so far and it is time to expand the options for the sake of our fellow citizens in the heart of this conundrum. When over 200 girls vanished into thin air, we were so sure they would return very soon but that has remained an illusion. This should tell us that this issue is not a joke and that we need to keep all windows open. Sir, Nigerians want to see government show a different approach and better compassion than what we had in the past. They are waiting to see how you will do this with minimum collateral damage.
Sir, you have a herculean task ahead but it is not a mission impossible. Other nations are experiencing almost similar challenges and they are forging ahead. The first indicator to exhibit our seriousness is when we stop the business as usual syndrome and tighten the belts of government officials and politicians. If the idea is to continue along the path of profligacy then Nigeria is contagiously jinxed. The Republic of Tanzania has already taken the lead. I will publish a report that has already gone viral below this letter as a veritable example of what is possible.
I wish you well as always Sir.
CHANGE, THE TANZANIAN WAY
Before I’m accused of plagiarism, let me say quickly that I don’t know the author of this widely circulated story which was forwarded to me by WhatsApp. I found it too good to be true but worth sharing all the same. I pray our politicians would pick some patriotic inspiration from it:
“(This is what is called change) UPDATES FROM TANZANIA POST ELECTION ACTIVITIES
Last weekend they were opening parliament and there was a state dinner planned for all guests that was going to cost about 300m. President Magulufi cut the budget to 25m and ordered that the rest be taken to buy hospital beds for Muhimbili. They got 300 beds and mattresses and 600 bedsheets from that money.
On 23rd Nov 2015 he announced that there will be no official ceremonies for Independence Day on 9th December, the money is to be used for more pressing issues and the day should instead be spent cleaning up our environment.
On Saturday 21st Nov 2015 a group of 50 people were about to set off for a tour of commonwealth countries (don’t know for what) but President Magulufi cut that list down to 4 people, saving government 600m in tickets, accommodation and per diems.
No more foreign travel, embassies will take care; if it’s necessary to go, special permission must be sought from him or Chief Secretary.
No more 1st class and business class travel for all officials except President, Vice, and Prime Minister.No more workshops and seminars in expensive hotels when there are so many ministry board rooms available.
President Magulufi asked how come engineers are given V8s when a pick-up is more suitable for their jobs. No more sitting allowances. How the hell are you paid allowance for a job which you have a monthly salary? That also applies to MP’s.
President Magulufi has literally pressed the reset button; returning Tanzania to default factory settings, because that was the TZ Nyerere left us with.
On the day after he was brought to power, in the morning as State House officials were showing him round he decided to take a walk to ministry of finance, told them to get their act together, asked why some employees weren’t in office (ever since then the traffic jam in mornings has become worse) and ordered TRA to scrap all tax exemptions, everyone must pay taxes especially the big guys
President Magulufi went to Muhimbili Hospital unannounced and walked through the worst parts that they keep hiding from important visitors. He fired the director, fired the hospital board and ordered that all machines that weren’t working (so that people go to private hospitals owned by some doctors) to be repaired within 2 weeks otherwise he fires even the new director; the machines were repaired in 3 days
Finally, last week when going to officially open parliament President Magulufi didn’t go by plane, drove the whole 600km from Dar to Dodoma.
President Magulufi has reduced the size of the presidential convoy, even reduced the size of presidential delegation that travels with him
President Magulufi chose a Prime Minister we haven’t heard of before, a guy with reputation for hard work and no corruption. All the big guys we expected could be PM have been let wondering what hit them. His motto is: Hapa Kazi Tu
After President Magulufi visited ministry of finance and Muhimbii Hospital without announcing, it is said the ports, (most corrupt, delaying, thieving officials) were all of a sudden the most efficient place. No loads are missing, things are done quickly and that habit of forcing for a bribe so that your container is released is no more.
Oh, they say when he was confirmed as winner people started congratulating him and wanting to bring gifts to his place he turned them back, saying he will receive all congrats over the phone, nobody should visit him.
All individuals/firms that bought state companies that were privatized but haven’t done anything (20yrs later) are to either revive the industries immediately or hand them back to the government.”
How I wish President Buhari and Vice-President Osinbajo will take some cue from this truly ‘change’ agent!
•Cabinet members grumble, say ‘pittance’ can’t pick bills
Barely three weeks in office, President Muhammadu Buhari has shocked Ministers with poor salaries and austere allowances.
