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Posts tagged ‘Elections’

Sarah Palin: No ‘Victory Lap’ Over Ukraine Prediction.


Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said Friday that she is not doing a “victory lap” after triumphing over news reports that attacked her during the 2008 presidential campaign for predicting that Russian President Vladimir Putin would invade Ukraine if Barack Obama won the White House.

“There was a lot of pooh-poohing on a lot of things I said — and that wasn’t the only thing I was right about,” she told Greta Van Susteren on her Fox News program. “No victory lap, because I’d be interrupting them.

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“You don’t interrupt somebody when they’re in the process of destroying their own credibility,” she added. “That’s the media.”

Story continues below video.

Palin last week noted the press pounding she took for her Ukraine prediction on her Facebook page.

“Yes, I could see this one from Alaska,” Palin said on Facebook, noting that she said “told-ya-so” in the case of her “accurate prediction being derided as ‘an extremely far-fetched scenario’ by the ‘high-brow’ Foreign Policy magazine.

Palin, the GOP vice presidential candidate that year, will keynote the Conservative Political Action Conference in suburban Washington on Saturday.

She told Van Susteren that she planned to tell attendees that Republicans had “every reason to be optimistic” about this fall’s congressional elections because “there’s been a great awakening in America.

“People are finding out that Obamacare is very bad for our economy — for our businesses and for our families. The problems of Obamacare are being manifested at their own dinner tables, in their pocketbooks — and people are saying: ‘No. Enough is enough of this.'”

But Palin cautioned: “We’d better not let the establishment — those that go along to get along, with Obama in this case — we can’t let them dictate what the issues are and what the message is, even who the candidates are.”

The former governor reiterated her longstanding call for the repeal of President Obama’s signature domestic legislative achievement and praised Sen. Ted Cruz and others who continued to push for ending the healthcare law.

“It needs to be killed now,” she said. “Most of these politicians in office today had promised that they would do that.

“Yet, when they had the opportunity to defund Obamacare, using the tools that the Constitution provides them with and the power of the purse, they balked,” Palin added. “It was Ted Cruz and just a few of them who stood strong on what they had at their fingertips to defund it.”

Cruz, the first-term Texas senator who is backed by the tea party, spoke against Obamacare for 21 hours and 19 minutes on the Senate floor in September.

While noting that Cruz and Kentucky GOP Sen. Rand Paul — who also has tea party support — are at the “top of my list” as 2016 candidates for the presidency, Palin said that she was not endorsing anyone at this point.

“I appreciate those who have fought for America,” she said in naming the senators. “It doesn’t have to be someone who has a title today, in office today.

“In fact, some would say that we need to stay clear of those who have followed a conventional political path. Maybe they’re part of the problem.

“There are businessmen and women out there,” Palin added. “There are strong family men and women who understand what it is that makes America exceptional and they want to protect that. They want to get back to that.

“Maybe someone like that will rise and be the candidate for 2016. Maybe that’s what we need.”

She declined to say whether she might join the 2016 fray, too.

“It sounds cliché, but you never say ‘never.’ At this point in time, I don’t have any of kind organization going. I’ll never say ‘never.’

“It depends on what Americans really, really want in a candidate,” Palin added. “If they want a fighter, if they want someone who can respect our exceptionalism — everything that makes America great, the promise of America — if they don’t find that, I would run.

“But I do think that there are so many Americans who feel like I feel — and they are capable. They’re willing and able to serve,” she said.

“They’re public servants. They’re willing and able to serve and to lead this country, so it doesn’t have to be me.”

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By Todd Beamon

As We Await Jega’s Imperfect Elections In 2015 – By Peter Claver Oparah.


By Peter Claver Oparah

I don’t know what was probably on the mind of Attahiru Jega, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) recently when he warned Nigerians not to expect a perfect election from his INEC in 2015. I am yet to fathom what message he wanted to send by that apparent admittance of failure before he sets out to deliver what Nigerians have rightly termed a crucial election that will make or mar the fragile country. It is not as if most Nigerian expected a perfect election; not from INEC and most certainly, not from Jega’s INEC that delivered an untidy farce in 2011 and had been delivering more egregious parodies in states it had conducted elections since that sordid show in 2011. Perhaps the high point of Jega’s incapacity to conduct elections in Nigeria was the November 16, 2013 tragedy in Anambra State which merely worked from an answer to a pre-determined question. The nationwide condemnation trailing that anti-climactic election jolted Jega, first to admit the infractions that besmirched the so called election while curiously approving the outcome (as is traditional with his questionable objectivity) and now, to seek to prepare us for the worst in 2015.
Yes, Jega wants to lower the high expectations Nigerians have built for a credible election in 2015.  Yes, he wants to pre-offload the seeming massive umbrage that awaits him should he play a predictable script of mismanaging the 2015 election to favour those that tele-guide him on the job. Yes, Jega was creating a convenient alibi for the predicted failure his INEC plans to shock Nigerians with in 2015 but I don’t think we should allow him such a cheeky escape route. Come to think of it, when did Jega wake up to the reality that his INEC cannot deliver a perfect election after he reveled in the syndicated applause that attended his abhorrent conduct in 2011? When did he wake up to realize that indeed, his INEC, with its present composition and carriage cannot be trusted to deliver an election that will even compete within the regional standard obtainable in West Africa? I ask the last question because Nigerians, I know, will certainly hail Jega and swathe him in flamboyant allure should he deliver an election that nears the standard obtainable in Ghana or even Benin Republic.

