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Edo Election: Tinubu Like A Stage Magician Is Willfully Blind To Reality By Bayo Oluwasanmi

21 September 2020 - 3:14am


Bayo Oluwasanmi

I am not a fan of APC or PDP. I believe APC is Lucifer, PDP Satan. The two political parties are one and the same. Both are corrupt and anti-people. 

The Edo State gubernatorial election attracted the hoopla that is reserved for presidential election. More than anything else, the election serves as a referendum on Bola Ahmed Tinubu for 2023. Tinubu is a popular politician in Nigeria. Arguably, the shrewdest 21st century political kingmaker in Nigeria’s political melodrama.

Tinubu has proven himself he is the big shark that can swim unscathed in the high-stakes and messy minefield of Nigerian politics. But the victory of PDP’s Governor Godwin Obaseki in the Edo gubernatorial election held Saturday, completely swallowed the big shark. Tinubu is yet to officially declare his candidacy for the presidency in 2023. But his surrogates have severally made his ambition publicly known to the Nigerian people. I see the loss of APC as humiliation and defeat for Tinubu. More importantly, a foretaste of what awaits him in 2023. 

Bayo Oluwasanmi

Days before the election, he told Edo people: “I, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, wants to appeal as a committed democrat and leader of all democrats regardless of the political parties to our conscience and our commitment to democracy today.” Trying to rally Edo people for his candidate Osagie Ize-Iyamu, Tinubu said: “He (Obaseki) does not deserve any democratic ballot paper. Don’t vote for him, I appeal to all of you.”

We all know Tinubu is not anything close to being a democrat. He is a ruthless, selfish political goon who anoints who will become governor in all the APC controlled states. He imposed his daughter as Iyaloja of Lagos over women elders against Yoruba market place tradition. As a powerful politician living in a bubble of power, Tinubu is mentally and physically cut off from the reality most Nigerians and in this instance, Edo people recognize. 

What is reality? Reality is the obligation to tell the truth. The reality that Edo people recognize is the imperative. As a political leader who inhabits a bubble of power, Tinubu is isolated and surrounded by those desperate to please him. Like a stage magician, Tinubu is willfully blind to the reality and couldn’t see defeat coming. Power is a problem. Tinubu suffers from power. And it is exacerbated by money. With too much money, he lost his sense of truth and connectedness to reality. He thought he could buy the election with as many bullion vans as necessary. His focus on money crowds out ethical considerations and political imperative of Edo people.

The bigger lesson from Edo gubernatorial election is for Nigerians who are fiercely loyal to either APC or PDP. They have given up their independent thought processes. They have degraded their worth. Obaseki is not going to radically transform the lives of Edo people and Edo State. It is time Nigerians in general and Edo people in particular to wake up from their slumber and face the stark reality that they are being exploited by both APC and PDP. Both parties manipulate them with lies, deceit, bribes, rhetoric, empty and broken promises. Both parties continuously exploit the people’s ignorance and lack of understanding of governance. 

As 2023 inches forward, and if we still have a country called Nigeria by then, Nigerians should reject stage magicians like Tinubu who for years have exploited their inability to make wise decisions that lead to good choices and good governance. The Tinubus as stage magicians, are performers who force “choice blindness” on Nigerian electorates to choose among foisted options that benefit the politicians. It’s going to be a long and tortuous journey to 2023. 

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Categories: audio

How Fani-Kayode Beat His Ex-wife, Precious Chikwendu, During Pregnancy, Assaulted Her For Six Years —Former Sister-in-law

21 September 2020 - 3:10am


Prisca Chikwendu-Nduka, sister to Precious Chikwendu, former wife of Femi Fani-Kayode, ex-Nigerian Minister of Aviation, has said that the reason the marriage collapsed was due to domestic violence that lasted for six years.

SaharaReporters had in January 2018 exclusively detailed how Fani-Kayode began to domestically abuse Precious from the first year of their marriage.

The story at the time provided by authoritative family sources revealed the extent of abuse the woman was subjected to in the marriage.

To cover up the atrocious abuse of his current wife, Fani-Kayode, who had had a hat-trick of marriages before meeting Precious, with whom he has a son, accused the Federal Government of planning to assassinate his wife, this was contained in the fake prophesy given by the controversial priest, Apostle Suleman, for 2018. 

In reality, unknown to many, Fani-Kayode had accused his wife of infidelity. 

The woman, disclosed family sources, was said to be pregnant with a set of triplets at the time.

However, the husband was said to deny responsibility. 

The former minister in a text message to members of his family and friends to him and his wife said he was "reliably informed that the children Precious is carrying are not mine".

The man responsible for the pregnancy, Fani-Kayode said, was a US-based disc jockey. 

Also in the text, which had the family of the former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki, in copy, the former minister told friends that he no longer wanted to have anything to do with Precious, advising their friends not to render financial assistance to her.        

"I urge you to please cut off from her and not to help her in any way. She has told the world that you intend to help her with money and I urge you to be very wary of doing so. No friend of hers can remain mine. I urge you to be very careful of this mad, ungrateful, deceitful and treacherous woman," he warned friends.                            

Sources close to the distressed marriage told SaharaReporters that Fani-Kayode started physically abusing Precious from the first year of the marriage, a fate that befell her three predecessors.  

The violence, this website was told, increased as the years went by. 

He was said to have ordered her to abort the pregnancy that resulted in their son. 

Precious ignored him but got a savage beating, including on her belly, for the recalcitrance. 

A source said when Fani-Kayode came up with the allegation of infidelity, he hit the woman very violently in presence of their house-help, who he threatened with a gun by sticking the weapon in her mouth to warn her against squealing.

In a series of Facebook post on Friday that now confirms most of SaharaReporters independent findings in 2018, Fani-Kayode’s former sister-in-law said he serially abused Precious while concealing his behaviour by inducing two family members, who consistently cajoled her to remain in the abusive marriage for many years.

