Last year, the agitation for restructuring and the blackmail of alienation bedeviled accessible discourse. Assistant Editor LEKE SALAUDEEN examines the issues and contest that will appearance Nigeria’s backroom this year.
The political contest of aftermost year will amble in the memories of Nigerians. It was a year that bread-and-er recession, the agitation for restructuring and Admiral Muhammadu Buhari’s bloom took the centre date in accessible debate. Adjoin the accomplishments of the secessionist move by some elements in the Southeast, abounding had anticipation that the country will disintegrate. But, the country has remained intact. Despite the bread-and-er recession acquired by the abatement in oil bulk in the all-embracing bazaar and the bribery of the oil wind abatement in the past, Nigeria was able to get out from the quagmire.
Given the cardinal of contest lined up, this year promises to be abounding of political activities. Actuality the year that precedes the 2019 accepted elections, abounding backroom campaigns will alpha and they may adumbrate governance. Some of the contest are: Ekiti and Osun governorship elections, the All Progressives Congress (APC) convention, cessation of the architecture alteration bid, restructuring, post-convention activity in the Peoples Autonomous Affair (PDP), federal chiffonier reshuffle, presidential primaries, account passage, new parties, Anambra Axial aldermanic election, the anti-corruption fight, anti agitator activity and Saraki’s Code of Conduct Attorneys (CCT) re-trial.
The governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states will ascendancy this year. Already, the Absolute Civic Balloter Bureau (INEC) has anchored July 14 for the acclamation in Ekiti State. The Ekiti bodies will acquire a new governor to alter Mr Ayo Fayose, whose administering will expire in October.
The acclamation will be a beeline activity amidst the cardinal PDP and the APC. In 2014, Fayose defeated Governor Kayode Fayemi of the APC. He won in all the bounded governments.
The 2018 poll will board Fayose the befalling to prove that his barrage achievement of 2014 was not a fluke; that his acceptance amidst the bodies won the acclamation for him. Can Fayose who rode to ability on the acme of federal ability beneath aloft Admiral Goodluck Jonathan win the acclamation for his all-powerful candidate? Can he calculation on the abutment of the civilian servants, abnormally the agents that are owed arrears of salaries?
INEC has anchored April 5 for the admission of the Ekiti governorship acclamation campaign. Fayose believes his performance, abnormally the accouterment of infrastructural accessories like anchorage and bridges above the accompaniment and abdomen infrastructure, would attach the PDP to Ekiti bodies and that they will not alternate to acknowledgment the affair aback to power. Contrary to the time table appear by INEC, which stipulates that primaries for the acclamation will ascendancy amidst April 15 and May 14, Fayose had all-powerful his deputy, Prof. Kolapo Olusola, as the PDP candidate; a accommodation that has been challenged by added PDP leaders, including Senator Abiodun Olujimi and Prince Dayo Adeyeye, who are additionally eyeing the PDP ticket. However, the PDP civic secretariat has overruled Fayose’s choice, adage the party’s governorship applicant will appear from the primary.
But, a athletic of the APC, Chief Babatunde Fagbemi, has disqualified out PDP’s achievement in the poll. He said it is ambitious cerebration for Fayose and the PDP to apprehend achievement in the July election. He said Fayose is a absolutist who he does not acquire in the break of admiral as he combines the functions of the assembly with that of the executive. Fagbemi added: “The bodies of Ekiti acquire not abandoned how the PDP controlled Federal Government in 2014 deployed huge sum of money and aggressive cadre to rig acclamation for Fayose. If Fayose and his co-travellers in the PDP are planning of addition abbreviate cut to achievement this time around, they will accommodated their waterloo at the poll.
“Fayose’s administering in Ekiti is a awe-inspiring disaster; the PDP administering in the accompaniment embodied by Fayose is the affliction affair that has happened to Ekiti State. How abounding adorning projects did he execute? It has been adjustment aggrandizement and base jobs paid for by government. The accompaniment internally generated acquirement (IGR) had abandoned acutely from what Fayose affiliated from Fayemi. All this will assignment adjoin PDP in Ekiti State.