He has also imposed dos and don’ts on the ministers including travel restrictions.
Most Ministers were said to be embarrassed by the perks of office accruable to them in office.
The only leverage the Ministers will enjoy is the privilege of flying in a Business Class on trips.
These conditions of service for Ministers were contained in a letter given to them during the week by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Engr. Babachir David Lawal.
The letter said: “I am pleased to inform you that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has appointed you as a Minister in the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
“The appointment takes effect from 11th November, 2015 under the following Terms and Conditions of Service as contained in “Certain Political, Public and Judicial Office Holders(Salaries and Allowances, etc) (Amendment ) Act 2008.”
“I am to add that your tenure terminates at the end of this Administration unless otherwise decided by Mr. President. Please accept my heartiest congratulations and best wishes on your appointment.”
The SGF’s letter gave the details of the perks which the ministers will enjoy in office as long as they last in the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
While the substantive minister will earn N2, 026, 400 Annual Basic Salary($8,514.285), Minister of State is to get N1.8million($7,563.025) per annum.
Other highlights of the conditions include: Estacode Allowance($900 per diem); Duty Tour Allowance(N35,000); Utilities Allowance(Telephone/ Electricity/ Water)–30% of Annual Basic Salary (N607,920); Domestic Staff Allowance(75% -((N1,519,800) of Annual Basic Salary; Medical Facilities (in accordance with NHIS Policy); Special Assistant (To be provided in kind); Security (To be provided in kind); Air Travel (By Business Class); Newspaper Allowance (15% of Annual Basic Salary-N303,960).
The letter said: “As a Political Office Holder, you must obtain permission from Mr. President before you travel out of Abuja. If the trip is official, Ministers are entitled to a Duty Tour Allowance of N35,000 per diem. However, all private journeys will attract no Allowance.
“Severance Allowance of 300 %of Annual Basic Salary payable after full tenure of office with government. The allowance will be pro-rated after a minimum of two years tenure.
It added: “200 % of Annual Basic Salary (N4,052,800) will be paid to you to enable you to acquire accommodation of your choice in line with monetization policy.
“Furniture Allowance. 300 %(N6,079,200) of Annual Basic Salary will be paid once in every four years. The allowance will be paid annually at the rate of 75% (N1,519,800) of Annual Basic salary.
“Motor Vehicle Fuelling Maintenance Allowance. 75% of Annual Basic Salary (N1,519,800) for the maintenance of your vehicle(s) as Government no longer provides chauffeur driven vehicles to Political Office Holders/Public Officers for house to office running.
“Annual Leave (30 calendar days for each leave year or calculated on pro-rata basis, with 10% of Annual Basic Salary(N202,640) as leave grant); Personal Assistant Allowance (25% of Annual Basic salary to enable you to employ a Personal Assistant of your choice).”
Investigation however revealed that some of the ministers were uncomfortable with the salary and allowance package because it might not be able to pick their bills.
The package has caused rumbles in the cabinet because while Nigerian ministers earn $8, 514.28 Per Annum (N2,026,400), their counterparts in Ghana are on $50,000 (N11,900,000) and those in South Africa (the highest paying in the continent) were said to be taking home about $302,521 per annum.
A reliable source said: “Most ministers have been sad since they received their letters of appointment because the salary and allowance package was a far cry from where they were coming from. We hope that ministers will eventually not steal if they have to serve this nation on hungry stomach.
“We have ministers in this government who left high-net worth job of $10,000 to $20,000 per month, how will they settle their bills? Some ministers have headed corporate. You can imagine a minister managing about $3billion portfolio now getting $8,521 per Annum.
“Some ministers have children in Ivy League universities where they are paying as much as $40,000 to $60,000 per annum. How will they be able to cope to meet up with their responsibilities?”
As at press time, it was unclear if the ministers had made representation to the president or not.
“Curiously, we have some Executive Secretaries, Directors-General and Group Managing Directors of parastatals like NNPC, PPMC, NCC, NDIC, PEF, PPPRA, DPR, NERC, NIGCOMSAT, and others who will be earning more than their ministers. I think the system is distorted somehow.”
Another source added: “To earn commensurate salaries and allowances, the president can explore foreign donors’ basket for payment of ministers. Or else, it will be difficult to get the best from this team.
“Alternatively, there might be scientific corruption in Buhari’s cabinet. This is the type of corruption we call ‘chop and clean mouth.’