Her post reads in part, “It is disheartening when people you look up to and who should have your back turn against you because of monetary gain.

“I have kept silent on this issue but it is time we took a stand.

“Rev Okey Onyemachi and Joy Onyemachi, you both cannot deny knowing my husband's sister beats her!

“Aunty Joy Onyemachi, you have witnessed him beating her several times especially during pregnancy. I have had discussions with both of you several times about leaving that marriage before he kills her, but you both said she has to stay on that it makes no sense leaving him without anything after giving him sons.

“When my mom was still here, the excuse of her staying on was that he was paying her medical bills which he actually was. But I had a problem with giving God’s place to heal, to man and I never hid it. After everything, my mom passed. With her passing the new excuse was that she stays for the children.

“You Insisted you guys were handling the domestic violence situation with her husband and that you were also living it in prayers. Little did we know that you were both taking a stand before us and sucking up to an abuser behind our backs.

“The abuse never stopped and thanks to you both, there was added strain between we her siblings and her because you somehow portrayed us as enemies. And she bought your stand unfortunately because she wanted to keep her home.

“Yes the incident with the knife occurred, but the truth you purposely ignored is that she picked that knife to protect herself from being beaten again and you both know it!

“Furthermore unclear Okey, (I use the word uncle/aunt lightly because you, in my opinion, don’t deserve it, but I’ll rather use it to call you the Reverend or pastor cos your actions are a let down to that title), you were not there when the knife incident happened so it amazes me how you have this detailed false description of what happened that day.

“Now to obvious facts, Even if Precious had a mental breakdown like you claim, who wouldn’t? Considering what she had gone through in that house for almost six years.

“A house she had no say in, a house where she was constantly humiliated before staff and sometimes visitors. A house where one who calls himself a husband will call and pay fake pastors to be giving fake prophecies against his wife, one which is that she has spiritual problems and she is only giving because she’s under his spiritual covering, that the day she leaves his covering she will die. You are very aware of this!”

Facebook Post by Sahara Reporters on Scribd

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Categories: audio

The Nigerian Army And 'Fatal Arrogance' By Yushau A. Shuaib

21 September 2020 - 2:24am


It is baffling and hard to believe that the Nigerian Army under the current leadership of Lt. General Tukur Buratai would recruit the service of publicists for dark propaganda, rather than public relations to protect its image.

Just recently, the Army’s publicists shot a movie titled “Fatal Arrogance” that portrays the leadership and members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), popularly known as a Shi’ite group, as terrorists.

In their desperate execution of this plan, the publicists hired a veteran Nollywood Actor, Pete Edochie; a popular actress, Destiny Etiko, and a movie producer, Anosike Kingsley Orji, all Christians and Igbos, to portray Northern Muslims and by extension Islamic religion, in a bad light in the movie.

In the movie, Edochie is featured in a role wearing an Islamic outfit that makes him resemble Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, leader of the IMN, who has been in detention since December 2015, after the altercation that his followers had with Nigerian soldiers. Over 348 people were killed in that incident, and the follow-up aggression having the army lay siege to the IMN headquarters, with the bodies of the dead secretly buried by the army in a mass grave.

The behind-the-scenes clip from the movie, which was shot in Igboland rather than a Northern city, is already generating a lot of controversies.

A popular Kannywood actor who was lured into taking part in the movie, Mallam Yakubu Mohammed, has regretted his appearance in it due to what has turned out as the film’s bad intent.

He said, “I never knew some of the scenes in the film will be portrayed in that manner... It was a film that showed the clash between Nigerian Army and Islamic brotherhood in Zaria, and many members of the group were killed. When I read the script, I saw nothing castigating Islam in it, but you know (a) script can change at some point, that was what happened.

“...There is a place that every Muslim, if he sees it, must be concerned. There is a photo of Mr. Pete Edochie walking around in a Muslim dress, with a bottle of beer in his hand and with a girl. I really regret appearing in that movie.”

Also, according to Mohammed, “I have told the producer to remove all my scenes in the movie, that I am ready to pay for damages, which is what the rule says."

The Islamic Movement in Nigeria has equally petitioned the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, and the National Film and Video Censors Board, over the movie.

The spokesperson of the Movement, Ibrahim Musa, in accusing the Nigerian Army of furthering its campaign of aggression against the group through the sponsorship of the movie, stated that, “If film producers are not careful, some disgruntled elements in governance will make them side with the oppressors against the oppressed, as the film “Fatal Arrogance”, is meant to achieve.

“Genocide is involved here; any move to justify the brutal and inhuman Zaria genocide of December 2015 is an affront (to) the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

“Evidently, for every Nigerian, these clips are meant to disparage the peaceful movement and portray it to the world as a violent armed movement."

One of the promoters of the distasteful movie against the Islamic group is Terrence Kuanum, a Christian from Benue who authored a book with a similar title, "Fatal Arrogance", in defence of the Nigerian Army against the Shi’ite. The book is apparently the inspiration behind this film.

I was also once a victim of the same Terrence Kuanum, who parades himself as General Buratai’s publicist. He had falsely accused me of being a patron of terrorist groups, in his distorted and apparently suborned response to my “Memo to President Buhari on the Service Chiefs”, which was widely published in the Nigerian print media.

In his deliberate attempt to incite the military and victims of terrorism against me, on the basis of untrue accusations, Terrence compromised the websites of highly credible, as well as notoriously incredible, media platforms, by planting his offensive article there, mostly without the knowledge of the publishers and editors of some of these platforms. Subsequently, about 15 of these media organisations had to delete the highly libellous content from their websites, while offering profound apologies for the infiltration of their systems that allowed that to happen.

In his over 3,000-word defamatory piece, revelling in insidiously deceitful claims, Mr. Terrence labelled me a Boko Haram supporter, an ISWAP propagandist and that I was on the payroll of terrorists.