Analysts acquire that the APC stands a bigger adventitious of winning, abandoned if it is able to administer its primary in a cellophane manner, accustomed the cardinal of aspirants jostling for the party’s ticket. Besides, they admonish the affair to handle post-primary complaints with affliction such that there would be no aftermost minute alienation by afflicted aspirants.
On September 22, the bodies of Osun Accompaniment will go to poll to acquire a new governor that will accomplish Governor Rauf Aregbesola, who is about to complete his additional appellation in office. Analysts said Osun would acquire been a walk-over for the APC but for the problems it had in the alternative of the aldermanic applicant for Osun West. A accessible diplomacy commentator, Comrade Jimi Afolabi, said the abortion of APC leaders to brownnose to the yearnings of the bodies by presenting a accepted applicant beggared it of the aldermanic seat.
Afolabi cautioned the administration of the affair to apprentice a assignment from the Osun West mistake. He said: “Now that abounding aspirants acquire sprung off from the APC, Aregbesola should actualize a level-playing acreage for them to ysis their popularity. Fielding a adopted applicant will be too cher for the party. There is no agnosticism that Aregbesola’s achievement has fabricated APC the affair to exhausted in the state, but a accepted applicant should appear through due process.”
The APC has bootless to ascendancy its biennial assemblage as assured in its constitution. The aftermost time it captivated assemblage was in 2015 from area Admiral Muhammadu Buhari emerged as APC presidential applicant for the aftermost accepted elections. Affair chieftains acquire avant-garde altered affidavit for this. Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo Accompaniment said that the affair was broke. The party’s Civic Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, attributed it to the absence of Admiral Buhari, who spent three months in the United Kingdom for medical treatment. The Admiral alternate four months ago and his bloom has bigger tremendously. There is no alibi for the APC not to ascendancy its assemblage this year. As a cardinal party, the APC should accede with the accouterment of its constitution.
The date is set for the Houses of Assembly to exercise their admiral on architecture amendment. The Civic Assembly acquire transmitted the adopted proposals to the assorted Houses of Assembly for application and concurrence. Any angle that meets the approval of at atomic 24 Houses of Assembly will be candy and transmitted to the Admiral for assent.
It is hoped that the architecture alteration will be on the antecedence account of Houses of Assembly, because there are abounding proposals which are ytical to restructuring and reforms and the deepening of ytical institutions of capitalism to advance efficacy, transparency, accountability, and checks and balances. The proposed amendments that are accompanying to the admiral and functions of the INEC, abnormally the angle that empowers the balloter bureau to de-register any political affair that fails to accommodated some criteria, including abortion to win at atomic one adopted bench from councillorship to presidential afterwards a accepted acclamation and the affair absolute candidates for election, charge be absitively this year, because the accepted elections acquire been anchored for February and March aing year.
Agitations for restructuring acquire remained on the advanced burner of the civic conversation, amidst cries of marginalisation by some indigenous groups. The altercation generally pitches the South adjoin the North, with southerners seeing the accepted anatomy as awful ambiguous and therefore, unworkable. The deadlock has been abhorrent for the secessionist attack by the Igbo bedeviled Southeast.
Restructuring bureau altered things to altered geo-political zones. To the Southsouth region, restructuring is all about ability control. To the Southwest, restructuring is alike with regionalism, bribery of ability and accurate federalism. The Igbos acquire that restructuring will acceding their age-long alienation bid.
Analysts are of the assessment that there is astriction and agitation in the country, because it is not operating accurate federalism. They say federalism is an adjustment whereby admiral aural a multi-national country are aggregate amidst a federal or axial ascendancy and a cardinal of bounded or accompaniment governments in such a way that anniversary unit, including the axial authority, exists as a government abandoned and apart from the others.
One of such ysts said: “In a federation, anniversary government enjoys autonomy, a abstracted actuality and ability of the ascendancy of any added government. Anniversary government exists, not as an addendum of addition government, but as an chargeless article in the faculty of actuality able to exercise its own will on the conduct of its diplomacy chargeless from administration by any government.”
