Category Archives: Politics

NIGERIA: ONCE A NATION, NOW AN ABBATTOIR

By Reno Omokri

In July 2012, clashes between natives and herdsmen reached a head in Plateau state leading to tens of deaths on both sides. Then President Jonathan, when briefed about the situation insisted that there wouldn’t be such impunity under his leadership and immediately ordered the army to go to the affected communities and fish out the perpetrators and bring them to book. The military immediately obeyed the then President’s orders and sent troops to Barkin Ladi Local Government Area. They ordered all residents to leave their residence for temporary accommodation provided for them so they could conduct a joint air and ground operation to flush out the armed herdsmen who had been suspected of killing innocent Nigerians. The residents complied and the soldiers went in and not only did they clear the area, they made arrests which led to trials.

That is how a Commander-in-Chief acts. When your people are being slaughtered you don’t send them commiserations, like the frequent commiserations President Buhari has been sending to the people of Benue State. No. You assert yourself as the leader by using the nation’s symbols of strength to quash any threat to the national security of the nation. That is what Jonathan did in Plateau state in July 2012. So effectively was Jonathan’s orders carried out that Malam Nasir El-Rufai tweeted his now infamous tweet on the 15th of July 2012 threatening that “We will write this for all to read. Anyone, soldier or not that kills the Fulani takes a loan repayable one day no matter how long it takes.” (his exact words).

So when he was elected governor and we began to hear him say that he had paid public monies to herdsmen to prevent further killings (there was actually a spike in killings) and that he as a governor was of the same ethnicity as these herdsmen, I was not at all taken aback as others were. The man had publicly signified his intentions long before he became governor. 

But the point I am trying to make is that former President Jonathan, who was called weak by the All Progressive Congress, did something to end the menace of herdsmen killings, but President Buhari who is called ‘strong’ by his supporters, has refused to do anything. And so today, when I read about the killings perpetuated by herdsmen in Benue, Plateau, Kaduna, Adamawa, Taraba and other parts of Nigeria, I really feel for our citizens who have to go through these ordeals of impunity. No arrests are made, no forms of deterrence whatsoever is carried about by the Buhari administration. 

I heard that the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, wept when he saw corpses of his citizens massacred by herdsmen. It might sound harsh, but can Ortom recall that only last month he smiled as he told Nigerians that President Buhari deserves a second term? My question to Ortom is this: If President Buhari gets a second term, would there be human beings left alive in Benue? It is a fact that herdsmen belong to the same wider ethnic nationality as President Muhammadu Buhari, although most killer herdsmen are not mainstream Fulani, but rather fringe Fulani of the Wodaabe (also known as the Mbororo or Bororo) subgroup of the Fula people. 

It is also a fact that President Muhammadu Buhari was the grand patron of the umbrella union of herdsmen in Nigeria known as Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria. From that vantage point, he had in the past angrily and malevolently confronted state governors in states were herdsmen had received the wrong end of the stick in their acts of marauding. 

As a matter of fact, on October 13, 2000, Muhammadu Buhari, in his capacity as the Grand Patron of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, demanded for and got a meeting with the then Governor of Oyo state, Lam Adesina, were he angrily said the words below to Governor Adesina: “Your Excellency, our visit here is to discuss with you and your government our displeasure about the incident of clashes between two peoples… the Fulani cattle rearers and merchants are today being harassed , attacked and killed in Saki. That some arrests were made by Oyo State Police Command in the massacre with their immediate release without court trial. This was said to have been ordered by Oyo State authorities and they were so released to their amazement. The release of the arrested suspects gave the clear impression that the authorities are backing and protecting them to continue the unjust and illegal killings of Fulani cattle rearers…”
Muhammadu Buhari then ended his speech by demanding for an “immediate stoppage of the killings, justice and compensation to the Fulanis.” 