Given how defamatory and harmful the allegations in the very lengthy article were, I officially reported this to security agencies, including the Nigeria Police, the State Security Service (SSS) and the National Intelligence Agency (NIA). Till date, none of the agencies has taken any action to interrogate the writer on the very grievous allegations that sought to impugn my professional integrity and cast me as a threat to national security. The security services seem to be afraid to invite the author of “Fatal Arrogance” for questioning because of his godfathers in the Nigerian Army.

Apart from moving about freely, Terrence Kuanum has exhibited the ‘fatal arrogance’ of being untouchable, not only by launching his book in Abuja, but also shooting the movie based on the book in Enugu, to the bewilderment of a sane society.

Terrence Kuanum’s odious activities revolve around his membership of an obscure 'Global Amnesty International Network', Television Nigeria (TVN) and other shadowy groups that support the leadership of the Nigerian Army.

The painful irony of this publicity attempt gone awry is the fact that the Nigerian military has an enviable reputation of professionalism, gallantry, resilience, and straightforwardness that do not require propaganda to push for a positive social narrative.

It is only the leadership of an institution that appears to have something ugly it needs to cover up that engages charlatans in an effort at dark propaganda, rather than more astute and professional public relations organisations. It goes without much contemplation to know that this very poorly thought-through and 'Fatal Arrogance' will backfire very badly on the image and reputation of an institution that should otherwise be encouraged for its potentials, and the work it is doing to keep Nigeria safe.

Yushau A. Shuaib
Author of “An Encounter with the Spymaster” and "Crisis Communication Strategies"
www.YAShuaib.com

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Categories: audio

Akeredolu's Son Threatens To Sue Ondo Deputy Governor Over Allegations Of Making N433m From Government's Secret Account

21 September 2020 - 2:15am


Babajide Akeredolu

Babajide Akeredolu, son of Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, has threatened to sue deputy governor of the state, Mr Agboola Ajayi, for accusing him of making N433m from the N4.3bn stashed in a secret government account in the state. 

Ajayi had on Saturday alleged that the governor's son made the huge sum, which was discovered during auditing of the state's accounts despite never rendering consultancy services to the state in any capacity.

Babajide Akeredolu

Babajide has vowed to take legal action against the deputy governor over the allegations against him. 

He said, "I am actually glad there is finally a face behind this accusation and video evidence of you mentioning my name. I can't wait for you to lose your immunity sir. I will sue the living daylight out of you sir. It will be glorious."

See Also Politics Akeredolu's Son, Babajide, Made N433m From N4.3bn Stashed In Ondo Government's Secret Account, Deputy Governor Alleges 0 Comments 3 Days Ago

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Nigerian Health Workers End Seven-day Strike Action

21 September 2020 - 2:10am


Doctors on duty

Nigerian health workers have suspended their seven-day strike action.

Umbrella body for the workers, the Joint Health Sector Unions, called on members to resume at their duty post on Monday (today).

Doctors on duty Google

The health workers, who abandoned work on September 14, are agitating for improved welfare and payment of COVID-19 special inducement and hazard allowances; payment of all withheld salaries; adjustment of Consolidated Medical Salary Structure since 2014, among other things.

In a statement, JOHESU National Chairman, Biobelomoye Josiah, on Sunday said, “Nigerians should bear us witness that JOHESU has shown high patriotism by demanding that public health system in Nigeria is sustained and adequately financed for effective, efficient and affordable healthcare service delivery.

“In view of the above and in line with the resolution of the expanded NEC meeting held physically and virtually on Sunday, September 20, 2020, I hereby declare that the seven-day warning strike is suspended.”

See Also PUBLIC HEALTH Nigerian Health Workers Declare Nationwide Strike Amid COVID-19 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

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It Hardly Rains, It Pours By Alex Otti

21 September 2020 - 1:59am


Alex Otti
Alex Otti

“In the US, after the Great Depression, they invested heavily in infrastructure to create a lot of employment. In Germany, after the war, there was the Marshall plan for roads, rail, housing, energy, water and so on. That created massive employment after the devastation of the war and helped them to rebuild the country.” -Raila Odinga

Nigeria is at the centre of a perfect storm! From every indication, almost everything that can go wrong is creeping out of the woodwork. In the area of insecurity, the usual threat of Boko Haram has been exacerbated by the herdsmen and bandit attacks. On the economic front, the picture is as depressing, if not frightening. The challenges are numerous; the most recent being the “Twin Towers” of hikes in the prices of petrol and electricity. Since 2016, the economy has been struggling. First was the recession, which followed a few a set of economic challenges ranging from oil price crash, foreign exchange crisis and then inflation and unemployment. We managed through 2017 and in 2018, we exited the recession. The level of economic growth post-recession remained lacklustre but we had positive numbers to report. Our growth rate between 2018 and 2019 averaged 2% per annum which by the way actually meant a decline since population growth had averaged 3% within the same period. As if this was not enough, 2020 started with a Pandemic, called Coronavirus. Its devastating effect was only felt in Nigeria in March this year. This was followed by a complete lockdown of the country, just like many other countries. At the last count, close to 1 million people have died and over 30m have been infected worldwide. In Nigeria, over 56,000 cases have been reported with over 1000 deaths. The lockdown has been eased and the fear seems to have receded with people adhering to the protocols and going about their normal businesses.