After his appointment, Jega was to embark on an expensive voter registration exercise that involved the capturing of the personal data of eligible Nigerian voters. From its face value, that looked a sure bet towards dealing with the virus of multiple thumb printing, which riles the country’s electoral process. It also stood to verify the authenticity of declared results for whenever the thumb printed votes come in contact with the captured data of voters, there is bound to be a scientific filtering to separate the actual votes from the fake votes. What should shock Nigerians was the first observation from curious Nigerians that there was no central server to store the cumulative data captured all over the country. That meant there was no base for the expensive data Jega captured at every polling booth in Nigeria. Also the deliberate manipulation of the voters’ register, as seen in the elections in Ondo, Anambra and Delta Central Senatorial constituency points to the fact that the data that were collated has been seriously compromised and cannot be trusted to form the cornerstone of credible election in Nigeria. Again, there was no known relationship between the data captured and the votes cast. On election day, one needs to present merely his temporary voters card for possible identification and nothing more. What really was the essence of the thumb print that was central to the voters’ registration? With this lacuna, desperate politicians were to corner all the ballot papers and in some cases, one person thumb printed as much as twenty booklets and all were accounted as real votes in the 2011 sham of an election. This was the magic behind the history-breaking 90 to 99 per cent votes the PDP appropriated in the South East and South South States in 2011.

Jega is being clearly mischievous by his latest warning to Nigerians not to expect a perfect election in 2015 and every Nigerian must tell him in unmistakable terms that we expect nothing more than a perfect election from him. If he cannot deliver, let him quit in time for the country to have for herself an election umpire that is ready to claim responsibility for his actions. Yes, let it be clear and candid that we will not accept any more of Jega’s farces again. I can attest that Jega’s INEC cannot conduct a credible election because Jega is too indebted to those that appointed him than disappoint their schemes to corner every election in Nigeria by hook or crook.

It has been the mantra of those that support the entrenchment of fraudulent elections in Nigeria to argue that there can no prefect election. Again, they freely charge that election losers in Nigeria can never accept defeat. These positions have been proven false by the conduct, outcome and reactions that trailed the June 12 1993 presidential election. Truth is Nigerians know a credible election when they see one and whenever it occurs, even losers will accept the outcome. Perfectness is a relative word and that elections are deemed perfect does not mean it is free from error. Nigerians know this and when they demand a perfect election, they want an election with minimal errors and not one that is deliberately schemed as a farce. A bigger truth is that apart from the 1993 presidential election, all other elections held in Nigeria have been mere concoctions put in place to dupe the electorates and further the ends of corruption and bad governance.

As it is now, Jega’s INEC is fully packed with leading PDP members. The rest are mere nominees of the PDP and President Jonathan. One wonders how a credible election can happen with the upper deck of INEC populated by members of a political party that had sworn to retain power till eternity through every available means. The process and procedures of elections are mere malleable tools at the hands of the PDP to arrive at pre-ordained ends. No foundation for credible election is built on such partial foundation and that is one of the burdens Jega carries and why Nigerian elections remain perpetually shambled with deliberately erected bulwarks stalking it at every end.

But this country has a well thought out report on electoral reform, as recommended by the Justice Mohammed Uwais Electoral Reform Panel. The panel is comprehensive enough as to remove most of the bulwarks that stand between Nigerians and credible election in its report. For understandable reasons, the ruling PDP sabotaged the report because while it stands to guarantee a free, independent and credible electoral organ and process, it threatens the plot by the PDP for perpetual fiefdom. The party rather prefers a system where we wobble through highly manipulated elections, executed according to its wills and by people of questionable integrity and party mercenaries. It rather prefers a situation where it enters the game both as a player and referee. It is within this pliable template that we locate Jega, his shoddy conducts so far and his frustration that gave vent to the recent warning. The question every Nigerian, especially the opposition must ask is whether we must continue to endure the process that threw up Jega and makes room for all his failures and still threaten us with future failures?

Methinks every Nigerian must rise up and tell Jega that we expect him to conduct a credible election in 2015 or find the exit door, if he feels he cannot guarantee that. We have collectively borne the brunt of fraudulent elections far too long that we cannot put up with another deliberately fabricated ruse in 2015. In fact, he should muster the courage and tact to steer off the way so as to enable the country address its electoral woes by strictly applying the Uwais Electoral Reform Panel Report. This must be made clear to Jega and the opposition should ensure that Jega is perpetually kept on his toes so as not to once again, dump another electoral charade on the country’s doorstep in 2015.

Peter Claver Oparah
Ikeja, Lagos.

E-mail: peterclaver2000@yahoo.com

 

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

Nigeria was born deformed 100 years ago and has died long before, says Bakare.


bakare 2

PM NEWS LAGOS – The General Overseer of Nigeria’s Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare, has said that the country called Nigeria was born deformed 100 years ago, adding that it died when Major General Aguiyi Ironsi abolished the regions in 1966.
The convener of the Save Nigeria Group, SNG, said this while speaking on the topic: “Birthing A New Nigeria Without Complications” during a live programme on Eko FM 89.75, on Tuesday, and monitored on the SNG’s twitter handle @savenigeria. Bakare added that the “Federal Republic of Nigeria” is a lie.
He said with the way the Nigerian is currently structured, we can never produce the Nigeria of our dreams.
“If we are going to become a united nation, we need to sit down and renegotiate our destiny. The foundation of our problem is that the British ensured that for 46 years there was little interaction between the North and the South. The British ensured that the military was basically north. Where ever there is economic interest you will see military. The British were here for the economic interest
“The January 1 1914 amalgamation was merely administrative. The amalgamation of the judiciary was in 1916 and that was of the legislature was in 1947. Awo and Zik were nationalists, they set up AG and NCNC but the northern parties were given northern identities. Nigeria died a long time ago when Major General Aguiyi Ironsi abolished the regions
“The “Federal” Republic of Nigeria is a lie. This baby (Nigeria) was already born deformed. The way the Nigerian government is currently structured can never produce the Nigeria of our dreams. If we don’t restructure and have a people’s constitution, we are deceiving ourselves. Elections cannot produce it. We must not put the cart before the horse,” he warned.
Bakare wondered if there are still people in this nation capable of birthing the new Nigeria.
“George Washington refused salary as president but Nigerian politicians go into elections to make money. But there are people who will put the nation first. I am a beneficiary of Awolowo’s free education policy”
“Don’t trust anyone who has never been tested with power. The way we are going, America is beating the drum that there will not be a Nigeria by 2015 and we are dancing to it. We can avert disaster by going to the negotiation table,” he said.
Speaking on the National Confab, he said,”no matter by what nomenclature the government sets up a national conference, let’s go to the negotiation table. Any constitution that will not bend will break.
“Time has come to recaliberate prayer, evangelism and social activism. There is no time better than now for Nigerians to talk. This confab must produce a new constitution. There is hope for Nigeria.”
“We have had so many low men in high places but we have had good leaders as well. Sixty five per cent of the electorate are youths and they are the ones that can actually change things. When the youth refuse to bow they will not burn
“It’s not difficult to fight corruption. First you must be incorruptible yourself. The reason I teamed up with General Buhari was his anti-corruption track record.
“Pepper thieves are sent to jail while corrupt bank executives are kept in 5-Star hospitals,” he laments.

