In the run up to the presidential election on March 28, 2015, figures obtained from the protocol department of the Presidential Villa indicated that more than two thousand visitors visited President Goodluck Jonathan on the average in a week. This figures do not include visitors that met with the president in his official residence in the Villa. Neither do they include those he met outside the official residence but within the precincts of the Presidential Villa. It was perhaps the number and quality of people who thronged to the Villa on daily basis and the assurances they gave the president during the run up to the presidential election that informed the confidence he displayed as the election drew nearer that he was going to win.
But on the Sunday after the presidential election when collation of votes had begun and it appeared that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was not doing well and was, in fact, trailing behind the All Progressives Congress at the polls, less than 30 persons, apart from some security personnel and aides of the president, attended the Aso Rock Chapel which had hitherto been a beehive of activities every Sunday.
Dr. Fredrick Fasehun is the National Chairman of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) and Founder of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC). In this interview with SEYI TAIWO-OGUNTUASE, he speaks on the last general elections, the use of the card readers, and other issues. Excerpt…
What is your assessment of the last general elections?
Well, the end result of the elections obviously misrepresented the people’s voice. The people wanted democracy; I don’t think they got democracy. They wanted a general election to usher in democracy but unfortunately the elections were held, but I personally – from what I observed and what I saw – it was more of an exercise in rigging than electioneering.
But the election was adjudged free and fair by observers within and outside the country, why are you now saying it misrepresented the people’s voice?
The international observers don’t have the commitment of Nigerians. Nigerians are critical in their own elections; the international observers have come as strangers and some of them are only visitors to the country. They only observe. This is a big electoral zone and I did not see any international observer around here in Oshodi-Isolo, so why should I listen to the comments of observers when I did not see them in this area?
Looking at the issue of the card reader, how will you assess the use of the card reader which some people have commended?
Whether people commended or condemned the use of card-reader, it wouldn’t matter. The election has come and gone and people have acknowledged victory and people have acknowledged defeat, so the people’s honest comments will not make a difference.
The President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, recently said he would be considering the establishment of special courts to take care of corruption cases in order to give the issue of corruption the deserved attention and urgency after he is sworn in. We share in the concern of the president-elect given the grave implication of corruption in Nigeria and also support him in the determination to fight it vigorously in order to free the country from its shackles and enthrone development. We agree with him that it is impossible to have real development in the country without confronting and overcoming the cankerworm of corruption. Yet, we want to believe that the desire to have special courts to deal with corruption could be the beginning of a resort to unusual and unacceptable ways in governance.
Her forehead creases as she dabs a handkerchief across her face. With few words, she gives direction to her team. Everywhere is buzzing with delight. Guests seem to have come out from a movie scene or fairytale storybook. The laughters are infectious as the hall reeks of delicacies and assorted drinks. The faces are radiant in dazzling attires and jewelleries –two people stand out –seated in front of the well-mannered crowd of guests. They grin from ear to ear and they whisper one or two things in each other’s ear. They cannot resist the temptation to wave at the woman who is making things to happen on their day –their wedding day. She’s the wedding planner. And her name is Funke Kuyoro.
From the United Kingdom to Nigeria, she has invented her own brand in wedding planning and sundry enterprises. Arguably the most famous wedding planner in the country, she graduated with combined honours in Computer Science and Chemistry in the United Kingdom. Confidence, intuitiveness and creativity are qualities that stand out Kuyoro, the Managing Director of the Wedding Company. She speaks to Adedayo Adejobi about her extensive event project management experience spanning over 20 years across the corporate and government arenas, her marriage of 28 years, children and relationship with God and Pastor Tunde Bakare
Police officer transferred for daring to invite APC Chairman, Oyegun, for questioning on forgery case
For daring to invite the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, John Oyegun, for questioning, a police officer has been transferred from his initial post, PREMIUM TIMES has learnt.
Fave Semali, a Deputy Commissioner of Police, was investigating an allegation of forgery against Mr. Oyegun and other APC leaders.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how Christopher Anirah, who won the Sapele/Okpe/Uwvie Federal Constituency ticket of the APC at the primary held on December 7, accused Mr. Oyegun and the party’s governorship candidate in Delta State, Otega Emerhor, of falsifying his death so as to replace his name with that of another person.
Mr. Anirah, who was returned winner of the primary, had his name substituted with that of another member of the party, Gibson Akporehe.
Lagos lawyer Femi Falana (SAN) has explained that the planned extradition of senator-elect of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chief Buruji Kashamu to the United States (U.S.) is in accordant with the rule of law and in line with the provisions of the Extradition Act.
In a statement in Lagos yesterday, titled: “Legal Implications of Kashamu’s extradition”, Falana advised the senator-elect to surrender himself for trial in the U.S. instead of embarking on a prolonged legal battle in Nigeria.
The learned silk, who contended that the fundamental right of Kashamu to personal liberty has not been violated in any way so far, added: “But if he insists on his innocence, let the law take its course through the extradition proceedings”.