Some things seem not to have eased up in the country, particularly as they affect the economy, and most of these things seem to be happening at the same time. Recently, the National Bureau of Statistics came out with a report that the economy shrunk by 6.1% as at the end of June 2020. We are not sure anyone would have been surprised about the decline, we had predicted in this column that we were not only going to witness a decline in the second quarter of this year, but that it was going to be followed by another decline by the end of the third quarter in September and by October, we were going to declare the economy, technically in recession. Nigeria’s encounter with another recession has just begun, except that this time around, the whole world, with the possible exclusion of China, would be affected. The IMF expects the global economy to decline by an unprecedented 49%. Unfortunately, it is no comfort that virtually every national economy is shrinking the same time. This is because beside the Covid-19 which has worsened our situation, we have been fighting many other battles at different fronts.  Our economy is still largely dependent on oil for its export earnings. There was a major scare at some point during the Covid-19 lockdown when oil prices sank to sub-zero levels. Recovery has been taking place but at a very slow place. The implication is a big drop on our revenue and another blow on our foreign exchange earnings. Naturally, with a drop in the volume of foreign currency, our foreign reserves began to nosedive. Our penchant for foreign goods may have reduced, but momentarily, because some of the foreign goods we consume are not easily replaceable with local alternatives. Once the lockdown eased, our demand for foreign exchange to finance imports and lifestyle increased. This naturally put pressure on the foreign exchange market and the result was that the Naira had to be depreciated at the official market from N360 to N380 to the dollar. In a bid to preserve the foreign reserve and conserve the scarce foreign exchange, a rationing policy had to be introduced by the CBN. The market responded disproportionately, and the black market slid rapidly to settle at N480 per dollar, reflecting a difference of N100 per dollar between the unofficial and the official market rates. An attempt by the CBN to force rates down by resuming sales of foreign exchange to Bureaux de Change, temporarily proved successful as rates dropped rapidly to N420 per dollar, few days after the exercise. However, this was short lived as the rates have started inching up again to the levels they were before the exercise was implemented by CBN. Trust speculators to make a meal of every situation. We understand some speculators had been stockpiling the dollar waiting for the rainy day. 

Alex Otti

Conventional economic wisdom would have dictated that inflation would be on a downward spiral with the ongoing deterioration in the fundamentals of the economy, but that is not to be. Inflation has also been going up, pointing us in the direction of what economists call, “stagflation”. As at the end of July this year, inflation stood at 12.8%, the highest in more than 2 years. The August figure recently release by the NBS put inflation at 13.22%. There is no indication that this figure is going to come down soon. This is illogical because for savings and investments to make sense, the returns must be above the inflation rate. Meanwhile, we all know that the average savings interest rates have hovered around 2% in the recent past. The fixed income market, which traditionally should act as a cushion for investors seeking to preserve their wealth, has left the people who ventured into it, bleeding. Bonds with more than one-year maturity have delivered yields below 7% in the last decade. Treasury Bills with maturities of one year or less are delivering average returns of about 3%. The alternative investment option, the stock market has not been left out of the bashing. The stock market has struggled in the past few years eroding value for many of the people who took this option. You can actually count on your fingers, how many of the stocks that have not destroyed value for investors in the last decade.

How about unemployment? The devastation has been most felt in this area. Unemployment rate, by June 30, 2020 was 27.1% while the underemployment rate was 28.6%. These give a combined average rate of 55.7%. With this level of unemployment in the country, there is enough explanation for two issues that are plaguing the economy. The first is the level of poverty in the country. According to the Word Poverty Clock, as at yesterday, 51% of Nigerians or 105m people, are living below poverty line of $1.90 per day. We seem to have consolidated on our unenviable position as the poverty capital of the world, a position we displaced India and assumed in 2018. The second issue is the high level of social strife, insecurity and banditry in the country. The sad reality is that these days our youth roam the streets in search of non-existent jobs and the more they are not sure of where the next meal will come from, the more they are easily susceptible to recruitment into crime. 

To add to our national woes, our debt profile seems to have engaged the auto pilot gear. We have grown our national debt from $79.3b (N28.6t) in March 2020 to $86b or N31t by the end of June 2020. There is no doubt that this is not a desirable position to be considering that we do not generate enough revenue for our day to day expenditure, not to talk of repaying this huge debt, which unfortunately, continues to grow. Before anyone will accuse us of scaremongering, we must point out that all these worrisome statistics are not death sentence. We must also state  that it depends on how these crises are managed. It therefore becomes very important that we do not squander the lessons of these crises. In our last but one column, we wrote extensively about oil subsidy and what we think the government should do to truly deregulate that market. We still maintain that the government has no business fixing prices in a deregulated market. The hullabaloo about fuel subsidy removal could have been avoided if the government had paid heed to this advice. The same goes for electricity tariff and its Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO). Government should hand over these industries to the private sector and just play supervisory and regulatory roles.

If properly managed, economic downturns and crises, can give way to recovery, growth, and prosperity. From the ashes of every destruction emerges a new structure which may engender better designs, new technology, better engagement of men and materials and therefore more productivity. Again, it’s easier to grow from a low base than from a high base. Putting it simply, growing from N1b to N2b doubles the size, but the difference is just N1b. On the other hand, moving from a higher base of N50b to N100b also doubles the size but the difference here is N50b. By the same logic, when the growth rate is in the negative territory, any positive addition is a growth. In the positive territory, while any addition is still a growth, the impact of the movement is not felt as much as a positive movement on a negative growth. That explains why the impact of growth on welfare of the people may be lost even when there is nothing fundamentally wrong with the numbers.

How long this recovery takes will depend solely on the solutions and measures adopted by the managers of the economy. The Pandemic may be novel, but the other crises are not new and solutions are easy to implement. They are not rocket science. We have documented our thoughts on how to deal with a post Covid economy and are glad to refer readers to our column titled, “Coronavirus: The Morning After” (Thisday, April 24, 2020). There are tried and tested solutions that have worked and we shouldn’t attempt to reinvent the wheel. Economists advise that when faced with a recession, the first place to look is consumption. For increased consumption to happen, there must be production, and for production to take place there must be employment. Out of employment comes wages and such wages are deployed to either consumption or savings. Even when savings are made, they will eventually approximate investments which would further give rise to production, employment, and more consumption. Anything that will stand in the way to distort this flow must be removed by government. Therefore, taxes, tariffs, cut in government expenditure, cut in investment in infrastructure and the likes, are things that the government should not contemplate as it will be like a man who found himself in a hole and continues digging. His rescue will be difficult. So, this is not the year to increase taxes but to reduce them. This is not the year to take money from the populace but to put money in their hands. This is the year to support businesses, any type of business that will generate employment. The Central Bank’s policy on bringing interest rates down is very sound and should be encouraged. The second policy of encouraging banks to lend by setting a threshold on loan-to-deposit ratio for banks, is also logical. The only thing working at cross purposes with these policies is the subsisting very high inflation rate. 