Source: Radio Biafra.

The Gutless Eunuch And The Lion King By Femi Fani-Kayode.


By Femi Fani-Kayode

On 26th September 2011 in an article titled, ”On Goodluck Jonathan, David and Goliath” I wrote the following-

”A few days ago President Jonathan proclaimed as follows- ‘I am not David, I am not a general, I am not a lion- I will defeat the Goliaths in our land’. These are deep and instructive words yet I do wonder whether Mr. President understands the spiritual and practical implications of what he is saying.

I say this because if he says that he is not a David how can he then possibly slay the Goliaths in the land? If he says that he is not a general how can he be an effective Commander-in-Chief who commands the respect and confidence of his army and his officers? If he says that he is not a lion how can he overwhelm the animals in our jungle that seek to destroy and ravage our land?

Every king worth his salt must have the spirit of the lion and the warrior in him to a certain extent. It is a fundamental pre-qualification for good quality and inspirational leadership and that is what distinguishes the pretender and the usurper from a real king. May the spirit and weakness of the biblical King Ahab not be our President’s portion even though his words seem to have ensnared him. History proves that weak kings and weak leaders always end up pulling down and destroying their own empires and kingdoms simply because they are incapable of providing strong and decisive leadership. Always remember, whether you are a king or a subject, that courage is the greatest of all the virtues. This is wisdom. Would someone please tell our President?”

With the shooting of opposition leaders like Senator Magnus Abe and the killing of some APC youths by policemen in Port Harcourt on January 12th 2014, the attempted murder of the father of Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso and the cold blooded slaughter of some people that were with him in Kano on January 7th 2014 by people that are suspected to be agents of the Federal Government, the killing of twenty four people in Borno state by Boko Haram insurgents on January 8th 2014, the  shooting and hacking to death of 30 villagers and the burning of 40 houses by fulani gunmen in Shonong village, Plateau state on January 6th 2014, the bombing of a High Court in Port Harcourt by unknown persons a few days ago, the killing of 91 children by Boko Haram in Damatru a few months ago, the slaughter of 200 Nigerian troops by Boko Haram in Borno state a few weeks back, the massacre of 41 school children in Borno state by Boko Haram four months ago, the burning to the ground of 53 churches in Borno state by Boko Haram in 2013, the mass murder of no less than 7000 thousand Nigerians by Boko Haram in the last 3 years, the burning to the ground of an army barracks with it’s attendant slaughter of the family members of army officers and military personnel in Bama in December 2013 and the raging war that is going on in the north-eastern part of our country between Boko Haram and our military today those words and that counsel that was offered two years ago seem even more relevant now than they were even then.

I believe that the carnage that we are witnessing in our country today has come as a direct result of the manifestation of weakness at the top. When a President tells the world that Boko Haram are his ”siblings” whom he ”cannot move against”, as he did earlier this year, he is asking for trouble. When a President keeps offering Boko Haram amnesty even when they kept rejecting it and whilst they were murdering his people, as he has been doing for the last three years, he is asking for trouble. When a President installs and supports a party National Chairman, by the name of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, who describes Boko Haram as ”freedom fighters”, as he did earlier this year, he is asking for trouble.

When a President announces to the world that he is ”not a lion or a David”, as he did approximately two years ago, no-one should be surprised when his people are killed like flies before his very eyes. May God bring us a real leader that can save our nation and may He take away this one who feels no pain and has no empathy when Nigerian blood, nay even the blood of innocent children, is shed with impunity. Under the tenure of our ”lamb” President more innocent Nigerians have been slaughtered by terrorists than at any other time in the history of our country except during the civil war.

What a mess and what a record. I continue to ponder about one thing though- would the President have been so unperturbed and detached from the whole thing if the children that were killed in their school just a few weeks ago had been from his Niger Delta area. It appears to me that simply because those kids were northerners this President just ”doesn’t give a damn”. What a tragedy. Whether christian or muslim, northern or southern these are only children and they are NIGERIAN children each of whom is entitled to the full protection of the Nigerian state. I have said it before and I shall say it again, Nigeria has become an abattoir of human flesh and blood under the tenure of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and all those who support him should bury their heads in shame. The blood of all those innocent people is on his hands because he swore to an oath before God and the Nigerian people to protect them from such evil.