Managing Director/CEO Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah told reporters yesterday in Lagos that over 20,000 trucks have been penciled down for loading this week to boost economic activities.
He said the company’s facility has the capacity to load over 13 million litres approximately 400 trucks, of fuel per day. “It is our belief that this development will enable our citizens to return to normal family and work life. We call on other petroleum marketers to follow suit and save our nation from this impending economic and social crisis,” he said.
“We are constrained at this point and have decided that two wrongs cannot make a right. We will not be part of this sabotage against our fatherland. Therefore from this minute, we shall take the risk of opening our facilities and commence swift loading and distribution of products nationwide.”
As the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) met last night to appoint a replacement for the former chairman, Chief Tony Anenih, who resigned last week, there was fear that if the out going President Goodluck Jonathan accepts the offer of being the next chairman it might present PDP as a regional party.
Also, there is the fear that Jonathan is trying to grab all the structures of the party in his pocket against all other major stakeholders.
This fear is coming against the background that the acting National chairman of the party, Mr. Uche Secondus, is from Rivers State and the National Secretary, Prof Wale Oladipo, is from Osun State.
Both are from the southern part of the country.
The stakeholders are worried that if Jonathan assumes office as the PDP BoT chairman, it would further complicate the regionalisation of the PDP and alienating of the North.
•Why Obasanjo should not be entertained as a democrat
•One way Buhari can rebuild Nigeria
Erstwhile speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Ghali Na`abba in this interview reviews the recent elections and how and why his former party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP faired poorly. He also advocates lessons for the victorious All Progressives Congress, APC to learn from the miseries of the PDP. Excerpts:
What is your assessment of the last general election?
The elections have been conducted and I believe that substantially INEC did their best. The elections may not have been perfect but I believe some degree of confidence has been put back into Nigerians to the effect that their votes will begin to count and I pray that INEC will do what it can to maintain what it has done for itself.
I believe that the card reader that was introduced in this election has shown that credible elections can hold in Nigeria. It wasn’t the intention of Jonathan’s government to have a free and fair election and that was why the Jonathan people and the PDP were hell bent on discrediting the use of card readers.
To show his determination to rid Nigeria of corruption, the president elect, General Mohammadu Buhari, after his inauguration on Friday, will unveil his anti-corruption strategy, Vanguard learnt yesterday.
The Strategy will be such that will put Nigerians with corruption baggages on their toes and make them to return their loots back to the federal government coffers even less persuasion.
To realize this objective, Vanguard investigations indicated thatari
there is likely to be an establishment of a high powered anti-corruption panel with a mandate to investigate corrupt government officials and private individuals who had swindled the count
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo fired a fresh salvo the way of President Goodluck Jonathan, on Sunday, when he looked back at the last eight years and returned with a verdict: The country had been poorly managed under Jonathan.
Obasanjo said this when the Iyalode of Yoruba land, Chief Alaba Lawson, led a delegation of South-West women leaders on a visit to his Hilltop residence in Abeokuta.
The 78-year-old leader said owing to the mismanagement of the country in the last eight years, the incoming administration of the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, should be prepared to face the daunting challenges that lay ahead.
He said, “The country had been poorly managed in the last eight years and it would take some time for Buhari’s government to correct the anomalies. But I want to tell him not to be frightened.”
The federal government is spoiling for a fresh showdown with oil importers over subsidy payment.
This is coming as there is no end in sight yet for the current face off between the two sides that has grounded the nation for several days now.
Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala yesterday accused them of submitting to government suspicious payment claims to the tune of N159billion in exchange rate differentials.
The payment claims, according to her, reeked of fraud.
“All illusions by definition insulate people from reality, but, when that reality is harsher than the individual is built to endure, a bit of self-deception is neither harmful nor unnecessary.”
(VANGUAD BOOK OF QUOTATIONS p 99).
If any of the Ministers in the outgoing government is now actively living in wonderland and releasing more fairy tales than facts about her accomplishments, that Minister must be Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. She doubled as the Federal Minister for Finance and the Coordinating Minister on the Economy, CME. In that regard, she was the second most powerful person in the outgoing government. Her appointment for the second time as Finance Minister was received with a great deal of hope and enthusiasm given her exalted status as one of the Managing Directors of the World Bank.
The general feeling was “if anybody can do it, then Ngozi is that person.” Granted there were a few skeptics like this writer who while welcoming her back had written in July 2012, in a two-part series titled WELCOME DR OKONJO-IWEALA, had written as follows:
President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, was on Friday represented by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar in Jumat prayers which held at the National Mosque, Abuja, in company of other Muslim faithful.
Mr. Buhari is currently on a visit to London.
Friday’s Jumat prayer is the first in a series of week-long activities marking the commencement of the inauguration of a new President for the country.
Christians across the country will hold prayers in Churches for the same purpose on Sunday.
The formal oath-taking to swear in the new President would take place on May 29.
Femi Adesina, current Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of The Sun newspaper, told a SaharaReporters correspondent that he could not comment on his appointment by President-elect Buhari’s team because “nothing official” has been announced.