Dealing with inflation in isolation cannot work. In a growth mode, a certain degree of inflation cannot be ruled out. However, when inflation outstrips growth, there is a big problem. We must therefore make deliberate efforts to grow the economy. An economy in which over 55% of the population is not productively engaged, is cultivating a tropical storm, if not a hurricane. To avert this, all efforts should be geared towards the creation and protection of jobs, even if government must support the process with money to achieve this. We just need to get people working and earning income. We must prioritise the industry to support. With this level of unemployment, we should support fast growth and labour intensive sectors of the economy. We also need to look more critically at industrial production, services and trade sectors first for local consumption and later for exports. We know that we have been focusing on agriculture for a while now and we have no problems with this as we need food security to defeat hunger and save scarce foreign currency. But how many of our people do we want to throw into this sector? Statistics shows that out of a total workforce of 80.2m people, 40m, that is half of the labour force are involved in Agriculture.  From what we know, most people who are involved here practise subsistence farming and are therefore underemployed. A lot of mechanisation has also been introduced by large scale farmers. While we may not have all the numbers, we strongly believe that agriculture has become an industry where unemployed people hide but remain in poverty. As we continue to work towards raising our people from poverty, one sector we cannot continue to ignore is education. Like we had argued in the past, education is a major instrument for lifting the people out of poverty. As we promote industrialisation we must ensure that the skills required by that sector are available. We should have a serious educational programme with funding arrangements properly made in our own interest. Its never too late to start. It was H.G. Wells (1866-1946) who said “Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe”. We must avoid the catastrophe.

Email:alex.otti@thisdaylive.com

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Repay Edo People With Good Governance, Abdulsalami Tells Obaseki After Election Victory

21 September 2020 - 12:39am


General Abdulsalami Abubakar (retd.), Ex-Nigerian Head of State, has called on Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, to serve the people of the state well as compensation for voting him into office for the second time.

While commending the peaceful conduct of the exercise, the former military leader said other states must emulate Edo's example for future elections in their areas.

In a statement on Sunday personally signed by him, Abdulsalami said, “Your Excellency, Governor, it is our prayer that you will repay the good people of Edo State with all the ingredients of good governance, justice equity. 

"Once, again, accept our congratulations and may God guide you.”

Obaseki defeated his closest challenger, Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress with a wide margin to win Saturday's governorship election in the state.

See Also Politics My Victory A Triumph Over Godfatherism —Governor Obaseki 0 Comments 3 Days Ago

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Yiaga Africa Tells National Assembly To Legalise Electronic Transmission Of Results

20 September 2020 - 1:35pm


Yiaga Africa, a non-governmental organisation, has called on the National Assembly in Nigeria to swiftly legalise the electronic transmission of results from polling units.

The group also hailed the Independent National Electoral Commission for not tampering or altering the results of the just concluded Edo State governorship election.

Yiaga Africa in a statement reacting to the outcome of the election, said INEC performed better than previous elections, urging the agency to act more professionally in the Ondo State gubernatorial election.

The group said, “The National Assembly should accelerate reforms to the electoral act to legalize electronic transmission of results as the INEC results viewing portal deployed for the election has demonstrated how citizens' access to polling unit results increases the integrity of the electoral process and encourages acceptability of electoral outcomes.

“Had the official results been changed at the ward, LGA or state collation centres, the official results would not have fallen within the Yiaga Africa WTV estimated ranges.

“Because the official results fall within the estimated ranges, governorship contestants, parties, and voters should have confidence that INEC’s official results for the 2020 Edo governorship election reflect the ballots cast at polling units.”

Yiaga Africa also congratulated the people of Edo State for maintaining peace through the voting and counting and result collation process across the state.

It, however, observed intimidation and harassment of observers, voters and polling officials by party thugs, which led to violent disruption of the voting process in some polling units and likely disenfranchisement of voters in the affected locations.

See Also Elections Yiaga Africa Condemns Ballot Box Snatching, Violence At Polling Units During Edo Election 0 Comments 4 Days Ago

Yiaga Africa also condemned the shooting incident in Etsako Central LGA, which led to the death of a citizen.

The group stated that INEC must ensure compliance with COVID-19 protocols, recommending better training for INEC ad hoc officials.

“Yiaga Africa notes that the Edo governorship election is an improvement on Kogi and Bayelsa 2019 governorship elections and recommends that INEC takes all necessary steps to address challenges seen in the election before the Ondo State governorship election on October 10, 2020.

“Yiaga Africa encourages INEC to address logistical challenges observed relating to late commencement of polls for the upcoming gubernatorial election in Ondo State.

“In addition, INEC should ensure it enforces adherence to the COVID-19 health protocols in the Ondo election,” the group added.

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UK Congratulates Governor Obaseki, Commends Conduct Of Edo Election

20 September 2020 - 12:00pm


The United Kingdom has congratulated Godwin Obaseki on his re-election as governor of Edo State.

The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, congratulated Obaseki in a tweet on Sunday.

She also commended the people for a credible electoral process in the state.

Laing also expressed gratitude to civil society organisations, who monitored the election and their contribution towards ensuring a peaceful exercise.

"Congratulations @GovernorObaseki  @PastorIzeIyamu @inecnigeria on #EdoDecides2020. @UKinNigeria team observed credible process and commend both candidates for encouraging peace. Thanks to civil society partners @YIAGA @SituationRoomNg @cleenfoundation for their invaluable work," she tweeted.

See Also Breaking News BREAKING: Obaseki Wins Governorship Election In Edo 0 Comments 3 Days Ago

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P&ID: UK Court Judgment Vindicates Magu, International Groups Write President Buhari

20 September 2020 - 10:16am


Ibrahim Magu

Prominent groups involved in anti-corruption efforts globally have told President Muhammadu Buhari that the recent verdict of the United Kingdom court in Nigeria’s case with Process and Industrial Development was a clear vindication of former Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu.