Permit me to make a painful observation here. I was thoroughly appalled about the fact that when our President was asked about the latest round of killings during his live ”Presidential Media Chat” programme a few months ago he not only told a lie to the world by claiming that only ”21 or 22 students were killed” at a time when the BBC and CNN had confirmed that at least 45 bodies had been found (almost 100 were to be discovered later) but he also failed to express his condolences to the families of those that had lost their loved ones. He made the same omission when he failed to commiserate with or express his condolences to the families of the 200 soldiers that were killed in Borno state a few weeks back whilst fighting Boko Haram simply because they ran out of bullets during the course of the battle.

By way of contrast not only was he quick to offer his condolences to the government and people of Kenya for the terrible carnage that was inflicted on them by Al Shabab just one day before when 68 people were killed at a Nairobi shopping mall but he was also quick to offer the Kenyan government military assistance.  I guess that to him Nigerian blood is not as expensive or as important as foreign blood.

If President Uhuru Kenyatta ever decides to accept his offer let us hope that our President will provide enough bullets and ammunition to the soldiers that he will send. Our boys are deeply courageous fighters and they certainly deserve that much. They also deserve to have a Commander in Chief that inspires them, that watches their back, that truly cares and that gives them the very best.

The question must be asked – does our President have any balls? And if he does just how big are they? Is he really a man? Does he have what it takes to fight a war against terror or is it that there is more to this than meets the eye? Is there a sinister plan to ensure that elections do not hold in some parts of the north-east in 2015 given the fact that those areas are very hostile to the suggestion that Jonathan should return to power that year? Is this whole thing planned and contrived or is it a case of chronic incompetence, ineptitude and weakness? Does Jonathan believe that it is in his interest for the north to burn and for northern blood to be spilt? Is the mindset of those that are pulling the strings of the view that since the problem has been (to use the President’s own words in his last media chat) ”localised” and ”contained in a certain area” the government can sit back and watch the locals slaughter themselves whilst they continue to drink champagne and kai-kai in the Villa? If that is the case has it not occurred to them that their fellow Nigerians live in those areas where the problem has supposedly been ”localised” and is the blood of those fellow Nigerians not red as well? Are they less Nigerian because of where they were born and who they are? Are the people that live in the villages and countryside not as important as those who live in the towns and cities?

Whatever is really going on God sees all and anything that is not of Him will surely fail. If it is nothing but weakness and incompetence that has resulted in this unprecedented carnage the President will answer before God for violating his solemn oath to protect the Nigerian people from enemies within and from enemies without. If it is a conspiracy to encourage and create turmoil and chaos in the north just to ensure that they are excluded from the vote in 2015, both Jonathan himself and Nigeria as a whole will reap the consequences. It is worth noting that that is precisely what happened in Mali in the elections that took place before the north was taken over by the islamists and it led to a full scale civil war.

Any attempt to exclude any part of this country from participating in the elections in 2015 under the guise of lack of security or Boko Haram will result in the same thing with catastrophic consequences for Nigeria. Yet as Napolean Bonaparte once said, ”we must never account to conspiracy what can easily be explained away by incompetence”. It is more likely than not that the situation that is unfolding in the north-east and the feeble fight that our government is putting up against Boko Haram over there is down to Jonathan’s weakness and nothing more. So when asked the question is our President capable of fighting the war against terror my answer would be that I am afraid that I doubt it very much. He just doesn’t have it in him. As the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Tony Blair once said about John Major, his predecessor in office, he is just ”weak, weak, weak”.

I am a great believer in strong government and I am one of those that has always believed that President Olusegun Obasanjo was one of the most effective leaders that we have ever had in this country. Love him or hate him one thing is clear- not under Obasanjo’s watch would 7000 thousand innocent Nigerians be massacred at will in the space of just two years by a bunch of murderous and heartless terrorists. He would have known exactly what to do and how to do it to put a stop to such callous lawlessness and anarchy right from the start. Equally significant is the fact that such was his love for Nigeria that regardless of the region, ethnic group or religious faith that the victims came from, espoused or belonged to, his response to the terrorists would have been swift, decisive and utterly ruthless. He would have had Boko Haram in ”shock and awe” and the whole world would have marveled at it. This is because in Obasanjo we had a President who not only had balls but who also had the courage, heart and guts to match them.

The greatest error that we as a people ever made and the worst tragedy and misfortune that has ever befallen us as a nation is the fact that a lamb ended up taking a throne that was designed and prepared for a lion. The unfortunate consequences of that tragic error and misfortune are there for all to see. The shedding of the blood of even the youngest, the most innocent and the most vulnerable in our society by Boko Haram on a daily basis is an eloquent testimony to that unsavoury fact.

The fact of the matter is that Nigeria is in dire need of a real ”Asiwaju” to lead her. She needs a man with the spirit of the ”Jagaban”- a ”last man standing” who has an iron will and who knows no fear. She needs an ”Ebora” and a ”Balogun” all rolled into one who is ready to confront evil, defend our nation, protect our people and crush the enemy. Sadly we do not have that today. Instead what we have is what the Yoruba describe as an ”olori oko tio lepon”. Roughly translated that means ”a President without balls”. May the Lord take the leadership of this nation away from the gutless eunuch and give it to a lion king.

 

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

Rotational Presidency and Jonathan’s withdrawal from the race the only way to avert bloodshed: Open Letter to the President:


President-Goodluck-Jonathan-11

Borrowing from the Ondo and Anambra Governorship Polls of October 20, 2012 and November 16, 2013, respectively, as in INEC’s conduct of election 120 days before the end of the tenure of a serving governor; and specifically according to Section 132 (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended in 2011, the election into the office of the President of Nigeria may most likely hold by January 2015.

On the same premise, elections into the 360 members of the House of Reps and 109 senatorial seats may most likely take place by the same month. This is in accordance with Section 76 (2) of the Constitution as amended. Elections into about 1,152 State legislative seats of the 36 States may most likely take place by the

same month in accordance with Section 116 (2) of the Constitution as amended. And elections into the 31 States’ governorship seats may most likely hold by the same January 2015. This is in accordance with Section 178 (2) of the Constitution as amended. The Independent National Electoral Commission is expected to announce the timetable for the elections most likely by October 2013(usually not later than 90 days before the poll’s date).