Going by the aloft definition, it is bright clear that Nigeria is not a federation, but unitary state. A amalgamate association like Nigeria should not and cannot be administered in a awful over centralised unitary manner. The bounded bodies charge acquire a bulk of ascendancy and freedom over the basal things that affect their lives. There is charge to decentralise economic, security, political and contrarily federal admiral to the assorted localities of Nigeria.
Now that Admiral Buhari has anesthetized the blade to the Civic Assembly to anatomy the modalities for the restructuring debate, but abandoned any alienation of the country, it is accepted that the Civic Assembly will appear up with a arrangement on restructuring in the advance of the year.
But, the Speaker of the Oyo Accompaniment House of Assembly, Hon. Michael Adeyemo, abhorrent associates of the Civic Assembly for voting adjoin bribery of ability bill during the architecture alteration exercise. He argued that accurate federalism would not be accomplished in Nigeria afterwards the bribery of power. He said: “Power charge devolve. We should decentralise if all agitations charge stop.”
Similarly, the Speaker of the Kwara Accompaniment House of Assembly, Dr Ali Ahmed, said the accommodation of the federal legislators on bribery of ability was surprising. He said aback the Association of Speakers met with associates of the Civic Assembly Board on Architecture Alteration in Lagos, they addled an acceding that some admiral charge be ceded to the states. But, unfortunately, during voting, they did otherwise. He said: “Although majority of them voted in favour, their cardinal was not up to two-thirds appropriate to canyon the bill. It is not the end of the day, as we at the accompaniment akin will re-strategise on how to body accord and mobilise abutment for bribery of power”.
INEC has anchored the presidential acclamation for February 19, 2019. Presidential primaries are acceptable to be captivated during the aftermost six months of the year. Parties planning to acreage candidates for aing year’s presidential acclamation charge organise primaries that would be monitored by INEC officials. The registered parties charge conduct primaries from which their presidential candidates would emerge, at atomic three months afore the election.
In the APC, the Admiral is yet to accomplish a academic acknowledgment that he will seek re-election. But, the APC governors beneath the advocacy of “progressive governors” acquire accustomed him for a additional term. But, affair stalwarts, including Senator Bola Tinubu and Chief Bisi Akande, acquire said there is no automated admission for Buhari.
Tinubu explained that Buhari will not acquire automated ticket, but will accountable himself to the due process. He said Buhari is a democrat and would adopt to appear through autonomous process. The APC, he said, would not absorb the ability of imposition. All aspirants would go through accustomed activity that will be accessible and transparent; there will be akin arena acreage for all aspirants aloof as it was done in 2015.
The PDP is still aggressive to restore adjustment aural its bend afterwards the civic convention. The parties has set up a board to begin on the best of its presidential candidate. The catechism is whether the PDP will aloof present a applicant afterwards primary, as it did in 2015 aback it printed abandoned one anatomy for aloft Admiral Jonathan. Assemblage said the artifice of Dr. Jonathan contributed to the party’s defeat in 2015, because afflicted members, decidedly from the North formed adjoin the party.
As for the abate parties, they hardly, conduct primaries. Associates would aloof assemble on an accident abode and accession up the duke of a affiliate as party’s banderole bearer. Nigerians are not agog on the activity through which their presidential candidates appear because they comedy inconsequential role in backroom and angle no adventitious of acceptable election. A political yst, Dr Friday Ibok, said INEC should adviser the abate parties abnormally the assemblage through which they aces their candidates. The balloter commission, he said, should put all political parties on the aforementioned calibration to abstain bifold standard.
It seems the aftermost has not been heard about the PDP convention. A aloft chairmanship aspirant, Professor Taoheed Adedoja, has filed a clothing afore a Federal Aerial Court, Abuja gluttonous for the sack of the winner, Prince Uche Secondus, and the aishment of the convention.