The groups include The Corner House, Re: Common, Global Witness and Nigerian-based Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre).

Nigeria had secured a landmark victory in judgment delivered on September 4 in its pursuit to overturn a $10bn arbitral award against it in the case against P&ID.

Ross Cranston, a judge of the Business and Property Courts of England and Wales, granted Nigeria’s application for an extension of time and relief from sanctions.

Ibrahim Magu

Abubakar Malami, Attorney-General of the Federation, had accused Magu of neglecting a presidential directive mandating him to investigate the P&ID deal in 2018.

He said Magu’s negligence could have caused Nigeria to lose an “estimate of N47bn”.

In a joint letter to the President, the anti-corruption groups said the efficiency with which the EFCC under Magu conducted its investigation aided the court’s ruling in favour of Nigeria.

See Also Breaking News BREAKING: Nigeria Floors P&ID In London Court As Judge Grants Country Rarely-given Reprieve To Appeal $9bn Judgement Debt 0 Comments 2 Weeks Ago

The letter was signed by Lucas Manes of Re:Common, Nicholas Hildyard of Corner House, Simon Taylor of Globalwitness – all European organisations – and Olanrewaju Suraju of the HEDA in Nigeria.

“Magu has been held for more than two months and the accusations against him have not been proved. The international community have a lot of respect for Magu. A critical review of allegations against him will earn your country the prestige it deserves,” the groups said in the letter.

According to them, the ruling has special significance for anti-corruption campaigners in the United Kingdom where there has long been a concern that the UK courts were being used to launder money through fraudulent claims. 

The groups said findings by Sir Ross Cranson that there was a strong prima facie case that P&ID’s gas processing contract “was procured by bribery” was key to his ruling that Nigeria should be granted an extension of time to challenge the arbitration award against it.

The anti-corruption coalition said neutral readers of Sir Ross’ judgment will be left in no doubts as to the service that the EFCC had done for Nigeria, adding that as the Federal Government itself noted in its skeleton argument, the investigation was “carried out much faster than similar investigations in the past”.

They praised the former EFCC Chairman for his diligence in the prosecution, adding that in a very short period of time, the EFCC under Magu conducted interviews, obtained bank statements, traced funds, established that P&ID was not a company with the wherewithal to fulfill the contract and documented alleged bribes.

“As experienced investigators ourselves, we know how long collecting such evidence can take: the EFCC’s efforts were nothing short of Herculean and Nigeria has now reaped the reward,” the groups said.

They argued that Sir Ross saw through the false allegations made by Malami that the EFCC under Magu’s leadership had failed to accord the presidential directive with any serious attention until the scale had already tilted dangerously against Nigeria.

“Mr Malami’s allegations were (inevitably) picked up by P&ID in an effort to undermine the Federal Government’ case. Were it not for Sir Ross’ careful analysis of the facts, this might have succeeded,” they said.

The groups said for more than two months, the tribunal set up by President Buhari had failed to nail Magu. 

It asked that the accusation against Magu be withdrawn.

“The facts demand that he be exonerated of this charge. Contrary to several attempts by Malami to divert attention from his act of sabotage and indecorous action, what now needs to be investigated by the Presidency is why Mr Malami allowed a personal vendetta against Magu to provide ammunition to the Federal Government’s opponents and to jeopardise its righteous claim,” they said.

The groups said were it not for the perspicacity of Sir Ross, the case could have gone against Nigeria, in large part due to Malami’s false allegations against Magu.

It noted that President Buhari should not let the embarrassment caused by Malami cloud the victory.

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BREAKING: Edo Election Not Free And Fair, Says APC Candidate, Ize-Iyamu

20 September 2020 - 10:09am


Candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Saturday's governorship election in Edo State, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, has faulted the process that led to the emergence of Godwin Obaseki of the Peoples Democratic Party as winner.

In a post on his verified Twitter account, Ize-Iyamu claimed his supporters were prevented from voting.

He said he was still studying the results along with other APC members and will announce his next move soon.

“I thank and appreciate my supporters, who had to endure many evils including being prevented from voting, for their support and determination during the election. I assure you all that I am studying the results along with other party members and will announce my next move soon,” he said. 

I thank and appreciate my supporters, who had to endure many evils including being prevented from voting, for their support and determination during the election. I assure you all that I am studying the results along with other party members and will announce my next move soon. pic.twitter.com/ICQp9y97aw

— Pastor Ize-Iyamu (@PastorIzeIyamu) September 20, 2020

The Independent National Electoral Commission on Sunday declared Obaseki, incumbent governor of Edo, as winner of the election.

Obaseki secured 307,955 votes across 18 local government areas to defeat Ize-Iyamu, who polled 223,619 votes.

See Also Breaking News BREAKING: APC Agent Refuses To Sign Election Result Sheet Declaring Obaseki Winner 0 Comments 3 Days Ago

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President Buhari Congratulates Obaseki, Commends Edo Election Process

20 September 2020 - 8:49am


President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, on his re-election.

He also hailed the Independent National Electoral Commission for the smooth process that led to the emergence of Obaseki.

The President’s spokesperson, Garba Shehu, in a Tweet on Sunday said Buhari commended the people of Edo State, the political parties, candidates and security agencies for conducting themselves responsibly.

The President urged the returning governor to show grace and humility.

He said, “My commitment to free and fair elections is firm, because without free and fair elections, the foundation of our political and moral authority will be weak.

“I have consistently advocated for free and fair elections in the country because it is the bedrock of true democratic order.

“Democracy will mean nothing if the votes of the people don’t count or if their mandate is fraudulently tampered with.”