There are a total of 1,695 top elective offices at Nigeria’s Federal and States’ tiers of government, out of which, polls may most likely be conducted in 1, 685 seats by January 2015. The remaining ten governorship and deputy governorship seats are presently under staggered electoral calendar owing to Peter Obi v INEC Case of 2007 delivered by the Supreme Court of Nigeria. While INEC is constitutionally empowered to organize elections into 1, 695 top elective seats of the Federal and States’ governments, the States’ Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs) are charged with the constitutional responsibility of conducting elections into 11, 788 Local Government chairmanships and councillorships in the country’s 774 LGAs under staggered circumstances.

It is a truism that one out of the 1, 685 elective polls to be conducted by INEC by January 2015 will make or mar Nigeria. This singular election is “an election too many” and it is no other than “the presidential election of 2015”. It is our indisputable findings that the Presidency, the National Assembly and the Independent National Electoral Commission hold the key to the success or failure of the all-important 2015 general elections in Nigeria. The three important political establishments also face three major challenges threatening not only the polls, but also the lives and liberties of Nigerians as well as corporate existence of the country. The three major challenges are: security, unconstitutionality of rotational presidency among the six geopolitical zones and Mr. President’s second term ambition. It is correct to say that solutions to these three major challenges will save the country from chaos and bloodletting of unimaginable proportion looming large over the polls.

Consequences Of Political Domination Across Borders:

In the world over, political dominance in heterogeneous and multi religious countries by particular tribes or sections against their minority or weaker partners have led to disintegration of hitherto united and vibrant countries and caused hundreds of thousands, if not millions of deaths and institutionalization of group crimes. From former Yugoslavia to Lebanon; from Rwanda to Burundi; from Ivory Coast to Central African Republic; the list continues. The Serbs/Christian dominance of political powers from the time of Marshal Josip Broz Tito, who died in office (1st prime minister of Yugoslavia from 1943 and president between 14th of January 1953 and 4th of May, 1980), led to the Yugoslavian complex and bloody civil wars between 1991 and 2001. The wars eventually broke up the country into seven countries of Serbia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Kosovo, Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina, on account of the Dayton Peace Accords of 1995.

In Lebanon, it was ethno-religious differences between Maronite Christians and Muslims (Sunni and Shia) and political dominance and foreign influences that led to her blood civil war between 1975 and 1990. In Rwanda and Burundi, political and military dominance by the Tutsi tribe, which constitutes about 14% of the two countries’ populations respectively against the majority Hutu tribe (85%) and acute minority tribe Twa (1%) led to several civil wars that engulfed the two countries since 60s with that of Rwanda degenerating into genocide that killed between 800,000 and 1,000,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus between April and July 1994, a period of three months. Presently in the Central African Republic, the country is polarized and divided along Christian and Muslim war zones since the ousting of Gen. Francois Bozize on 24th March, 2013 by an Islamic rebel alliance known as “Seleka”.

In Nigeria, political dominance is incontestably factual. Though Section 14 (3) of the Constitution frowns at it, but the Section is made leprous by Section 6, sub 6 (c) of the same Constitution, which ousts the jurisdiction of any court to inquire and sanction its defaulters, likewise other provisions under Chapter Two-Fundamental Objectives & Directive Principles of State Policy. In 1999, the Southwest or Yoruba tribe got the Presidency through pen militancy and the South-south or Southern Nigeria’s minorities, who presently occupy the throne since 2010 (successor presidency), got it through arms propelled by resource control militancy. As the 2015 general polls, especially the presidential poll, draw closer, we are now a witness to mass defection from one party to the other and fusion of political parties with strong tribal or ethno-religious influences.

These are all geared towards returning Nigeria back to “born to rule” inglorious epoch where the old Western and Muslim Northern regions were “born to rule” and other federating partners including Igbo tribe, northern and southern minorities were “born to be ruled”. Since equity demands “what ought to be”, to be and “what ought to be done”, to be done, and judging from the premise of six geopolitical zones of Northwest, Northeast, North-central, Southeast, South-south and Southwest; the three zones of Southwest, Northwest and South-south are disqualified by equity from contesting the 2015 Presidential Poll in Nigeria, having held the plum post democratically in 1999 to 2007 (Southwest), 2007 to 2010 (Northwest) and 2010 to 2015 (South-south). In order of equitable hierarchy, Southeast, North-east and North-central are equitably favoured and qualified to contest the 2015 Presidency and two others following it and among the three, Southeast is the “primus inter pares”, followed by the Northeast. Even during the military’s inglorious epoch, it was Mohammadu Buhari (1983 to 1987) Katsina Northwest, Ibrahim Babangida (1987 to 1993) Niger North-central, Sani Abacha (1993 to 1998) Kano Northwest and Abdulsalami Abubakar (1998 to 1999) Niger North-central.

The best solution to social disharmony in a consociation democracy and ethno-religiously divided country like Nigeria is power rotation. The Republic of Tanzania made up of Unions of Tanganyika and Zanzibar formed in 1964 remains one of the stable countries in Africa. It has also not experienced any military coup since independence in 1961. It emerged from its post independence turbulence under its ruling party-Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) with some form of power balance within its ruling party, between Tanganyika, dominated by Christians and animists and Zanzibar dominated by Muslims. Its presidency has flowed from Julius Nyerere (Tanganyika) 1961 to 1985 (under limitless tenure), Ali Hassan Mwinyi (Zanzibar) 1985 to 1995, Benjamin Mkakpa(Tanganyika) 1995 to 2005 to Dr. Jakaya Kikwete (Tanganyika) 2005 to 2015. In its ongoing constitutional review, one of the leading agitations is the constitutional rotation of its presidency between Tanganyika and Zanzibar with insistence that next president will come from Zanzibar in its 2015 presidential poll. In Lebanon, with parliamentary system, the presidency and army chief are zoned to Maronite Christians, the prime minister is zoned to Sunni Muslims and the speaker of the parliament is zoned to Shia Muslims and this has restored internal political stability in the country, except other external political factors and influences such as “Palestine question” and the fate of the State of Israel on the so called Arab lands.