After listening to Muhammadu Buhari, Lam Adesina asked the then Commissioner of Police for Oyo state to respond to his angry visitor and the Commissioner responded thus: “The killing of the natives by the Fulanis was duly reported to the police and, of course, we can’t make arrest because, as soon as they kill, they migrate to other areas. Who are you going to arrest? That is the problem”. On the killing of Fulanis, which he said was as result of “piled up anger”, the commissioner disclosed that arrests had been made and the suspects were in police custody.” When the Commissioner was done, Governor Adesina responded to Buhari thus: “I want to say also that we really have to appeal to our people, the itinerant Bororo people, that they should observe less aggression. It is not good , it is not right just coming from somewhere then you just pass through farm lands cultivated may be with the person’s life savings and then over night everything is gone. That is not right, even Allah does not approve of that. We even wonder when they talk about this people carrying dangerous weapons, I say do they really believe in Allah? When you just take life like that and go away! Are we not forbidden not to take human life? So I think General Buhari, General Marwa, you have to be educating them. It is my pleasure to inform you that at the Presidential Lodge, we have made some arrangements for refreshments so that before you go we can refresh together”. That meeting of October 13, 2000, was recorded and the quotes above are from Agbaakin Kehinde Olaosebikan, then Chief Press Secretary to late Governor Lam Adesina of Oyo state. 

Now imagine the level of concern and care that President Muhammadu Buhari showed for his kinsmen in October 2000, that he went to challenge a sitting Governor to a pissing contest when herdsmen were killed in reprisal killings. Why hasn’t Muhammadu Buhari shown that level of concern for Nigerians killed by herdsmen?  Now that same man is our President and Commander-in-Chief, and herdsmen killings have exploded exponentially under his watch to the extent that the United States Congress declared Nigeria as the most dangerous place to be a Christian in the entire world bar none, principally because of the killings by herdsmen.  

Can it be a coincidence that herdsmen killings has multiplied just as soon as their immediate past Grand Patron became President? Where is the anger that Buhari displayed to Governor Lam Adesina now that Fulanis are killing Nigerians? How many people were killed in the Southeast before President Buhari ordered Operation Python Dance? Now ask yourself how many thousands have died at the hands of herdsmen in Benue, Kaduna, Plateau, Taraba and Adamawa? The answer proves we are not all equal in Buhari’s Nigeria.  That is why I laughed when Governor Ortom said “I have reiterated my call on the Federal Government to arrest the leadership of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore”. Why is Governor Ortom talking like a child? Can a Mafia godfather order the arrest of a mafioso to please a non mafia member? You are asking their Grand Patron to arrest the people who made him Grand Patron! Apparently, Governor Ortom does not know his friends from his enemies. 

– Reno Omokri is Nigeria’s number One Bestselling author and writer of Facts Versus Fiction: The True Story of the Jonathan Years: Chibok, 2015 and Other Conspiracies

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MODERN DAY SLAVE TRADE IN LIBYA

The Libyan slave trade has been on since 2013 or even earlier. Since the removal of Muammar Gaddafi – whose senior daughter also had slaves – as the Leader of the nation, Libya has never been able to recover politically, economically and otherwise. It would be appropriate to refer to the Libyan State as it is today as a failed State. The American government had backed rebel groups in Libya that captured and killed the country’s erstwhile leader, Gaddafi in 2011. This has plunged the country into a political and social imbroglio.

With the inability of the new government in place to assert its authority in the country, many atrocities have taken centre stage around the country without fears of being caught and prosecuted. This has led to the emergence of a vibrant slave market spread across the vast country. Slaves are bought at $400 and are taken to work under inhumane conditions. Private prisons exist all over the country where slaves that are bought are kept and from there taken to their work stations.

Slave Trade 1

There are over 400,000 to 1,000,000 people (migrants) now stuck in Libya. Yearly, in the last four years, 150,000 migrants cross the Mediterranean to Europe from Libya out of which 3000 die every year according to the international organization for Migration (IOM). The combination of poverty in Africa, the failure of the Libyan State, the fact that Libya is the main transit point for migrants trying to reach Europe by sea and the fact that there is a market for these slaves have fuelled the trade in slaves in this country. It is very clear at the moment that the buyers of these slaves are Arab Africans and Middle Eastern Arabs within Libya.