See Also Politics My Victory A Triumph Over Godfatherism —Governor Obaseki 0 Comments 3 Days Ago

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My Victory A Triumph Over Godfatherism —Governor Obaseki

20 September 2020 - 8:42am


Godwin Obaseki

Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki has described his re-election as ‘triumph over godfatherism’.

The Independent National Electoral Commission on Sunday declared Obaseki as winner of Saturday's governorship election in the state.

Making the announcement was Prof Akpofure Rim-Rukeh, INEC’s Returning Officer.

He said All Progressives Congress polled 223,619 votes while Peoples Democratic Party got 307,955 votes.

Godwin Obaseki

Reacting to his victory, Obaseki commended the people of the state.

He said, “Words fail me in saluting our teeming supporters who displayed immense courage in the face of threats, intimidation and brutalisation.

“The collective will of Edo people made it possible for this triumph over godfatherism. Congratulations to Edo people.” 

Words fail me in saluting our teeming supporters who displayed immense courage in the face of threats, intimidation and brutalization. The collective will of Edo people made it possible for us to triumph over godfatherism. Congratulations to all Edo people. This is our victory! pic.twitter.com/4X4Lfk3wMb

— Godwin Obaseki (GGO) (@GovernorObaseki) September 20, 2020

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UPDATE: Obaseki Wins Edo Election, Ganduje Flees State In Private Jet As APC Agent Refuses To Sign Result Sheet

20 September 2020 - 8:30am


Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State

The Independent National Electoral Commission on Sunday declared the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Godwin Obaseki, winner of Saturday’s governorship election in Edo State.

INEC’s Returning Officer, Prof Akpofure Rim-Rukeh, announced the total result of the election.

Obaseki polled 307,955 votes across the 18 local government areas of the state to defeat the All Progressives Congress candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu,.who scored 223,619 votes.

Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State

Total votes cast was 550,242 out of which 12,835 was rejected.

Obaseki was elected on the APC platform in 2016 but defected to the PDP after being denied the ticket to run for a second term owing to intra-party squabbles.

Meanwhile, the APC agent for the election refused to sign the final result sheet when called upon by Prof Rim-Rukeh.

See Also Breaking News BREAKING: APC Agent Refuses To Sign Election Result Sheet Declaring Obaseki Winner 0 Comments 3 Days Ago

He alleged that the election was marred with irregularities and INEC displayed double standard in the exercise.

Sources told SaharaReporters that the agent's refusal not to sign might be connected to an order from the national leadership of the party for him to reject the outcome of the election.

#EdoDecides2020: Why I Refused To Sign Election Result Sheet Declaring Obaseki Winner —@OfficialAPCNg Agent

WATCH FULL VIDEO: https://t.co/oEybRUggfC pic.twitter.com/VDpwhlzsS0

— Sahara Reporters (@SaharaReporters) September 20, 2020

Recall that in the run up to Saturday's election, National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, had in a video message accused Obaseki of not being a democrat and asked the people of the state to reject him at the polls.

See Also Politics Edo 2020: You're Not A Democrat, Angry Nigerians Tell Tinubu Over Attack On Obaseki 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

But despite the attack on him, Obaseki floored the APC candidate to emerge governor of Edo State for the second time.

SaharaReporters gathered on Sunday that upon realising the APC had lost the election, Chairman of the party's National Campaign Council for the Edo election, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, has fled Benin, capital of Edo, in a private jet.

Ganduje was in the state to manipulate the election in favour of Ize-Iyamu but failed, it was gathered.

Kano State governor was sighted around 2:40pm with his entourage entering a private jet at the Benin Airport.
 

See Also Breaking News BREAKING: Oshiomhole, Kano, Kogi Governors On US Visa Ban List, El-Rufai's Sanction Extended 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

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Enter Nyesom Wike -- Obaseki’s New Godfather By Fredrick Nwabufo

20 September 2020 - 7:59am


Fredrick Nwabufo

Alliances can make and mar us. Jehoshaphat, king of Judah (south of Israel), was a man, who sought the face of God. He was a decent ruler. But his yoking with kings of base virtue ruined his legacy. In particular, his dalliance with the house of Ahab and Jezebel impaired his bloodline and nearly cost him the glory of Yahweh.

Power is a principal thing but the path on which we tread to its courts matters. I think it is hypocritical fighting a system but at the same time enjoying the dysfunctionality of that system.

The Edo governorship election has taken its place in the past of gritty and rousing contests. But the lessons from the election will remain fecund in our political discourse. One thing stands out. Nigerians detest the ‘’contrivances of godfatherism’’. The election is inherently an action against godfatherism and all its appliances. The ‘Edo no be Lagos’ mantra is a revolutionary shibboleth which conveys the coup de grace to an endemic political scourge.

I think Bola Tinubu, National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), set up Osagie Ize-Iyamu, candidate of the party, by insufferably putting a demand on the people of Edo State on who they must vote. Nothing irritates more than valorous arrogance. Tinubu over-estimated his influence. That broadcast he did a few days to the election adjuring the people of Edo to reject Obaseki on the grounds that the governor is a dictator in no small measure ricocheted, putting craters to Ize-Iyamu’s ambition.

Fredrick Nwabufo

Also, the first rule of godfatherism is ‘’do not act like a godfather’’. Adams Oshiomhole, former National Chairman of the APC, broke this canon by stepping beyond the remit of his mortal powers and attempting to wrestle with the celestials. His ego got the better of him. He wanted to whip an ‘’erring’’ godson to shape but lost himself in the process. He cut off his nose to spite his face.

Oshiomhole’s nemesis is graphed in this dictum by my friend, Sulaiman Aledeh: ‘’Legend has it that there once lived a powerful man who was so disturbed by a rat in his home. He burnt down his house in an attempt to kill this rat. The rat did not die; it jumped out of the inferno leaving the man without a home – he became homeless.’’