Adedoja, who denticulate zero, said he was not battling the aftereffect of the convention, but the absurdity in his name on the acclamation paper. He declared that the acknowledgment of a aught accustomed to him ashamed and maligned him and brought abundant badinage to his political career congenital over the years.
Political assemblage are afraid about the clothing advancing afterwards the administration of the affair has set up a board headed by Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa Accompaniment to board afflicted affair members. One of them interpreted the cloister activity as abortion of the adaptation apparatus or that the activity is a artifice to abstract the new controlling from planning for the 2019 accepted elections.
However, it is hoped that the cloister will accord the clothing accelerated audition because it may annoyance on to the Supreme Court.
While presenting the 2018 account to the aggregate sitting of the Civic Assembly, Admiral Buhari pleaded with the assembly to ensure aboriginal passage, so that the accomplishing would alpha from January. From all indications, the Civic Assembly may not accommodated this borderline as assorted committees are still active scrutinising the budget.
An economist, Dr Isiah Danbaba, pleaded with associates of the Civic Assembly not to decay time on the access of the budget. He said the backward access of the Appropriation Bill acquire amazing furnishings on the economy. He said the 2017 budget, which was anesthetized in July, was amenable for its apathetic accomplishing and banknote crisis in the bread-and-er system. Government could neither absolution funds for the absolute projects nor accolade new contracts.
Danbaba apprenticed the assembly to consistently put the absorption of the bodies they represent aloft claimed gains. He said it is the accepted bodies that feel the calefaction best aback the account is not accustomed alert attention.
President Buhari has appear affairs to aggrandize the Federal Controlling Council (FEC) by appointing added ministers. He appear this in his abode to the Civic Controlling Council of the APC aback he explained that the aeroemism FEC will be broadcast to accompany in added supporters at federal level, with beginning account to be injected into the government.
A reliable antecedent said Admiral Buhari is because a acting angle to restructure some of the ministries, accredit eight new ministers to his chiffonier and reshuffle the chiffonier in the New Year. He said: “The plan is to accredit eight new ministers who will all be politicians, to board the yearnings of his affair associates and at the aforementioned time position APC for the 2019 accepted elections.
“To board the eight new ministers into the cabinet, the admiral affairs to breach the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing into three ministries that will be manned by absolute ministers, and abstracted the aerodynamics and abyssal carriage units from the Ministry of Aviation. What this will construe to is that a abbot will man Aerodynamics while addition will arch Abyssal Transportation.
“In the angle actuality advised by the admiral for the arrangement of eight new ministers, one will represent anniversary of the six geo-political zones in the country one anniversary from Lagos and Kano States. The best ysis for Lagos and Kano is to ensure the two best crawling states are delivered to APC in 2019.”
New political parties
With the allotment of 21 new parties by the INEC, the cardinal of registered parties is 67. Despite the number, 80 new associations had activated to the bureau gluttonous to be registered as political parties advanced of the 2019 accepted elections.
INEC Chairman Professor Mahmood Yakubu said the bureau would abide to annals new political parties, awaiting the borderline assured in the Balloter Act for cease of the allotment process.
He said: “As it stands today, 80 added groups are gluttonous allotment as political parties. We will abide to annals them until the time appointed by the Balloter Act for us to stop. The affair of ability antagonism is there too. Right now, we are cerebration of how to architecture our acclamation affidavit for the 2019 acclamation to board all the registered political parties.”
Anambra Axial rerun
Following the Cloister of Appeal judgment, INEC has anchored January 13 for the Anambra Axial aldermanic commune re-run. The bench became vacant, afterward the aishment of the 2015 acclamation is by an acclamation tribunal.
The Cloister of Appeal had ordered INEC to conduct the re-run aural 90 canicule of the judgment.. As the bureau was advancing for the election, a Federal Aerial Cloister in Abuja ordered the bureau to affair affidavit of acknowledgment to the PDP candidate, Obiora Okonkwo, who the cloister declared as the accurate applicant of the affair for Anambra Axial District.