In a move that is considered plausible, the Rwandan government has offered to ameliorate the sufferings of these migrants trapped in Libya. Through its foreign ministry, Rwanda has provided asylum to 30,000 mainly Sub-Saharan migrants. It is expected that the governments of other African countries will take positive steps in assisting trapped migrants in Libya and also tackle illiteracy, poverty and unemployment in their countries being the major factors behind the huge migrant traffic.

-Jere Efeturi

Photo by CNN/ Getty Images

EMMERSON DAMBUDZO MNANGAGWA, ZIMBABWE’S PRESIDENT

For those who want to know, Zimbabwe was ruled by a trio of Mugabe, Mnangagwa and the Army Chief, Constantino Chiwenga, all of whom were comrades who fought the colonialist earlier on in the history of Zimbabwe. Having been running the country in line with their wishes, the trio indeed had no incline that one day two of the trio would stand against one and not even in their wildest dreams did they ever think that if at all that would happen, two would be against the president. Then came Grace Mugabe to upset the union and with a plan to sit as Madam President and completely sideline the key pre- independence fighters. Little did she know the kind of war she was going into and little did she know about the strength of her opposition.

Swearing in 1

Her meteoric rise to power and fame inevitably brought her shame as she made moves to unseat one of the “Three Wise Men”. Armed with the backing of one of the trio – Robert Mugabe, she immersed herself into a political power tussle with another one of the trio. The political power tussle between Emmerson Mnangagwa and Grace Mugabe came to a crescendo with the removal of Mnangagwa from the office of Vice President by Robert Mugabe, a move publicly known to have been influenced by Grace Mugabe who had successfully corrupted the mind of Mr. President and set him against his comrade. With the coast seemingly clear for the first lady of Zimbabwe to become the president of the country, all was not well with the camp of the opposition.

Swearing In 2

The third man among the three men who ruled the country saw this as an embarrassment to his beloved country and the wisdom of “The Three Wise Men”. The army chief, Constantino Chiwenga immediately seized power from the President with the military and called back his fellow “wise man” who returned back to the country after fleeing to South Africa on his removal as Vice president to assume the office of Mr. President.

On the 24th of November, 2017, Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa was sworn in as the Third President of Zimbabwe by the Chief Justice of the country with funfair and full military honor.  This ended the thirty-seven-year-rule of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe. He had earlier served as Zimbabwe’s head of Intelligence, Minister of Justice and Vice President.

Swearing in 3

In his swearing in speech, Mnangagwa promised to improve the economy and to reduce corruption to the barest minimum. It is hoped that with his coming the economy will improve. Currently, the country’s currency is worthless as thousands of the Zimbabwean Dollar goes for a little item as bread. All these are expected to change with the coming of a man who was once in charge of the nation’s economy.

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MNANGAGWA REMOVED; GRACE MUGABE CLEARED TO ASCEND

Nicknamed “Gucci Grace” by her critics, wife of President Robert Mugabe, Grace Ntombizodwa Mugabe has since grown into a powerful businesswoman, Kingmaker and an Iron lady. She however sees herself as a philanthropist with the founding of an orphanage on a farm just outside the capital, Harare, with the help of Chinese funding.

The 52-year-old earned her sociology PhD in two months from the University of Zimbabwe. Her thesis is reportedly about orphanages but has not been filed in the university library. However, the doctorate gave the first lady gravitas and within weeks of being capped, campaign material with her new title appeared at rallies around the country as she prepared to take over the leadership of the Zanu-PF women’s wing

Having a road sign reading “Dr Grace Mugabe Way” – put up near the dusty piece of land near the Zanu-PF headquarters – shows how ambitious she is. It is fair to say Mrs. Mugabe evokes strong emotions. Her fans applaud her style and forthright nature; her detractors have nicknamed her “Gucci Grace” and “DisGrace” because of her alleged appetite for extravagant shopping. She has been known to wash the ruling party’s dirty linen in public, calling on those she picked on to resign or apologise.