But what is next for Obaseki? Will he rebel against his new ‘’godfather(s)’’ in the PDP who gave him the platform to fulfil his ambition? And is his re-election the end of godfatherism in Edo as he bravoed? I think not. As I said in a previous article, ‘’our political process is cannibalistic; it is dog eat dog. National interest succumbs to group and individual interest in our brand of politics. It does not reward rebels or people of independent disposition. To chance on political office, you must contort your principles and personal integrity to fit into the agenda of the keepers of the political platforms, notoriously regarded as the ‘godfathers’. The godfathers control these political platforms. They hold the reins of political progression. So, as long as the present political ecosystem subsists, godfatherism will remain in Nigeria.’’

Really, I see Obaseki fleeing from one godfather drama to another. The governor will realise soon enough that his new political benefactor, Nyesom Wike is an absolutist; a one of kind godfather. Wike combines brute with arrogance. He does not fancy otherness or contraries. It is his way always.

The governor of Rivers State runs the PDP – by virtue of the resources at his disposal. The party conforms to his whim and caprices. It is said in PDP circles, you cannot get anything done in the party without Wike’s blessings. In September 2018, he threatened that there would be consequences if the PDP moved the party’s national convention away from Port Harcourt. The leadership of the party quickly fell in line.

When Wike sneezes the PDP catches cold. Clearly, Obaseki understood this as he hurriedly paid obeisance to Wike soon after he defected to the PDP – when the APC rejected him. In the build-up to the Edo election in June, Wike threatened to withdraw support for Obaseki over a publication alleging he was in cahoots with some persons to stop the Edo governor from participating in the party’s primary election – and as it is customary there was grovelling and back-bending to the godfather and ‘’national governor of the PDP’’ .

Wike was named PDP Edo campaign DG principally as a recognition of his pre-eminence in the affairs of the party. He is the PDP. He holds the reins of political progression in the party. He calls the shots. He is the godfather.

But how well can Obaseki navigate through the relationship maze with Wike who is erratic, impulsive, short-tempered and domineering?

Well, I foresee that there be will spheres of conflict between Obaseki and Wike; not necessarily as regards areas of administration in Edo, but on differences in political interest and pursuits.

Obaseki must beware of the new godfather and the godfathers in the PDP. Wike fights dirty.

Fredrick Nwabufo is a writer and journalist

Twitter @FredrickNwabufo

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BREAKING: APC Agent Refuses To Sign Election Result Sheet Declaring Obaseki Winner

20 September 2020 - 6:48am


APC agent.

The All Progressives Congress has refused to sign the election result sheet of the Edo governorship election declaring Godwin Obaseki of the Peoples Democratic Party winner of the exercise.

The APC agent, who represented the party and witnessed the announcement of the election result refused to sign the result sheet when called upon by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

APC agent.

He alleged that the election was marred with irregularities and the INEC displayed double standard in the election exercise.

Video of #EdoDecides2020: Why I Refused To Sign Election Result Sheet Declaring Obaseki Winner —APC Agent #EdoDecides2020: Why I Refused To Sign Election Result Sheet Declaring Obaseki Winner —APC Agent WATCH VIDEO: Why I Refused To Sign Election Result Sheet Declaring Obaseki Winner —APC Agent

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BREAKING: Obaseki Wins Governorship Election In Edo

20 September 2020 - 6:32am


Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has emerged winner of Saturday's governorship election in the state.

Obaseki won his second term in office after securing victory with a high margin.

Final Results From All LGAs
Accredited VOTERS: 557443

APC: 223619

PDP: 307955

Obaseki wins with a difference of 84,336 votes#EdoDecides2020 #EdoElection
FOLLOW LIVE: https://t.co/yMHngGLhXX

— Sahara Reporters (@SaharaReporters) September 20, 2020

Contesting the election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, Obaseki was announced winner of the exercise by the Independent National Electoral Commission on Sunday afternoon.

Obaseki defeated his closest Challenger, Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress with a sizeable margin.

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BREAKING: Obaseki Projected Winner Of Edo Gubernatorial Election

20 September 2020 - 5:24am


Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State is projected to win Saturday's governorship election in the state.

Obaseki achieved the feat after amassing massive votes.

According to the results from 17 Local Government Areas announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission so far, the Peoples Democratic Party is leading with over 82,000 votes.

As it stands after results from 17 LGAs

Ize-Iyamu/APC -- 212,983

Obaseki/PDP -- 295,296#EdoDecides2020 #EdoElection

FOLLOW LIVE: https://t.co/yMHngGLhXX

— Sahara Reporters (@SaharaReporters) September 20, 2020

See Also Elections #EdoDecides2020: INEC Announces Election Result 0 Comments 3 Days Ago

The only local government area whose results was still being awaited at the time of this report is Ovia South-West.

According to findings by SaharaReporters, the total number of voters in this council area is 73,909, which is lesser than the margin between Obaseki and Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress, who is his closest rival.

See Also Breaking News WATCH LIVE: Announcement Of Edo Governorship Election Results By INEC 0 Comments 3 Days Ago

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BREAKING: Emir Of Zazzau Is Dead

20 September 2020 - 5:05am


The Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris, is dead.

He died at the age of 84 on Sunday morning.

“It is confirmed. He had some health issue on Friday and was taken to hospital where he died. His body would soon be transported to Zaria for burial,” said a family source.

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BREAKING: Ize-Iyamu Fails To Win Local Government As Obaseki Extends Lead

20 September 2020 - 4:49am


L-R: Godwin Obaseki of Peoples Democratic Party; Osagie Ize-Iyamu of All Progressives Congress.

Godwin Obaseki has defeated Osagie Ize-Iyamu in his Local Government Area.

Ize-Iyamu, who voted in Orhionwon LGA, won his polling unit but failed to clinch the council area.

L-R: Godwin Obaseki of Peoples Democratic Party; Osagie Ize-Iyamu of All Progressives Congress.

Obaseki is cruising to victory in the election after results from 17 of 18 LGAs were announced.

See Also Breaking News WATCH LIVE: Announcement Of Edo Governorship Election Results By INEC 0 Comments 3 Days Ago

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