FROM THE ARCHIVES: Ekiti: Of Hakeem Adisa’s hand and Segun Ayobolu’s voice
May 24, 2015 | Filed under: Featured,Opinion | Posted by: nigeriapoliticsonline
By Hakeem Jamiu
After reading Segun Ayobolu’s column entitled “Ekiti Fiasco: Who Is To Blame?”, published on the back page of the Nation Newspaper, May 16, 2015 edition, my immediate reaction was to fetch a similar article written by a faceless writer- Hakeem Adisa, published in The Sun Newspaper of May 11, 2015 edition with the title “What Does Kayode Fayemi Want?”, and placed it side by side with a previous article by Ayobolu written in his Nation Newspaper column on July 5, 2014 titled: “Further Thoughts On Ekiti Polls”. After a textual analysis of these articles, my suspicions were confirmed- Hakeem Adisa’s diatribe, recently published in The Sun Newspaper was a rehash of Ayobolu’s July 5, 2014 article in The Nation which I responded to on July 12, 2014 and Ayobolu’s May 16, 2015 article is nothing but a sickening regurgitation of Hakeem Adisa’s most recent article to which a rejoinder by Fayemi’s media aide, Olayinka Oyebode, published in The Sun of May 12, 2015 had sought to correct.
As a matter of clarification of identity, I remain Hakeem Jamiu and I am not as anonymous as Hakeem Adisa. Quite paradoxically, both Hakeem Adisa and Ayobolu seem to have more than a passing interest in Ekiti politics and its principal actors. While this is not a sin, what is baffling however, is their near maniacal penchant for distorting facts, their unbridled hatred for the person of Dr Kayode Fayemi, immediate past Governor of Ekiti State, and the youthful gusto with which they peddle their lies against him with the intent to pull him down while at the same time labouring so much to promote some poorly masked parochial agenda.
One cannot but wonder whether Hakeem Adisa usually has a glimpse of Segun Ayobolu’s write-ups or the duo usually hold a conference where they decide their next line of attack in their avowed move to pull down, assassinate character and sow the seed of discord. Or how does one explain the situation where the only thing that flows from the pen of a columnist like Ayobolu are discredited tunes that have emanated (or billed to emanate) from a certified faceless writer- Hakeem Adisa? Or do we simply conclude that with Segun Ayobolu no one needs to bother about the true identity of the masquerade called Hakeem Adisa? Or simply put, is Ayobolu the same as Hakeem Adisa and vice versa?
While Ayobolu at his diplomatic best maintained that Fayemi failed to fulfil his promises to Governor Ayo Fayose following his support for his party during the rerun elections on 2009, Hakeem Adisa was more daring. He stated that Fayemi erred by not yielding the Ekiti Central Senatorial ticket to Fayose to contest the 2011 senatorial election adding that Fayose would have been appeased with the senatorial ticket (which was won by Senator Femi Ojudu). The question begging for an answer is how would Fayemi, a governor elected on the platform of the then ACN, have ceded the senatorial seat to Fayose who was contesting on the platform of Labour Party (LP). Or how would he have neglected the candidate of his party to support another party’s candidate? It was Fayose who broke his own promise of not contesting for the governorship seat of Ekiti until the Court of Appeal decided Fayemi/Oni’s case, but Fayose went ahead to declare his governorship ambition while the case was still in court in September 2010, believing that Fayemi would lose at the Appeal Court.
While Ayobolu declared that Fayose could no longer reach Fayemi after he became governor, Adisa said Fayemi no longer picked Fayose’s calls. One wonders how the duo got to know who picks whose calls and how that affected the delivery of democratic dividends to the people. The allegation of aloofness and disconnection from the grassroots which were vigorously canvassed against Fayemi in the writings of the duo followed the same pattern as their veiled but vain glorification of Fayose as the man the Ekiti people love, citing the outcome of the just concluded March 28 and April 11 presidential and Assembly elections in the state as reference. Ayobolu however shot himself in the foot by trying to justify the fact that the heavy militarisation of Ekiti ahead of the June 21 governorship election, the attendant revelation of the questionable involvement of some serving ministers and other PDP politicians as well as the military in the election was not sufficient ground to lose the election.