In the recent past (2014), her target was Vice-President Joice Mujuru, and politicians linked to the independence fighter (Robert Mugabe) suddenly woke up to allegations of assassination plots. She said some of them had spent time plotting to oust her husband. A week later, state-owned media made sensational claims of senior government officials going abroad scouting for a hit man to finish off Mr. Mugabe. When Mrs. Mugabe returned home from a trip to the Vatican, walking behind her husband, she openly refused to shake hands with Mrs. Mujuru.

At rallies she explained her behaviour, saying the Vice-President should be sacked from government because she was “corrupt, an extortionist, incompetent, a gossiper, a liar and ungrateful”. Her attacks continued as she said Mrs Mujuru was “power-hungry, daft, foolish, divisive and a disgrace”, accusing her of collaborating with opposition forces and white people to undermine the country’s post-independence gains.

Today, she has taken a swoop at former Justice Minister & Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa. The first lady has had praise for then Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, whom she said was “loyal and disciplined” unlike Mrs Mujuru who was then seen as a successor to Mr. Mugabe. After several public accusations and public statements on the disloyalty of Emmerson Mnangagwa, President Robert Mugabe has fired his long time ally and Vice President. Mnangagwa has fled Zimbabwe for his safety.

Mrs. Grace Mugabe has not denied the speculation that she may one day replace her 93-year-old husband herself.

“They say I want to be president. Why not? Am I not a Zimbabwean?” she remarked at one rally.

Marcellina Chikasha, leader of the small new African Democratic Party (ADP), says Mrs Mugabe’s “phenomenal rise to power” has astounded many who consider themselves her “intellectual and political superior”.

“Call her shrewd, power hungry or plain old ‘being in the right place at the right time’, this typist has become a kingmaker in Zimbabwe’s succession politics,” she says.

“She is tenacious and determined; she is naive and unpolished; she is feared and has been known always to get what she wants.”

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Seemingly, the stage is now set for first lady, Grace Mugabe to take over the leadership of the South African country at the demise of current President, Robert Mugabe.

– Jereaghogho Efeturi – Ukusare

THE POLITICS OF SECESSION

By Prince Tony Ogbetere.

Both The statutes of the United Nations and the African Charter of Human and People’s rights guarantee that “All peoples shall be equal; they shall enjoy the same respect and shall have the same rights. Nothing shall justify the domination of a people by another.”

These statutes hold that all peoples shall have the right to existence. They shall have the unquestionable and inalienable right to self-determination. They shall freely determine their political status and shall pursue their economic and social development according to the policy they have freely chosen. Colonized or oppressed peoples shall have the right to free themselves from the bonds of domination by resorting to any means recognized by the international community.

Realistically these rights are ONLY guaranteed as long as you remain a citizen of any of the member states of either the United Nations or the African Union. The day you cease to be the citizen of a member state, technically these rights can no longer be guaranteed by either the UN, or the AU. In other words, it is only within the confines of member countries that you can be “equal and enjoy same rights as others, have right to self-determination and NOT be dominated by another”.  That is the reason why for many years, the territories of Palestine, Tibet, Hong Kong, Catalonia and others who have sought to secede from their mainland countries have NOT been recognized by the United Nations and therefore cannot enjoy these rights despite enjoying some form of regional autonomy in their geographical territories.

A few countries have secession clauses in their constitutions freely inserted there after deliberate discussions and negotiations. An example is the old USSR. That is why it was easy for all of the old Soviet Republics to break away from the USSR after the communist Republic collapsed. However many countries do NOT have the secession clause inserted in their constitutions and this makes secession attempts in such countries, classical cases of treason. Such secession attempts DO NOT receive the support of the UN, EU or AU as the case may be because those organizations are duty bound NOT to interfere with the territorial integrity of member nations except the leadership of such nations ask for help. The international organizations do not also intervene except there are serious and incontrovertible cases of human rights violations. Such interventions are also NOT guaranteed as was seen in the Rwandan situation.

In Nigeria, most people don’t know that it was Nnamdi Azikiwe who opposed Obafemi Awolowo and Ahmadu Bello against the provision for secession in our constitution. When the 1954 constitution conference started, Chief Obafemi Awolowo tabled a motion to the effect that in the new constitution, provision should be made that any region or state which feels like seceding should do so. Nnamdi Azikiwe was opposed to it. If Azikiwe had not opposed Awolowo and if he had not won the day, there would have been no justification to fight Ojukwu for secession and definitely no need for this second round of Biafra agitation.