However, sources speaking to SaharaReporters said that Mr. Adesina had been approached by members of Buhari’s team about taking on the role of Special Adviser on Media and Publicity for Buhari’s administration.
Mr. Adesina could not confirm whether he had been approached with this offer, citing that “we cannot discuss these matters until an official announcement has been made.”
A prolific writer and seasoned journalist, Adesina started his career at the Vanguard Newspapers as a features writer before later moving to the defunct National Concord Newspapers. In 2007, he was named the Editor of the Year by the Nigeria Media Merit Award. He was recently re-elected as the President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) for a term of two years.
This is some of the first news the public has received regarding specific roles individuals may occupy in Buhari’s administration.
From the crisis that rocked the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) in 2013 to his defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the wake of the 2015 general elections, the governor of Rivers State, Mr Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi had been, and still is in the news as he seems to have become a controversial political figure. In fact, political observers believe that the endless political crisis in Rivers State is fueled by Amaechi whose tenure in office as governor of the state ends on the 29th of May.
As the May 29th handover date is just few days ahead, the uncertainties as to who swears in the new State government seem to have taken over the imaginations of political observers considering that there has been no Chief Judge in the State since the retirement of Justice Ndu Ichendu in 2013. More worrisome is the thinking in the state that Amaechi’s government has not put in place a transition committee to work with that of the PDP governor-elect, Wike. Analysts posit that this lack of cooperation from Amaechi may be a deliberate move to frustrate a smooth transition to the new government.
As it is now, Amaechi seems to be more engrossed with APC affairs at the national level. Indeed, political pundits observed that his defection created a problem within the state, considering that Rivers state had never been in the opposition in its political history. This was even as Amechi’s deputy, Engr. Tele Ikuru, who hitherto decamped to the APC with him suddenly made a swift return to the PDP accusing the APC of being a party of rebels, insurgents and anarchists, clothed in robes of pretence and deceit. There is no doubt that this development shocked Amaechi considering the smooth working relationship he had had with Ikuru.
Femi Fani-Kayode, former Director, Media and Publicity, Jonathan’s Campaign Organisation typified the political saying that in politics there is no permanent friend or enemy, what is permanent is interest. When the former Minister of Aviation was criticizing the Jonathan administration a year to the general elections, not many people thought the Osun State born politician would go back to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) within a short period and occupied the position he held before the elections.
Shortly after the elections, Fani-Kayode alongside other party leaders like the governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose and his counterparts in Jigawa and Niger states, Sule Lamido and Dr. Babangida Aliyu have put pressures on the former National Chairman of the party, Adamu Mu’azu and other members of the NWC to step aside based on the dismal performance of the party in the last general elections. Fani-Kayode argued that Mu’azu and his co-travelers in the NWC comprised their positions and worked against the interest of the party during the elections.
Mu’azu eventually succumbed to the pressure and resigned his position on Wednesday. Fani-Kayode who commended Mu’azu for taking the path of honour urged other members of NWC to take the same step before they are forced out of office.
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has inadvertently assumed controversy as its middle name.
For over a decade, the federation has been enmeshed in one controversy or the other. If it is not election crisis, it will be over contracts it entered into or fraud related cases.
The sad part of the situation is that the federation has emerged from these crises worst off. It seems it has deliberately failed to learn any lesson.
For example, after the country failed to qualify for the 2006 World Cup in Germany, elections into the board of the federation became a contested issue leading to the intervention of the World football controlling body, FIFA, before Alhaji Ibrahim Galadima, the then NFF President was e4ased out in a controversial circumstances. As if that was not enough, the last elections into the board of the NFF also witnessed crisis until Amju Pinnick was elected president. The renewal of Stephen Keshi’s contract as Super Eagles Head Coach was not devoid of crisis.
There was a time $236,000 US got missing at the NFF secretariat with the where about of the money unknown.
LEADERSHIP Friday yesterday exclusively gathered that the Wednesday resignations of its national chairman, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu and chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT), Chief Tony Anenih, were not unconnected with the plot.
Although Mu’azu, in a letter tendered during the PDP National Working Committee (NWC) meeting on Wednesday in Abuja, cited ‘health grounds’ as the reason for his resignation, credible sources within and outside the Presidential Villa disclosed that the two resignations were orchestrated by President Goodluck Jonathan.
Aviation industry in Nigeria is, again, experiencing pilots’ glut. There are about 500 unemployed professional pilots in the system today. The number of seasoned /experienced pilots who are jobless stands at about 100, while about 400 are fresh, newly licensed commercial pilots just out of flying schools.
Economists distinguish between various overlapping theories of unemployment, including structural unemployment and frictional unemployment.
Structural unemployment occurs when a labour market is unable to provide jobs for everyone who wants one because there is a mismatch between the skills of the unemployed workers and the skills needed for the available jobs. Structural unemployment is hard to separate empirically from frictional unemployment, except to say that it lasts longer.