Summary Of What Must Be Done:

Without prejudice to a planned national conference of whatever name called, the National Assembly including the Senate and the House of Reps bodies working on constitutional amendment, should, as a matter of uttermost urgency and national importance, incorporate into the Constitution the rotation of the presidency among the six geopolitical zones under reference and state clearly on the premise of equity which zone should take the first shot bearing in mind that Southeast and Northeast have not governed Nigeria in recent times. Our prescribed order of hierarchy on the basis of a single tenure of six years is as follows: Southeast, six years (2015 to 2021), Northeast, six years (2021 to 2027), North-central six years (2027 to 2033), Southwest six years (2033 to 2039), Northwest six years (2039 to 2045) and South-south six years (2045 to 2051). If it is decided that it should start from the Northeast, or after the Southeast must have taken its turn, the arrangement must accommodate the Christians and minorities of Taraba, Adamawa, Bauchi and Gombe States. It is very important to point out that in the rotational arrangement being demanded, there will be a time for each beneficiary zone to “cry and smile”. The said constitutional arrangement can only be altered through a national conference, especially if the federating partners wish to live apart peacefully.

The second important thing that must be done is that President Goodluck Jonathan should withdraw his second term ambition so as to allow the equitably favoured zone to take its turn and avert chaos and bloodletting imminent in the polls. This sacrifice for national unity and cohesion must be accompanied with collective acceptance by other federating partners of Northwest and Southwest extractions that six geopolitical zones’ presidential rotation be incorporated into the Constitution on a single term of six years. The third important issue is the provision of adequate security to secure the liberties and lives of Nigerians before, during and after the polls. The security arrangement must also include demographic security on the part of INEC. This includes credible voters’ cards’ review, efficient continuous voters’ registration and non politicization of INEC’s substantive and adhoc staff recruitment and management.

Where It Concerns Mr. President:

Your Excellency, Mr. President should do the following:

1. Shelve Your Excellency’s second term ambition for sake of national peace, unity and cohesion.

2. Ensure that Your Excellency quickly assent to the constitutional amendment bill under reference once it is brought to Your Excellency’s attention and if indeed it warrants Your Excellency’s assent.

3. Your Excellency’s shelving of Your Excellency’s second term ambition should be conditional and must be predicated on collective readiness of the federating partners of Hausa-Fulani and Yoruba extractions to allow for constitutionality of six geopolitical zonal rotating presidency with a start from Southeast, or at extreme consideration, the Northeast, with Christian, Muslim and Minorities’ eligibility.

4. Your Excellency as the Commander-in-Chief should ensure adequate security and liberty for all Nigerians before, during and after the January 2015 general polls. To this extent, Your Excellency should reshuffle Your Excellency’s Service Chiefs and restructure the command hierarchies of the Armed Forces including the Nigeria Police Force.

5. Your Excellency, as Chairman of the Nigeria Police Council, should look into secretive and lopsided promotions of senior officers in the Nigeria Police Force by the IGP, M.D. Abubakar and some say surrogate Nigeria Police Service Commission. The names of the beneficiaries of such promotions are kept secret because the exercise is utterly lopsided and appeared to have been designed to favour Hausa-Fulani Muslim senior officers. It is alleged that a number of course mates of the present IGP from the Southeast and South-south, are still at the rank of Deputy Commissioners of Police.

Where It Concerns The National Assembly Members & Their Leaders (Senate President & House Speaker):

1. An unambiguous provision should be inserted into the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as being amended, providing for a six year single term rotational presidency among the six geopolitical zones in the order below: Southeast, Northeast, North-central, Southwest, Northwest and South-south. It should be done with uttermost immediacy and national importance.

2. Adequate funds should be provided for INEC for effective and efficient conduct of the important polls under reference.

3. Excuses of any type geared towards blocking or delaying the constitutional amendment being demanded, which may be premised on “want of time” or “national conference outcome” are totally rejected and immaterial to the present circumstance. If about 31 sections and sub sections’ amendments could be successfully carried out in the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 prior to the 2011 general polls within a short time frame, this popular demand of ours can as well be met in a question of few months before the polls.

Where It Concerns INEC Chairman & His Management:

1. Your Commission must discharge its duties in strict compliance with the provisions of the INEC Establishment Act of 2004, the Electoral Act of 2010 and the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 as amended in 2011.

2. To this extent, Your Commission should commence timely the continuous registration of voters and revalidation of voters’ cards and relaxation of stiff conditions attached to voters’ cards’ transfer processes and allied issues.

3. Your Commission should ensure deployment of adequate voters’ registration tools and personnel and designate clearly through adequate publicity registration centers across the country, which must be within the reach of registrable Nigerians. We advise that polling centers should be used.

4. Your Commission should avoid recruiting career politicians either as substantive electoral officers like RECs or adhoc electoral officers like EOs or ROs.

5. Your Commission should liaise with the NPF and the DSS with a view to constituting enforcement units to apprehend and prosecute those found flouting the criminal aspect of the Electoral Act of 2010 with specific reference to poll violence including killings, maiming, assaults, arson and other property destruction.