This non secession argument which Azikiwe won convincingly caused the British colonial masters to state expressly in the constitution that the unity of Nigeria is non-negotiable. Therefore contrary to some shades of opinion across Nigeria, it was NOT the military or the Northern region that inserted that clause into the Nigerian constitution. It has been there from the fifties and it has remained so till date. Therefore when ex-President Goodluck Jonathan insisted that the unity of Nigeria should NOT be discussed in the 2014 Confab, he was simply defending the constitution of Nigeria that he swore to defend when he became president. When President Mohammadu Buhari echoes the same sentiment, he is simply doing the same thing. It is an impeachable offence for any president of Nigeria to endorse the secession plans of any segment of the country except the National assembly reviews and amends the constitution to allow that happen. The only way any section of Nigeria can secede is either by an amendment of the constitution or war.

If the constitutional option happens, both the UN and the AU will immediately recognize the new nation without any qualms. But even if the seceding section succeeds in leaving Nigeria, there is no guarantee that it will be recognized. For example, Somaliland has its own currency, a reasonably effective bureaucracy and a trained army and police force but it has yet to receive official recognition from a single foreign government in the years since it declared independence in 1991. To the outside world, it is an autonomous region of Somalia, subject to the Somali Federal Government (SFG) in Mogadishu. South Korea, despite being independent since 1948, is not recognized by any UN member state. The same thing applies to Armenia, Cyprus and some others. Even Israel, which was founded in 1948, is not recognized by 31 UN members.

PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN, I BEG TO DISAGREE! – A Rejoinder by Assam E. Assam, SAN

I have just read the preview of the excuses proffered by my leader, President Goodluck Jonathan, for losing the 2015 Presidential Election. I would not have bothered to react but for the fact that I had thought that he was sincere when he conceded defeat to Muhammadu Buhari. An honest man does not hold one opinion and express another. That is my mantra.

To now read that Dr. Jonathan was forced to concede the election is absolutely preposterous! If he had the benefit of sound advice, I am certain this is one subject he needed to avoid so soon after he made us believe he was a statesman.

Who does not know that the election was for Dr. Jonathan to win or lose. He chose to lose! Period! He squandered the South-South opportunity, an opportunity of a depressed, deprived and exploited people and trying rather so belatedly to explain it away, without even an iota of self recrimination is dishonest and without merit to say the least!

Our elders say that “the poisons” as well as “the antidote” are both inherent in the king. Caesar was warned about “the ides of March”, but his pride led him to what was a purely avoidable catastrophe. Those of us within the party who were termed “outcasts” had warned, very early in 2013, that the signs were ominous, that unless certain radical decisions were taken, we would hand the 2015 Presidential Election to General Buhari because the “fresh air”, which the coming of Dr. Jonathan was expected to bring into the political atmosphere of Nigeria had been greatly polluted and the President had completely lost the confidence of the electorate. It got to a point when the daily staple served by the press to the electorate was the “cluelessness”, the “weakness” and the vacillating character of Mr. President!

There were issues which culminated in the non-electability of President Jonathan and completely characterized the 2015 general elections. It was unfortunate that some of these things were foisted upon him, by people he thought were indispensable, yet the general public, understandably, attributed those failings to him, and rightly so. The buck stopped at his presidential table! Sometime in 2012, some members of the Governors forum who were close to President Jonathan, successfully sold him the idea that Governor Amaechi of Rivers State was not “loyal” to him and would use the forum to ensure he did not secure the Presidential nomination of the PDP. They organized an election where the total votes of 35 took one week to count. I mean the Governors could not count 35 votes in six days! At the end, 19 Governors were said to have voted for Amaechi while 16 had voted for David Jang, a retired Air force General and Governor of Plateau State. David Jang was declared the ‘winner’ and was promptly received by President Jonathan and recognized as the Chair of the forum. At that point, the President was seen as also capable of twisting truth and he also promptly lost the confidence of the general electorate. Why did he even need to get involved in an issue which had no constitutional basis? And yet this was his albatross.