Okonkwo had instituted a cloister activity adjoin the PDP, its aloft Civic Chairman, Adamu Mu’azu, INEC and Mrs Uche Ekwunife, arduous the actualization of Ekwunife as the PDP applicant for the 2015 election. The bureau said it is belief the judgement and promised to accomplish its position accepted actual soon.
President Buhari has assured Nigerians that he would not abort them in the activity adjoin corruption; that the anti-graft agencies would be accustomed able abutment in waging war adjoin bribery and prosecuting the suspects. The anti-graft war had ushered in a new era of accountability and responsibility. This activity has paid off. Corrupt practices in aerial places that acquire been apparent by the Bread-and-er and Financial Crime Bureau (EFCC) and the looted accessible funds recovered by the agency.
The balloon of aerial contour bribery cases will resume this year. This includes the balloon of the aloft Civic Advocacy Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki, and aloft Sokoto Accompaniment Governor Attahiru Baffarawa, aloft Abbot of Accompaniment for Finance, Ambassador Bashir Yuguda, aloft Director of the Nigerian Civic Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Aminu Baba Kusa, over the confiscation of $2.1 billion meant for the accretion of accoutrements for the troops angry Boko Haram insurgents.
Others afore the cloister are aloft Aerodynamics Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, aloft Petroleum Minister, Mrs Deziani Allison-Madueke, aloft Senate President, Senator David Mark, aloft Benue Accompaniment Governor, Gabriel Suswan, aloft Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Pius Anyim Pius.
All eyes are on the attorneys in ensuring quick allotment of justice. It is accepted that the cases will not ache agnate fate like those afore them. Cases involving big men acquire consistently abject for continued as a aftereffect of common adjournments and barmy injunctions to annul accelerated trials. Also, cases addled out on abstruse grounds. The Chief Amends of the Alliance should accomplish acceptable his affiance to set up appropriate courts to handle bribery cases aback he bidding the attorneys abutment for the activity adjoin bribery of Admiral Buhari.
Fight adjoin terrorism
President Buhari’s charge to the anti-terror war is not in doubt. He has taken the attack adjoin agitation above the Nigerian shores. At a acme abounding by apple leaders in Jordan on counter-terrorism, Buhari told his colleagues that Nigeria is accessible to advance the activity adjoin agitation in the West African sub-region.
He common the charge of Nigeria arena a arch role in bringing calm countries of the West African sub-region in a aggregate advocacy arrarngement. He said with what Nigeria had gone through, it was accessible to allotment the acquaintance with a appearance to fashioning out absolute activity affairs in arrest the sourge of agitated abandonment in the region.
The Admiral lamented that insurgents were able to allure associates in their bend because of the insidious admonition of agitator clerics and alleged for an activity plan to arrest the trend. He added that all nations irrespective of adoration should accomplice finer in implementing national, bounded and all-around activity affairs to adverse agitated extremism.
At the end of the summit, participants bound to appear up with accurate activity affairs that would change the anecdotal of agitated abandonment in the West African sub-region at a chase up affair to be hosted by Nigeria.
The Nigerian Governors Forum has accustomed the abandonment of one billion dollars from the Excess Crude Account by the Federal Government to be acclimated in the on-ging activity adjoin Boko Haram insurgents.
Although the government had proclaimed achievement in the eight-year continued activity adjoin insurgency, the Federal Government said a abundant bulk of budge was still appropriate to accouterment pockets of terrorists in the northeast. Besides, the government explained that the money is not advised for anti Boko Haram efforts abandoned but will additionally be spent on advocacy issues in the accompaniment including policing in the state, association policing and all advocacy challenges in the country.
Saraki’s CCT re-trial
The re-trial of the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, will alpha this year. The Cloister of Appeal, Abuja Division, has beatific Saraki aback to the CCT to face accuse of apocryphal acknowledgment of asset. The Federal Government had appealed the absolution of Saraki by the attorneys in aboriginal 2017.
The CCT had absolved the 18-count allegations of apocryphal and advanced acknowledgment of asset by the Senate President. However, the Cloister of Appeal disqualified that Saraki did not abundantly acknowledgment three of the charges.
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