Finally, ominous signs are already showing the imminence of chaos and bloodletting in the January 2015 general polls. It is an established and incontestable opinion that Nigeria is sitting on a keg of gun powder. With five to seven million illicit small arms said to exist and be borne by wrong hands in the country and scattered across the country, the Presidency, the National Assembly and the Independent National Electoral Commission must act swiftly to save the country and her citizens from violence of unimaginable proportion threatening the conduct of the all important polls. All forms of parochial and ethno-religious interests must be nailed in a coffin and collectivist national interests made to hold sway. And the chief among the collectivist national interests is the constitutionality of rotational presidency among the six geopolitical zones.

The complex and complicated civil wars fought in the former Yugoslavia between 1991 and 2001 should serve as a collective lesson to the political authorities under reference in Nigeria. In the wars, Serbs and Montenegrins fought on one side, Croats and Bosniaks in Bosnia fought on the other. Also wars erupted between Bosniaks and Croats in Bosnia, between Croats on one side and Serbs and Montenegrins in Croatia on the other, between Serbs and Slovenes in Slovenia, between Serbs and Albanians in Serbia, between Serbs and Kosovo Albanians in Kosovo and between Albanians and Macedonians in Macedonia. If the foregoing tragic scenario plays out in Nigeria, the so called “giant of Africa” and “the world’s birth place for black people” will be a history. The Yugoslavian pogrom and “war of all against all” must not be allowed a space in Nigeria!

Yours Faithfully,

For: International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law

Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chairman of the Board
Email: emekaumeagbalasi@yahoo.co.uk

Comrade Justus Uche Ijeoma, Head, Publicity Desk
Email: juijeoma@yahoo.com

Source: Radio Biafra.

Say no to APC in Biafraland. Ezenna Okoro Inaugurates APC Women Coordinator In Awa Community.


 

Ezenna-Okoro

The All Progressive Congress (APC) Awa Chapter in Oguta LGA of Imo State recorded a stunning success last weekend as Hon. Ezenna Okoro inaugurated APC Women Co-ordinators and Executives in Awa Community.
The tumultuous event which was held at Hon Okoro’s compound in Awa Community attracted a good number of APC faithful from all the 25 villages which made up Awa Autonomous Community as they were represented by 2 executives and other women leaders who were all in a joyous mood as the drum their support for APC, proclaiming that come rain come shine Owelle Rochas Okorocha they know.
Addressing the Awa women during the event Hon.

Ezenna Okoro who doubles as SA Special Duties/Chief of Staff to Managing Director ISOPADEC enjoined the women to embrace the party ahead of the 2015

general elections in order to continue to enjoy the dividends of democracy, stressing that the governor of Imo State, Governor Rochas Okorocha-led APC has earmarked several projects that the women will benefit from in the year 2014.

He reiterated that the Awa women should be part of the wind of change that is blowing across the nation which APC has initiated as it is note worthy that Okorocha led administration is ready to consolidate on all the projects and policies instituted since he came into office.
Mrs Jane Okoro, one of the women co-ordinator of Awa while addressing the women described Governor Okorocha as a divine gift to the people of Imo and Awa women in particular as she enjoined them to take the gospel of APC down to every nook and cranny of Awa Community while pledging to support any of the inaugurated women who distinguished her self by taking the message to the grassroot.
Lady Grace Nwameme and Mrs Caroline Onyema from Abiaziem, and Umuocha Villages respectively also praised Awa women for coming out in large number to support Owelle Rochas and urged them not to relent in the efforts.

The ‘Northern’ blackmail of Nigeria.


 

Nigeria-flag

I HAVE never voted in a Nigerian election. I have only ever voted once, but it was in Britain and not in Nigeria. As a Commonwealth student in England in the 1970s, I was allowed to vote for the re-election of Harold Wilson’s Labour party. However, I am seriously thinking of casting my vote, for whatever it is worth, in Nigeria’s forthcoming elections in 2015. There is only one reason for this. I am determined that a “Northerner” must not be the next president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Cry-babies

I have nothing against the North per se, but I have reached the conclusion that it would be unhealthy for Nigeria’s next president to come from the North. To accede to the insistence of certain loud Northern politicians that the North must produce the next president, is to send a wrong signal to the North. The North has become

the spoilt-child of Nigerian politics. It always has a grudge when it is not in power. This must be discouraged.

When Moshood Abiola, a Southerner, won the election in 1993, the Northern elite conspired to scuttle it. When they finally succumbed to a Southern presidency in 1999, some of them nevertheless sought to make trouble by politicising sharia. When Jonathan won in 2011, there was instigated rioting in the North. Some of the elite even decided to sponsor terrorist activities in disgruntlement. This terrorism has now backfired, to the extent that it is now beyond the control of its initial sponsors.

The North has to learn to live without political power at the centre. The rest of the country has learnt to do this over the years, as the Northern elite have monopolised power. But Northern politicians seem to believe political power is their entitlement. As a result, the “Northern” blackmail is now in full swing. Certain spokesmen of the so-called North are threatening to hold the country to ransom come 2015, if a Northerner is not elected the president of Nigeria. They are saying: “It’s either our way or no way. If we don’t get the presidency, then Nigeria cannot continue.” This is poppycock!

Vain threats

Adamawa Governor, Murtala Nyako, says: “we must stop President Goodluck Jonathan’s attempt to go for second term, as that will lead to civil war.” Who exactly are the “we” Nyako is talking to here and who is going to start this civil war? Senator Joseph Waku of the ACF (Arewa Consultative Forum) says: “President Jonathan should not even contemplate making any move to contest the 2015 election because such will be catastrophic.” I am curious as to what the catastrophe would be.