This did not go down well with five PDP Governors who did not just leave the party, including Amaechi, but worked resolutely against the party. Even those, particularly from the North, who still publicly identified with the party ensured during the elections, that in their States, all positions were won by PDP. Some of them even contested the Senate seats on the same day with the Presidential elections but President Jonathan could not even score the mandatory 25% in those States. I am sure the President has forgotten how he masterminded the ousting of Dr. Bamanga Tukur as National Chairman of the PDP. Aghast, the world watched the removal from office of one man who worked hard to give our President a quality international image and supported him 100%. The same group brought Adamu Mu’azu who could neither manage the party nor the Presidential campaign. It forced the President to set up his own team and in the process, distanced himself from the party’s structure and appointed Peter Obi, who was not a member of the PDP, to lead his campaign in all the Southern States. The poor man could not even utter the slogan of the party. How did President Jonathan expect to win the election?  

The other problem was the impunity which characterized the primaries in the Peoples Democratic Party. This time it was not rewarded with the usual “sidon look” attitude. Those who were cheated while President Jonathan watched helplessly, along with their supporters, went out of their way and campaigned and voted against the party.  There was always the belief that after the primaries, “a reconciliation committee”, usually headed by the same “cheats” would go round explaining to members why they were cheated and asking them to support those who cheated them in order that they may win the elections and continue the cheating. The placid assumption that this strategy would always succeed was the Achilles heel of the party.

Accordingly, the plea of literally all the reconciliation committees failed, this once, to assuage the victims. Thousands of aggrieved party members and their supporters who identified with their well publicized plight all over the country worked assiduously against the party particularly the President who did not want to intervene in their plight in order that the feelings of his main people would not be hurt and his elections prospects would not be disturbed. He sacrificed every other persons’ interests and eventually lost his. Now the party is the worse for it and the rift is there for all to see. President Jonathan, a sitting President, in power and in full control of all Intelligence, Policing and Military institutions, a young man in his early fifties, in vibrant health, with a Ph. D, lost the Presidential election to someone that we in the PDP, pontificated as having no education, no money, was sick, had no political constituency, and was not in power. That was really not surprising for, rather than engage as squarely with the electorate as our opponent had done, we spent so much time wearing baseball caps, dancing with comedians and entertainers. The electorate was not amused that our Presidential candidate could find time to engage with people who would never visit their polling booths on the day of the election. They were also aware of the billions that were spent on those events including paying for live-airing of those programmes.

At the end, we failed to react to the promises of free feeding for students, making the Naira equal to the Dollar in value, fighting corruption as a menace, reducing complete reliance on hydrocarbon as our economic mainstay, and restoring security to the nation, which our opponents sold to the electorates and easily connected with them. And now, President Jonathan says the Western Democracies cost him the election! If they did, that means he was unable to sell himself and his programmes. In truth however, I do want to know how the Americans, the British and the French, by deploying their frigates to the Gulf of Guinea, generated the under-aged voters in Kano, and Katsina which Dr. Jonathan says helped Buhari to win the election? But which election? The candidate was the President, Commander in-Chief on whose table the buck stopped! This sounds to me like ‘an old wives tale’. How come the President never alerted the nation of a plan to invade the country if Buhari failed to win the election? He could even have gotten one of his spokespersons to leak the story. Now he reminisces, sounding belated and comes across as an afterthought.

President Jonathan says he had no clue why “There was this blanket accusation that my body language was supporting corruption, – – – – – – –   the same thing I kept hearing from the Americans without specific allegations.”  Whether that “allegation” was correct or wrong, the fact remains that the world is nine tenths, a matter of perception. What a person really is, does not matter as what people think of that person. Our President could not sack erring Ministers, who were clearly fingered as corrupt, one of whom refused pointedly to appear before the National Assembly to answer to charges of abuse of office and corruption. There was no reprimand and no effort by the president to correct the impression that he was behind these persons. Right in his cabinet, the monetary group and the Fiscal team literally came out of the same room speaking different languages. Sanusi as Governor of Central Bank was perpetually screaming of the rot in the Finance Ministry and fingering NNPC as the major culprit. The president bought cotton wools in packs and stuck in his ears. These inactions completely eclipsed the work he, as a person was trying to do to clean up the system and rather made it sound “like a little too late”. All these were being watched and analyzed by those Nations who he tried to relate with for relevance. That was the body language.

The Northern conspiracy theory is as huge a joke as the level of its acceptability. How come that there was a Northern conspiracy and our President’s closest ally was his Principal Secretary, a northern oligarch! There was no conspiracy of the North. The North never supported Jonathan. Just as the South South never supported Buhari. In the 2011 elections, of the 13 States of the North East and North West, PDP won elections only in Adamawa and Taraba States. Why we won the overall election was because we won all the states of the North Central and the West. As a consequence of poor advice, we squandered our relationship with the West, and in 2015 lost heavily in all the Western and North Central States except for Ekiti, Nassarawa, Plateau, and Taraba, which we won marginally, we lost elections in all the States of the North East, North West North Central and West. We let go of those who could have cultivated the North for us. As for the West, they could not point at anything they had for supporting us in 2011. Perhaps this is the Northern conspiracy.

As for Jega, good for Goodluck! Did he not say, with all amount of glee, that when he appointed the man, he did not even know him and had never met him before? So you appointed and vouched for a person to perform such an important act as the conduct of national elections and yet you did not know him! Now Dr. Jonathan says he was betrayed by Jega. That is for Jega to answer. For me, Jonathan got what he deserved. He always listened to people who would rubbish him. Look at the case of his Vice President! We had a very bad running mate for the Presidential election. A person who in the first term could not secure for the party the votes even of his Local Government and every effort targeted at choosing a credible running mate who the North will feel comfortable with, as a likely successor to Dr. Jonathan’s administration failed. Mr. President we tried to cultivate the North using the wrong targets. We failed to address their concerns. We lost the Vice President’s ward at the election he contested as a running mate. How did President Jonathan expect to win the election, which he blames on Jega? 
Or is it true that President Jonathan actually expected Jega to truncate the election during the announcement of the results? If his statement is true that he “was betrayed by the very people I relied on to win the election”, I hope Jega, the National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, who was expected to be a neutral umpire, was not one of them for he would be exhibiting a corrupt tendency in believing that Jega would “help him win the election”? I am sure the President now knows better because those who generated all the enmity for him quickly disowned and avoided him the day after he lost the election. A good number of them are now with President Buhari in The All Progressives Congress. The others are soon to join.

We all applauded Dr. Jonathan for being a statesman when he conceded the election to General Buhari. Now that the argument is that he was coerced by the presence of American frigates in the Gulf of Guinea and the Governments of America, France and Britain who were in league with the opposition to unleash mayhem if he failed to comply, how does President Jonathan want to be remembered, – courageous, heroic, brave, determined, and fearless?

One thing that must be credited to Dr. Jonathan is the Federal Executive Council Approval of the 27th of May 2015, two days before leaving office, awarding the contract for the construction of the road to Otueke, Bayelsa State. These Northerners did not even allow Mr. President to build the road to his village!

Ambassador Assam E. Assam
Senior Advocate of Nigeria
Immediate Past Nigerian Ambassador to
The Russian Federation and Belarus
And Member of the Peoples Democratic Party.
1st May, 2017, Eket, Akwa Ibom State.

THE CLOSURE OF QUEEN’S COLLEGE

The closure of the Queen’s college, Lagos is though not the best of action considering the learning time that would be lost, it is however a good decision at this point, considering the health issues surrounding the closure of the school.

While we worry about the education of the students of the school who have been sent home, we ask the Federal Government to speed up the sanitization of the school’s precincts and make it optimally healthy for the returning students who would resume education in that environment.

We ask that the school management and the Federal Ministry of Education be thoroughly investigated and those found wanting be charged according to the dictates of the laws of the federal republic of Nigeria.

We want to express our condolence with the families of those who have lost their loved ones to the cold hands of death.

Education Action Africa is a project of St. Hilary’s Magazine