In other words, Ayobolu was of the opinion that in spite of the emasculation of APC chieftains, massive deployment of soldiers, Policemen and SSS operatives with a clear mandate to win the Ekiti governorship (at all costs) as a befitting trophy for President Jonathan’s planned invasion of the South West, the APC should still have won the election. Adisa’s script put it in a cruder manner when he alleged that Fayemi lost “mercilessly” because of his aloofness”, without a mention of the war waged against the APC by the PDP’s federal might in the isolated election where movements of even serving governors were brazenly curtailed. While I have debunked the theory of aloofness and losing touch with grassroots in my reaction to Ayobolu’s article on July 12 2014, and on many fora, I wish to let Ayobolu and his ilks know that Ekiti is the sacrificial lamb for the success of the APC in the March general elections.
Strangely, both Ayobolu and Adisa found it convenient to blame Fayemi solely for the Ekiti governorship election loss, but are quick to praise APC and some leaders of the party for the victory recorded in some states and in the Presidential election! The fact is that the APC lost in Ekiti owing to some inherent internal contradictions within the state chapter of the party and the onslaught of the Goodluck Jonathan-led Federal Government. Outgoing President
Jonathan and his cohort won the Ekiti governorship election and Fayose was simply the beneficiary. As pointed out by Engr. Segun Oni, a former Governor of the state and National Deputy Chairman of the party, the PDP victory at the National Assembly election and the Presidential elections of March 28 and April 11 respectively were not essentially because of Fayose’s popularity, but as a result of bandwagon effect (for the party in government), a development that has become a recurrent decimal in the electoral history in Ekiti State. Apart from the bandwagon effect syndrome, it was PDP’s consolidation of the June 21 electoral heist but people like Ayobolu would not hear any of these because of the operation pull Fayemi down at all costs.
Ayobolu’s main purpose of writing the article came out towards the end when he concluded advisedly, however, that the leadership of APC should look beyond Fayemi, Opeyemi Bamidele and Femi Ojudu in the choice of who becomes the ministerial nominee from Ekiti State for what he described as the “unresolved feud” among the three. He, however failed to mention the fact that Bamidele who was governorship candidate of the LP in the June 21 election was yet to be fully re-admitted into APC. According to Ayobolu, the state’s slot in the Federal Executive Council should be given to “a brilliant technocrat who is also an astute and seasoned politician, a person who is detached from the current intra-party APC politics of intrigues in Ekiti….”
Ayobolu, like an experienced poker player, had kept the ace-identity of his preferred ministerial nominee- to his chest. Not so for Adisa who boldly identified former Lagos Commissioner for Information, Dele Alake, as one of most qualified for the ministerial slot in Ekiti for his contributions to the success of General Buhari’s election. Ayobolu slyly left out former Governor Segun Oni out of his list, even though the former Governor was identified as a viable candidate by Adisa. Instead, he deliberately made a mince meat of the character of the first civilian governor of the state, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, with the hope of removing the highly respected politician out of the equation.
This crude attack on the person and political credentials of Adebayo-who is fondly called “Omoluabi” in Ekiti APC circle and the deliberate sidelining of Engr Oni from his list, while calling for the disqualification of Fayemi, Ojudu and Bamidele (who is still in Labour Party), thus reduced his choice to Dele Alake- a name he probably would like to unveil in his subsequent articles but which Hakeem Adisa has unwittingly announced on his behalf.
Is it not strange that Ayobolu recommended his “brilliant technocrat” who is completely detached from Ekiti as the one who will bring all the factions together only when he has been given the Ministerial slot? A man that has never visited Ekiti for once since he lost senatorial primaries in 2011? Why can’t the technocrat put his wizardry into use now by bringing the factions together before he is given ministerial appointment? Fayemi is not in contest with anyone over appointment just as he did not contest to be made the chairman of the Presidential primaries which he conducted to the admiration of the whole world. The transparency of that exercise was responsible for holding the party together after the primaries and contributed in no small measure to the success of the APC at the 2015 March and April elections. Very soon, Ekiti APC will bounce back to the chagrin of detractors.
While fairness is a major hallmark of the journalism profession, Ayobolu is fast becoming a perfect example of how not to be a responsible journalist, dabbling into details of Ekiti local politics he has scant knowledge of. His penchant for being used to set ignoble agenda and assassinate character is legendary. At best his submissions are cheap and petty and they are carelessly served without sparing a thought for the reading public. My advice for him is that the easiest way for a writer to lose credibility is for him to become a hatchet writer or an attack dog. This present voyage is not only laughable, it is also silly. But by the way, aren’t we in the silly season already?
Jamiu, a socio-political commentator
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN
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Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN