Leadership of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) has said that the Federal Government led by Muhammadu Buhari is using bandits to create tension and fear in Igboland.
MASSOB in a press release issued by Comrade Uchenna Madu (Leader of MASSOB) while condemning coordinated attacks on civilians and security operatives in Enugu, Ebonyi and Anambra States, describe the incidents as a plan to turn Igbo land into another war zone like the North East.
The release said in parts: “These acts of criminal terrorism by the so called unknown gunmen being perpetrated in our land against government facilities, security agents and some prominent individuals are being sponsored by enemies of Ndigbo.
‘MASSOB condemns the terrorist attack against Chukwuma Soludo at Isuofia, we equally condemn the unwarranted killings of Ebonyi and Enugu state citizens by Fulani terrorist herdsmen. MASSOB condemned in totality, the breaking of Owerri prison by the so called unknown gunmen.
“Through MASSOB Intelligence Agency, we found out that all these attacks are being sponsored and executed by federal government of Nigeria through their protected militiamen called bandits and unknown gunmen. Their primary aim is to discredit non violence pro Biafra freedom fighters like MASSOB and IPOB. They want to create an erroneous impression that pro Biafra agitators have turned violent and militancy.
How can untrained amatures a with no military training overpower the entire security apparatus of Nigeria in South East? Why is it that there was no security resistance during the breaking up of owerri prisons and Imo State police headquarters in an operation that lasted more than one hour.
Nigeria military cantonment, Obinze Owerri is seven minutes drive to the scenes of the crime, Imo State MOPOL base is three minutes drive to the scenes of the crime but no resistance from security agencies.
The terrorist attacks in Owerri are part of the ongoing destructive measures by the President Muhamadu Buhari led administration to discredit and blackmail the pro Biafra organizations to create an erroneous impression that Biafrans are waging war against Nigeria. Igbo land is the most peaceful and unterrorised region.
MASSOB advised Governor Hope Uzodinma to stop heaping blames on IPOB or ESN or any other pro Biafra organization. Pro Biafra agitators are not responsible for all the terrorist activities in Igbo land. President Muhamadu Buhari and his Fulani cabals are responsible. The fulani commissioners of police and military chiefs in Igbo land are partners in these terrorist activities in Biafra land.
They will never stop until they achieve their desired aim. More destructive attacks will still come unless Southeast governors and other political, traditional and opinion leaders of Igbo land quickly convene a security meeting where critical stakeholders will put a a lasting strategy that will stop these devastative implosion coming to Biafra land.
The federal government of Nigeria led by President Muhamadu Buhari is plotting to militralised the entire Biafra land in disguise of searching for pro Biafra agitators. They are planning to intimidate and inflict fear on our people to frustrate Ndigbo from clamouring for2023 presidency’, it concluded.
The Peoples Democratic Party has said that it is yet to decide on the zone to fly its flag in the 2023 presidential election.
Last week, Governor Bala Mohammed-led Peoples Democratic Party Committee on the Review of the 2019 General Elections, had recommended that the party should throw open the contest for its 2023 Presidential ticket.
The Chairman of the committee, Governor Bala Mohammed, said, “We think that every Nigerian from every part of the country should be given the opportunity to choose the best candidate through a credible primary election as a way of institutionalising a merit-based leadership recruitment process for the country.”
In reaction, the PDP National Public Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, stated that the party has not adopted any of the recommendations issued by the Governor Bala Mohammed-led Committee.
He said, “Due to enquiries from our members and the general public, it has become imperative to clarify that PDP is yet to adopt any of the recommendations proposed by the Senator Bala Mohammed‘s Committee on the Review of the 2019 Elections.
“As such, it will be incongruous for anyone to assert that any decision has been taken by PDP on the zoning of the Presidency ahead of the 2023 general elections.
“PDP leaders, members and supporters are enjoined to note that party is yet to take any decision on the proposals presented by the committee.”
The 2019 Elections Review Committee set up by Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to assess its performance in the last general election, has urged the leadership of the party to allow interested party members vie for the 2023 Presidency, irrespective of their geo-political zones.
Chairman of the committee and governor of Bauchi state, Senator Bala Mohammed, gave the recommendation at the party’s secretariat, Abuja, while presenting the report of the committee to the National Working Committee of the PDP yesterday. The committee anchored its position on the fact that across the land, Nigeria boasts of good hands capable of bailing the country “out of her current quagmire.”
He said: “In line with certain unwritten conventions of the nation’s history, many people think that, for fairness and equity, the North-East and South-East geo-political zones that have had the shortest stints at the Presidency, should be given special consideration, in choosing the presidential flagbearer of the party, for the 2023 elections.
“While we admit that this is a strong argument, we should not lose sight of the fact that Nigeria is endowed with many capable and very experienced leaders in every part of the country. Moreover, the exigencies of the moment demand that nothing should be compromised in choosing the leader, with the attributes to disentangle the country from the present quagmire.
“Therefore, we think that every Nigerian, from every part of the country, should be given the opportunity to choose the best candidate, through a credible primary election; as a way of institutionalising a merit-based leadership recruitment process, for the country.”
The committee also called for support of ongoing electoral reforms, while urging the military to take the back seat in the conduct of future elections. “The party should actively encourage the current reform by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to make it truly independent and to be able to conduct elections devoid of the coercive apparatus of the state, underhand manipulations and outright intimidation of voters.
“The military should be insulated from the conduct of elections as their presence breeds intimidation and questions the integrity of the process. Above all, it denies some of the candidates the level playing field that is the singular barometer for ascertaining the wishes of the people. Similarly, the police should be made to be more impartial in the supervision of elections.
“The endemic frictions in inter-governmental relations, especially between the states and the federal government, suggest that the present constitutional arrangement is grossly inadequate to contend with changing democratic and demographic challenges.
“Our party must, therefore, push for either a review and endorsement of the 2014 constitutional conference report or for a new constitutional conference to be organised.
‘’In short, the party should advocate genuine restructuring that fosters decentralisation, engenders national unity, guarantees security of lives and properties of all Nigerians no matter where they reside in the country and which promotes economic prosperity and the overall well-being of all our people.’’
To make progress, particularly with 2023 in sight, the Bala Mohammed-led committee urged the leadership of the PDP to promote practices that will deepen democracy, promote national unity and inspire greater faith in our country, especially, among the youth and the several stakeholder groups yearning for inclusion,” the reported stressed.
It also made case for youths and women inclusiveness in governance model of the PDP going forward.
“Cognisant of the generational and gender shifts all over the globe and the emergence of a new generation of Nigerians who are not held down by religion, ethnicity or such other primordial considerations but who are determined to mainstream the country into global best practices; the party should set aside, a certain percentage of elective and appointive offices, for the youth and women.
“The EndSARS movement, a few months back, was the testimony we needed, that a new generation of young, bold, ambitious and detribalized Nigerians have taken centre-stage and that their legitimate clamour for inclusion and good governance can only be ignored to the peril of the party and indeed Nigeria,” the committee emphasized.
In his keynote address, national chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, thanked the committee for a job well done. He said: “The committee was set up to look back and find out how we fared in 2019 and why we got the outcome. Your terms of reference said it all that, ‘to among others identify the remote and immediate causes responsible for the loss of the 2019 presidential election.
“The National Working Committee monitored diligently your committee performance, how you embarked on wide range consultations with critical stakeholders of our party particularly founding fathers and also your involvement of consultants and other technical hands.
“I have no doubt in my mind that your report will form the bedrock of our party’s plan ahead of 2023 general elections. The NWC is going to study and analyze your report meticulously and come up with a position that will be beneficial to the party.
“The PDP is leaving no stone unturned to ensure it regains federal power and this report is going to be the take off point and keystone to our subsequent actions ahead of 2023.”
He urged President Muhammadu Buhari “to embark on immediate electoral reform that will ensure free, fair and transparent elections in the country and put Nigeria in parity with other developed democracies in the world.
“Relying on the recommendations of this report, the NWC will work with think tanks, consultants and all critical stakeholders of our great party to enhance the new PDP narratives that will help address the yawning absence of leadership in the country.
“We will continue to build the party along the line of the recommendations with a view to cultivating wide support base with utmost urgency towards 2023.”
The event was attended by top party chieftains including Chief Tom Ikimi, Tanimu Turaki, Adolphus Wabara, Bukola Saraki, Ike Ekweremadu, Enyinnaya Abaribe, Dino Melaye, Stella Omu among others.
By Castor Bamidele, Hauwa Hassan, Kalu Amadi, Vera Idowu, March 15, 2021
▪️60% Slash in Salaries & Allowances of all Political Office Holders from President to Councilors from Day One in office.
▪️#EndSARS transformed from social protest to political party youths arm, No cash donations, only campaign materials!
▪️Party Candidates to be directly chosen by Electorates of Wards, House of Assembly/NASS Constituencies & handed to party.
A global, pan-Nigerian political movement, Nigeria Cannot Continue Like This (NCC-LIT), which pledges to take Nigeria from her present multi-dimensional challenges to her finest hour in nation building, is set to roll out its agenda for taking over power through the ballot from the ruling APC and PDP come 2023.
NCC-LIT (pronounced NCC-LIGHT) is said to be formed by concerned and determined progressives from all political parties, eminent social-political right campaigners in Nigeria and Diaspora, civil society organizations, professional bodies and critical intelligentsia from the six geopolitical zones.
The group anchors its confidence for victory of its future political party on a new political ideology called “Resident Democracy,” a unique doctrine of democracy never before seen or heard of in Nigeria or the African continent.
During a pre-press chat in Abuja with the movement’s Global Coordinator, Evang. Comrade Tony Akeni, a social rights crusader and veteran journalist of more than 35 years standing, the coordinator told fellow journalists that the open governance blueprint of NCC-LIT’s Resident Democracy is the most humble service compact, sacrificial and practical political ideology ever presented to Nigerians of any generation or since recorded history of the African continent began.
According to Comrade Tony, “NCC-LIT’s Resident Democracy manifesto is consciously designed to ransform politics in Nigeria from a nation draining enterprise by a privileged few to a low paying, nation building sacrificial service to the people for the supreme benefits of the citizens.
He explained, “With the support of Nigerians, soon after our expected comprehensive victory at the 2023 polls, our political party shall expeditiously proceed to cut down the total salaries and allowances of political office holders, from the President to councillors, down to only 40% of what elected and appointed political office holders currently receive throughout the federation, leaving enormous whales of funds for infrastructure, education and other service developments. And this shall be from day one in office without any of the usual fanciful excuses of insincere political leaders!” the evangelist-politician asserted.
If actualized, the new way of thinking by NCC-LIT would actually be capturing one of the cardinal reform demands of the #EndSARS campaign of October last year, which was for government to cut down on cost of governance in the country.
Expatiating on this, the movement’s coordinator explained: “We shall leave no-one in doubt as to our earnestness, moral will and political punctuality in implementing this component of the Resident Democracy manifesto of our party. We shall begin the policy which we call the Great Gash from day one in office.
We asked how his party would go about it.
“This is how,” he answered. “While campaigning to the electorates of Nigeria from state to state, all the emolument data, statistics and logistics for implementing to the letter the 60% slash of politicians’ remunerations shall be consolidated in justiceable affidavits sworn to by our political party candidates in the highest courts of Nigeria in every state and the magistrate courts of the local government areas where we campaign.
“This is so that from day one in office as Nigeria’s ruling political party from May 29 or June 12, 2023, the Great Gash goes into immediate effect without let or hindrance, without excuse or deferment and so that the compact with the electorates can be justiceable; so that the electorate can sue or do even worse than that knowing the law is completely on their side. That is how honest, earnest and thoroughly transparent we intend to be and will be.”
Another interesting feature of NCC-LIT’s espoused Resident Democracy ideology is its avowed ethical mode and compact of picking its party aspirants and candidates for elections through the people themselves instead of the party.
How Resident Democracy works
The evangelist-politician explained: “Throughout the country it shall be the electorates or constituents of each council ward, state constituency, federal constituency and senatorial district who shall themselves choose in open town hall elections or village square their best character and values determined candidates for council, House of Assembly, House of Reps and Senate. Once transparently chosen, the ward or constituency hands over such candidates to the future political party of NCC-LIT and such candidates, backed by court-sworn affidavit of the people’s consensus, automatically become the candidates of our party.
He went on, “All such candidates shall obtain party candidate forms at zero fee. Of course, on election day, the electorates would naturally rise to resolutely defend their votes, candidates and mandates, with matching support from our party’s national structure.”
The movement’s coordinator revealed that another outstanding achievement of the group towards mobilizing Nigerians for the 2023 elections is its successful amalgamation and consolidation of the peaceful #EndSARS campaign fronts of many states of the federation to form the Age 18 to 45 special youths arm of NCC-LIT. This arm of NCC-LIT, according to him, is named #ENDSARS METAMORPHOSIS (ESM), describing the transforming of the social protest movement into a political organ of NCC-LIT which, according to the coordinator, now goes by the departmental slogan “One Nation, One Mission for Leadership Change 2023.
The NCC-LIT official says it has mobilized and enrolled the #EndSARS youths of 22 states to date as partners of the NCC-LIT political mission by convincing them to eschew all forms of peace disrupting activity to metamorphose instead to political party activism.
“This is one of NCC-LIT’s landmark achievements since January this year,” Comrade Tony explained. “More states of the previously anomalous #EndSARS campaign are queueing now to join the structured, strategically organized youth wing of NCC-LIT.”
He continues, “#EndSARS’ fusion into NCC-LIT has since quickly proved to be an added turbo for the promising victory of the Nigeria people at last come 2023.
We asked, “What is the energy level and sense of being at home integration and harmony from the #EndSARS fronts since they became one with NCC-LIT?”
“Perfect! They appreciate that their amalgamation with NCC-LIT at this material hour of Nigeria’s history is a poetic turning-point. It promises attainment of their lawful, patriotic and constitutionally supported demands for a better Nigeria. Every unlazy youth coming on board is excited by the knowledge that the salient ideals of Nigeria’s amazing youth population of the #EndSARS epoch are now acutely within reach through the NCC-LIT vision and the collective victory of our collectively owned future political party in the 2023 polls.
“From us here at the NCC-LIT portals, let me use this opportunity to on behalf of the Wake Up Nigeria March to 2023 invite all law abiding, justice and freedom loving protesters of the #EndSARS epoch to our door. NCC-LIT’s door is wide open for all development loving #EndSARS protesters in Nigeria, Africa and every continent of the world wherever Nigerians live to become part and parcel of NCC-LIT’s #EndSARS Metamorphosis.”
The coordinator of the group was down to earth. “It is thin and patchy for now but it will get better. Big things always start small.” Then he revealed something stunning and rare in politics. He said that to demonstrate the integrity of NCC-LIT to the world, the #EndSARS activists and supporters desiring to join the movement, NCC-LIT has a strict policy in place that supporters of the movement and #EndSARS Metamorphosis shall not donate cash to the movement but only finished campaign materials produced by the donors themselves or graphic experts of the secretariat!
Comrade Tony Akeni gave this explanation: “We want donors of the NCC-LIT liberation struggle to be rest assured that no-one is going away to enrich himself with their hard-earned money. So, they either pay by themselves and send finished specified campaign materials to our secretariat or get their proxies to print, produce and supply to our offices nearest to them, or pay directly for billboards, radio and TV space for the freedom movement. The policy will also help to shut the gate to scams by potential impersonators.”
Threats of Security Agencies
The comrade-evangelist did not mince words when we asked if the country’s security agencies might not misunderstand the motives behind unification of the #EndSARS campaign with NCC-LIT, stating: “For identifying with Nigeria’s long suffering youths which governments of the two ruling political parties at various levels have refused to do for decades, I’m available for arrest, questioning, torture and torment of their worst operatives. This is because the integrity, purity and divinity of our motives in identifying with the lawful and righteous yearnings of Nigeria’s politically and social-economically violated youths is firm, unnegotiable and irreversible. History will vindicate me and members of NCC-LIT in the end. So from me, it’s bring it on. You can take my message to the unconscionable elements of Nigeria’s miseducated security agencies who allow themselves to be misapplied by the reactionary government in Abuja. Also convey my word to both of them, masters and agents, that like all their predecessors, they have expiring dates in the offices they presently occupy, as well as their tenancy here on God’s earth.”
The activist asked rhetorically, “Where is Babangida today? Where are Abacha and the killer squads who once lapped murderous and godless orders from their desks in years gone by, all for a mess of Satan’s porridge and five minutes’ fame with black goggles as national security Amicha Bachan?”
We reminded the evangelist-activist that several seemingly potent presidential aspirants, political movements and party mergers have began to spring up in various parts of the country, each with their eyes fixed on 2023. How did NCC-LIT compare its chances and relate with them, especially the moneybags among them who pilot trailer sacks of gold for compromising the perenianially available and commercialized majority of Nigeria’s voting masses and small political parties who are easily bought over in the horse-trading season?
Again he replied without hesitation: “Those political parties and movements who are ready to make genuine sacrifices to save Nigeria, to enthrone good governance instead of another set of vampire successors to the present occupants of Aso Villa and state houses of the federation, those who are committed to doing things differently for epic results for our country to get out of the gulf of calamities we are in are the ones we care about. We have no remedy for those hankering after and positioning themselves for negotiation, seasonal bribes, buy-over and temporary anaesthesia of the their sorrows by forces of treasury pillage and ruin.
“From our name Nigeria Can’t Continue Like This (NCC-LIT), it must be obvious to you that our movement has no place for drivers of merger bandwagons waiting to be settled from trailer sacks of gold, to use your words. Those running after rogues and robbers of the Nigerian nation to come and bribe them into oblivion have no place in our table. In any case, to becalm your temperature, I assure you that NCC-LIT is seeing and keenly watching them.”
We enquired, “How will you differentiate the genuine merger patriots from those who are matching to trade out their followers and the country as their endgame?
“It is easy using a simple NCC-LIT parameter. Throughout the world today, the salient ideals of Resident Democracy is the No. 1 governance transparency model, a zenith brand of democracy which was invented right here in Nigeria. Resident Democracy is NCC-LIT’S political DNA test kit. Those political parties whose leadership are committed to sterling sacrifices towards building a brand new Nigeria of amazing prosperity and First World potentials for peace, security and happiness for it’s citizens will come rejoicing to join the NCC-LIT political canopy when we get to the crossroads of 2023. Those out to trade their followers with status quo overlords of the present system for a moment of bliss in the Fools Paradise of the Corruption Empire of Nigeria will go to other canopies. For us as thoroughbred patriots, we can’t wait to see the backs of such political party wolves and movements. They are free to go and roam between the camps of Sodom and Gomorrah as they are used to doing since 1999. Roaming back and forth between the kitchens of APC and PDP hoping to take over some day for their turns to ‘chop.’
“We also know that there are movements of similar doctrines besides APC and PDP. They are all out there as well as surrogate mergers of the APC and PDP at both the national level and in the states. Sooner or later they will begin setting up canopies all over the place for their own mergers of vultures as we inch towards 2023. It is their choice.”
NCC-LIT’s Action Agenda forward
On the agenda of the movement’s political activities, the social crusader and political reformer stated that this media chat was a precursor to a major world press conference among many others, the first of which would unveil an exciting list of the group’s activities between 2021 and 2022. He gave us a glimpse of these to include the merger of like-minded political parties and movements across Nigeria and the Diaspora, advocacy agenda for credible Diaspora voting backed by verifiable cutting-edge electronic voting technology and a civil society driven musterpoint for constitutional and Electoral Act amendments towards truly free, fair and credible elections in 2023.
774 Days to Nigeria’s Freedom
In conclusion Comrade Tony Akeni called on Nigerians to join Nigeria Cannot Continue Like This movement to lift the unique ideals of its Resident Democracy manifesto to liberate Nigeria from her myriad social-economic hardship from what he described as “grim and gruesome leadership failure.”
He appealed that in doing so, Nigerians must maintain a high sense of patriotism and forbearance, avoid acts of inter-ethnic hate, prejudice and conflagrations. He called for citizens to maintain law and order in spite of the many daily provocations of economic hardship in all parts of the country.
“The days of Nigerians’ agonies from misrule and leadership disaster are known and numbered,” he enthused. “From today the Ides of March, March 15, 2021, it is only 774 days to freedom at last, one day representing each council area of our Republic. If all or the critical majority of Nigerians vote into leadership the future political party of NCC-LIT, our hell and nightmares are as good as over.
“Together, as we approach 2022 and well before 2023, let all #EndSARS protesters and bad governance detesters of our great country bond and bind together to put behind us at last the horrific misrule and numberless calamities of APC and PDP for good.
“It is perfectly possible. And it is actually only 774 days from today. Join the soon to emerge political party of Nigeria Cannot Continue Like This (NCC-LIT) to accomplish this task.”
“Till then,” the crusader concluded, “let every Nigerian under the sun, at home and abroad, hold up his and her end of the sky. Tough and tormenting as the economic hardship and scorge of misrule may be, everyone must keep the peace, keep the law, violate no government, public or private structure but preserve all public infrastructure. Together they are part of the commonwealth of our country.
“Be one another’s keeper, irrespective of tribe, religion, gender and place of abode, within and outside Nigeria. Through the vehicle of NCC-LIT, freedom is coming through.
Amidst growing speculations that former President Goodluck Jonathan might dump the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, the latter has squashed all conjectures by reaffirming his loyalty to the PDP, declaring that he is still a member of the PDP, describing the party “as a friend that carries people along.”
Jonathan was speaking at the supreme court victory/ thanksgiving service of Bayelsa State Governor Senator Douye Diri, held at the State Ecumenical Centre, Yenagoa, weekend.
His words: “PDP has been a very friendly party, I am a member of PDP and I know from the beginning till today, it has been a very friendly party, PDP is a party that carries everybody along and we should extend that at Bayelsa State level, that starts it in Bayelsa State so that all those who are in the political process so that at the end of any political contestation for the governorship or any other office, let us work together for the interest of our people.”
The former President advised politicians to reconcile their differences and work together after every political contest and shun politics of bitterness and acrimony, adding that elections should be seen as a political contest and not a civil war.
His words: “If we must change, if we must develop then those of us who are contesting for political leadership must know that politics is not war, it’s not a military coup that at the end of the day, we must all come to support whoever that is there so that we can move our state forward and this nation forward.”
Speaking further, Jonathan said: “Those of us who are in politics we should learn to play politics as politics and not as a war, at the end of every political process let all of us come together and support whoever by divine providence God has made to be there.
“In Nigeria what we know especially at the national level is a change of government through coups. And at the end of that coup whether the coup succeeds or not both parties live as enemies. Sometimes they stay as enemies till they die.
“But our democratic process is recognised by law. So we the modern-day politicians should not begin to practice democracy and contestation to power as if we are organizing a coup. At the end of the political process, we expect that both parties should come together and the winner carries everybody along and leaders that contested the election must know that it was a political process known by law and whoever wins we agree that God gave him that position.
“I want to thank our governor for opening his hands and welcoming every citizen of Bayelsa state irrespective of the political divide.
Immediately you win an election you become the governor of everybody and you can’t be governor of only the party you belong.
“There is nothing wrong with a governor or President picking somebody from another party and making him commissioner or minister or any other office in government. At the end of a process whoever emerges serves everybody.”
A chieftain of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), Senator Abubakar Geiri, says the party has zoned the 2023 presidency to the South-South.
Geri, Chairman, APC Registration and Revalidation Panel for Akwa Ibom State, made this known on Sunday during the kick-off of the registration and revalidation exercise in Uyo, the state capital.
According to Geiri, said President Muhammadu Buhari and the Caretaker Chairman of the party, and Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni were aware of the decision.
Geiri, represented by the Secretary of the Panel, Hon. Sheriff Banki, called on the south-south wing of the party particularly the youths and the women to mobilize themselves and register for taking over in the 2023 election.
He said: “In 2023, the presidency is coming back to the South, I am not saying this by myself, I have the authority of Mr President, I have the authority of the national chairman of the party to tell you that the presidency is coming back to the South. So, with this, the ball is now in your court.
“I am sure that very soon all of this mushroom party would also copy us and say their presidency would also come to the South. So, you can see, if you don’t come out en masse to register for APC our candidate may still not win. So, come out and register and vote for APC in all the elections that are coming.
“We are particularly calling on the youths and women to out in en masse and own this party because we have almost done our own, we are on our way out and we want our sons and daughters to come and take over from us.”
He commended the Akwa Ibom state chapter of the party for taking the revalidation seriously by turning up for the exercise en masse.
Geiri said the exercise has witnessed a large turnout in less than four days of its commencement across the country which has also led to the exhaustion of registration documents.
He added that before Wednesday, registration documents would be supplied to all units for people to continue their revalidation.
“You have already shown clearly by coming out in en masse to register, the information that we have is that in less than four days, all the registration centres in all the units have almost all exhausted their registration documents.
“If you go to register and they tell you that the forms have finished, don’t worry, more are coming from now till Wednesday, everybody will have the opportunity to register from his own unit and this the foundation for APC to take over Akwa Ibom come 2023,” he said.
Renowned Pharmacist, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, has declared interest to run for the office of the President of Nigeria in 2023, saying that every Nigerian who wants peace and unity must support power shift to the South-East.
According to Ohuabunwa, he would ensure equity, justice and fairness in all his dealings as the president of Nigeria, which will create equal citizenship rights, where there will be “no special privileges and sacred cows”.
Ohuabunwa, who made the declaration in Enugu, promised to tackle poverty which he said would largely solve the problem of corruption, pledging also “to remove all forms of discrimination or marginalization”, insisting that under his watch “no criminal will go“ free and no innocent person will be criminalized.
”He lamented that “the country is being run in opaque manner” and needs to be redirected for the good of all.
Ohuabunwa, who is the convener of ‘The New Nigeria Group’ , observed that the Government as presently constituted “is so lopsided and Nigeria cannot work like that.
On the issue of powershift to the South-East, the presidential aspirant said: “Every Nigerian who wants unity must support power shift” pointing out that “Igbo Presidency will stop Biafra agitation; Biafrans asks for equity, fairness and freedom. Even other agitations will stop. Igbo are for justice and equity.“
“We are not coming with anger and recrimination, but with equity; we need to come out and make Nigeria work. God has put it to my heart to come and contest for the office of the president of Nigeria.
“I am making myself available; it must not be me, but an Igbo of character. Ndigbo must present their best. God has given me the motivation and what it takes to lead Nigeria to get a country that works for everybody. It is not about the South-East, it is about Nigeria”, Ohuabunwa said.
It will be foolhardy to discountenance the influence of the entire South-Easterners ahead of the 2023 presidential election says PDP chieftain, Dr Emeka Kalu.
Kalu, who is the National Coordinator of PDP Coalition stated this following the backdrop of some PDP leaders agitating for the presidency to zoned to the North in 2023.
Reacting to what has become a hot political debate, Kalu in a statement warned that PDP may misfire if they underrate the Igbos who stood by the party since 1999 and gave her close to 7million votes across the nation in 2019 Presidential election.
He said “The leadership of PDP should not underrate or neglect the South-East in the decision making of the party with regards to zoning of party’s presidential ticket.”
“The South- East has sacrificed tremendously for the wellbeing, survival, growth and development of the party. They shouldn’t be underrated in 2023. The aspect of zoning the presidential ticket should be thoroughly debated by all and unanimously agreed on to please all and sundry.”
“The South-East contributed to the formation of the PDP through Dr. Alex Ekwueme, Ezeogo Anaga Ezikpe and Orji Uzor Kalu. Prince Vincent Ogbulafor was National Secretary and Chairman when the party controlled 24 and 30 states respectively. Late Ojo Maduekwe was National Secretary when the party won in 28 states and so, it’ll be irresponsible to underrate the same people who led the party effectively.”
A political thinker posited that politics is a concentric circle of conspiracies. It is such a conspiratorial game that while statesmen worry about development to cater for the present and coming generations, politicians are busy scheming how to retain power, return to power, or gain power.
Nigerian politicians could pass as the worst hue to be found anywhere. They bend the rules and violate the laws with impunity just to attain this stated private objectives.
For about a year now, the name of the former President of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, has been popping up here and there whenever the successor of the incumbent, President Muhammadu Buhari, is being discussed. Some say it is in the best interest of the North to hand power back to Jonathan and take it back in 4 years in line with principle of rotation of presidential power ruling the current democratic dispensation.