Junaid Mohammed says there will be mayhem in Nigeria should President Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP rig the 2015 election. Junaid is a Second Republic politician. When Northern Shehu Shagari rigged the election in 1983 and won by a “moonslide,” Junaid did not declare mayhem on Nigeria at the time. When the election was massively rigged for Northern Yar’Adua in 2007, we did not hear of mayhem from the likes of Junaid. But with the probable re-election of a non-Northerner, Junaid is threatening violence. Well, the violence will consume no one but Junaid himself.

Precisely because of these bombastic threats, it will be impolitic for Jonathan to decide not to run in 2015. The entire nation must call the bluff of these power-hungry Northerners. Let us see what they will do if Jonathan not only runs, but is re-elected. These threats are irritating and vain. Southerners do not throw these tantrums when Northerners are in power. The Igbo are a major ethnic group in Nigeria. They have been denied the presidency for virtually all of Nigeria’s 53 year history. Yet, they are not crying wolf. They are not threatening fire and brimstone. But those who have monopolised the presidency for 38 out of 53 years are the ones shouting till they are blue in the face. What cheek!

It is not the birthright of Northerners to rule Nigeria. It is the prerogative of all Nigerians to decide who will be our president. The ethnic chauvinists of the ACF have no right to determine who Nigeria’s president should be or where he or she should come from. If the president of Nigeria does not come from the North for the next 20 years, there is nothing the ACF or anybody else can do about it.

Smoke and mirrors

The ACF position is just so much smoke and mirrors. The body does not speak for the North. It is simply the mouthpiece of certain Northern politicians who are indolent and are craving another opportunity to loot the treasury at the centre. The fact of the matter is that the North no longer exists if it ever did. It is hardly a homogeneous political entity. More than any other part of Nigeria, the North is deeply divided between the haves and the have-nots. After 38 years of deception and betrayal by Northern politicians, the Northern poor do not need to be told that such mouth-organs as the ACF and NEF (Northern Elders’ Forum) have little or no interest in their plight.

The North is currently at war with itself. The Boko Haram has become an instrument for further Northern division and impoverishment. It has started an intercinine war where some Northern Moslems have been killing Northern Christians. Undoubtedly, the effect of this scourge in dividing the North politically along religious lines will be evident in future elections.

Moreover, as was evident in the 2011 elections, the far North no longer shares traditional affinity with the Middle belt or with the North Central. The far North voted en bloc for Buhari, while the Middle Belt and the North Central voted en bloc for Goodluck Jonathan. Abuka Onalo, president UMYC (United Middle-Belt Youth Congress) insists the people of the Middle Belt are not Northerners and have never been treated as Northerners by the Hausa/Fulani. He says they are: “now remorseful of their roles in past actions of spearheading Northern interests that did not benefit their people.”

Back-room deals

Nyako maintains Jonathan signed an agreement with some northern governors in 2011 to serve for a single term of four years. This position raises a number of annoying questions. Who exactly are these northern leaders and what special place do they have in the selection of a Nigerian president that anybody needs to make an agreement with them? Nyako and his colleagues are dreamers. Whatever role they presume to arrogate to themselves in Nigerian politics is a result of their delusion. Goodluck Jonathan did not need them in order to win the last election.

In 2011, Jonathan lost to Buhari in all the far northern states of Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Sokoto, Yobe, and Zamfara. Nevertheless, he still went on to win the election at the centre with a plurality of over 10 million votes. Therefore, it is immaterial whether or not he made an agreement with these Northern jokers. Those he is alleged to have made the agreement with could not even deliver their side of the bargain. Nevertheless, Jonathan went on to win the election. That should tell these pretend power-brokers that they are actually irrelevant in the Nigerian political equation. Under the circumstances, it is preposterous to now insist Jonathan must keep his part of the alleged bargain. Clearly, the bargain, if it ever existed, was a waste of time.

It is disrespectful to Nigerians for Nyako to have the audacity to say that, in a democracy, a group of Northern governors reached a private agreement on who should be the president of Nigeria. That is balderdash. Perhaps, we should just cancel elections altogether and have Nyako and his friends decide every four years who should fill what posts. These people are just fooling themselves. The fact that Jonathan subsequently became president should not obscure the fact that their presumptiveness was shown to be false. The governors could not deliver the North to him. Obviously, they had no control over Northern voters.

One-term agreements

For 38 years, when Northerners ruled Nigeria, there was no talk of any agreement with anybody to serve for a delimited period. Balewa signed no agreement for six years. Gowon entertained none for nine years. Murtala did not deem it necessary to put any pen to paper. Shagari ran for a second term without making a treaty with the South-South. Buhari succeeded Shagari without thinking it was high time a Southerner became head of state. Babangida replaced Buhari for nine years without signing an agreement with anybody. Rather than entertain Southern rule, Abacha truncated it. After five years, he reached an agreement with himself to succeed himself. After Abacha came Abdulsalaam; yet another Northerner.

But once Obasanjo, a Southerner, became president; the Northerners started talking about an agreement that he should only be president for one-term. The same irritating noises are being made again now that, for once in the history of Nigeria, a South-South man is president. For this very reason, under no circumstances should the next president of Nigeria come from the North. In the interest of national unity, these cry-baby Northern leaders need to be taught a lesson. I repeat: the presidency of Nigeria is not their birthright. If these characters don’t know this by now, 2015 is the time for them to know it.

People like Professor Ango Abdullahi of the NEF claim to be against President Jonathan on the grounds that his government has not performed. Pull another leg! The North is not known to produce good presidents. Yar’Adua was a remarkably lousy president. He was also the most tribalistic president in Nigeria’s history. He ignored federal character and filled the government with Northerners. For example, under him, the Minister of Finance, Minister of National Planning and the Governor of the Central Bank were all from Kano. The NEF kept mum even when a sick Yar’Adua was holed up in a Saudi Arabian hospital, while his Northern acolytes went on a looting spree of the treasury, forging cheques in his name.

By Femi Aribisala

Source: Radio Biafra.

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