This argument is tenable since Jonathan is statutorily barred from contesting more than one term if he becomes the President of Nigeria in 2023. Some also say that the push for the return of Jonathan is to put a wedge to the aspiration of the South East to produce the nation’s next President. The proponents of this school of thought believe the Hausa-Fulani who hold the aces now are still weary of supporting an Igbo man to become the President of Nigerian. The reason often given is just the civil war and the issues that led to it, and the lingering bitterness and unpreparedness to forgive and let go on both sides.
The poppers of Jonathan in this regard think the former President should be able to take the wind off the sail of the South East agitation for the office of the President, and get the zone to join his Presidency one more time instead and dump their aspiration even if it means doing so grudgingly.
For a fact, South East was the backbone of the Goodluck Jonathan Presidency and supported his re-election with over 85% of their votes in the 2015 Presidential Election and has continued to suffer marginalization and exclusion as a consequence and got branded 5% voters of the Buhari Presidency. The calculation of those angling for the return of Jonathan is that it is only him that can pull the rug off the feet of the push for Nigerian President of South East extraction and offer the Igbo man a sort of dream deferred.
This permutation aims to kill two birds with one stone: stopping the South East and getting power to stay in the South in this season for just one term. It would have been a masterstroke were it not for the eligibility question hanging over Goodluck Jonathan in contesting the 2023 Presidential Election.
Apart from the morality of becoming the major obstacle to the South East aspiration (ordinarily, the South East is counting on the solid support of the South South which they gave their all) there are serious legal issues surrounding the qualification or rather the eligibility of Jonathan to contest the office of the President. (He is however qualified to contest for any other office in the land, ranging from Councilor to Vice President.)
The law in question is: “The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (4th Alteration No 16) Act, 2017)”. This new constitutional amendment may have been contemplated following the rancor occasioned by the same Jonathan contesting the 2015 Presidential Election. Recall that the Northern segment of the country believed Jonathan was not qualified based on rotation of presidential power between North and South Nigeria and power ought to have shifted North in that season. There was also a gentlemanly agreement, which was reached with him (Jonathan) to go for only one term before he contested the 2011 Presidential Election. He reneged to inspire a groundswell of the behemoth opposition – the APC – that swept him from power.
In law, express mention of one thing is said to be an express exclusion of another. The constitutional amendment assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari on 4th June, 2018, does not permit former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to contest in 2023 unless repealed. The extant section barring Jonathan states in its explanatory note…”The act alters the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to disqualify a person who was sworn in as President or Governor to complete the term of an elected President or Governor from being elected to the same office for more than a single term.”
To give effect to the disqualification of any person who has been sworn-in to complete the term of a President or a Governor from contesting more than one term, sections 137 and 182 of the 1999 Constitution were amended to ensure same.
Then the question: is Dr. Goodluck Jonathan qualified to contest the 2023 Presidential Election? Where does this leave off Jonathan in view of his speculated return in 2023? Going by the express provisions of the said amendment on tenure, Jonathan is not qualified unless this extant law, which is now deemed a constitutional provision, is repealed and set aside.
In the light of this constitutional provision barring Dr. Goodluck Jonathan from contesting in 2023, those prompting him to throw his hat into the ring are either ignorant of this law or are being mischievous. Yes, mischievous in the sense that they would want to ridicule the statesman and cause bad blood between the South East and the South South whose relationship has been waxing cozy since the present dispensation.
In the light of this too, Dr. Jonathan should be advised to be guided by the quoted law and distance himself from the whispering clamor for his return in 2023. As alluring as it may appear, he should know that those who spearheaded that new law are the same vanguard now asking him to contest.
As a patriot and statesman who handed over power when he had reasons not to, rightly or wrongly, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan should help the rotation of presidential power to the South East. He ought to be in the vanguard for Nigerian President of South East extraction in reciprocation of their unalloyed support for the Jonathan Presidency. Even yours sincerely is a Jonathanian and was in the trenches for him in 2015. One good turn, they say, deserves another.
Dr. Law Mefor, a Forensic/Social Psychologist and Journalist, writes from Abuja. Tel.: +234- 905 642 4375 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; follow me on tweeter:@LawMefor1