By Josiah Oluwole
It took President Muhammadu Buhari six months in 2015 to put together a ministerial team for his first administration. In spite of the long delay, Buhari would later confirm the allegation by his wife, Aisha, that his government was hijacked when he stated at a reception for the new leadership of the National Assembly on July 19 that his first ministers were foisted on him by his party.
He said he had to get to know them by meeting with them two or three times in a month for three and a half years. Buhari had a second chance to act faster, but he did not change his style. He was reelected in February 2019, but it took him several months to put together his team.
While addressing the leadership of the legislature, the president promised he would appoint only those he knew “This time around, I’m going to be quite me in the sense that I will pick people I personally know.” Many took his statement for a hint that a good number of his ministers in the last administration would return. 14 of them eventually returned.
Constitutionally, the president is not expected to know “personally” all persons nominated for the office of ministers.
Section 147(3) of the 1999 Constitution as amended states that, “Any appointment under subsection 2 of this section by the President shall be in conformity with the provisions of section 14(3) of this constitution provided that in giving effect to the provisions aforesaid, the President shall appoint at least one minister from each state, who shall be an indigene of such state.”
Section 14(3) speaks of the appointment of ministers in line with the federal character of the country.
From the foregoing, each state is expected to produce a minister. In satisfying that constitutional provision, the president would exercise the right of appointing other ministers as his cabinet would accommodate.
However, there is no fixed political formula in the nomination of ministers from the states. The governors, if they are members of the ruling party, wield much influence in determining who represents their state. When the state is in the opposition, the party hierarchy in the state holds the aces. Majority of the nominees in the APC ruled states were obviously nominated by their governors. However, powerful players had overbearing influences that curtail the powers of the state governors.
The making of the 2019 ministerial list, was the game of the governors and the godfathers, showing their strength at the corridors of power. The governors are noted for taking all at victory. There are others, notwithstanding, who are ready to take on the governors in the fight for a share.
Making good his promise to appoint those he personally knows, the president ensured the return of 14 of his former ministers. They are Babatunde Fashola (Lagos), Chibuike Amaechi (Rivers), Chris Ngige (Anambra),Ogbonnaya Onu (Ebonyi), Geoffrey Onyema (Enugu), Zainab Ahmed (Kaduna), Hadi Sirika (Katsina), Abubakar Malami (Kebbi), Lai Mohammed (Kwara), Osagie Enahire (Edo) Suleiman Adamu (Jigawa), Mustapha Shehuri (Borno), Musa Bello (Adamawa) and Adamu Adamu (Bauchi).
Findings show that most of the new ministers-to-be were either nominated by state governors or by the top party hierarchy. The president is, therefore, not completely immune to the plague of his last administration of not knowing most of his ministers.
Festus Keyamo, who represents Delta State in the new cabinet, was the Director of Strategic Communication in the Buhari 2019 Campaign Organization. His rabid support for the president’s reelection bid may have earned him a place in the government. In the same manner, Godswill Akpabio, a recent APC stalwart in Akwa Ibom, risked all when he dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to support the Buhari reelection. He lost his bid to return to the Senate and it appeared only natural for the APC to give him a political lifeline.
The tango in the southwest, where the national leader of the APC, Bola Tinnubu, calls the shots, is a little different. While he is the Jagaban of Lagos, his allies in Messrs Babatunde Fashola and Olorunimbe Mamora may have attained a status of their own.
The Governors versus the Godfathers
The Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, and his counterpart in Ekiti, Kayode Fayemi, ensured that their candidates in Tayo Alasoadura and Niyi Adebayo respectively scaled the hurdles to be nominated by the President. Akeredolu virtually abandoned his duties in Ondo, relocating to Abuja to ensure that a swap or a last-minute dropping of his candidate’s name did not occur.
Even the out-of-favour former governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun, successfully pushed his candidate, Lekan Adegbite despite his suspension by the APC, through to the amazement of Tinubu and the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. Amosun’s swift ride against the tide could only be a testimony of his closeness to the President, especially considering his antiparty activities during the governorship election in Ogun State. Adegbite had served as Commissioner for Works under Amosun.
The emergence of Sunday Dare for Oyo State could not have been possible without the invisible hands of Tinubu. Dare, a former Editor with The News, had served as Tinubu’s Chief of Staff.
Rauf Aregbesola, the immediate past governor of Osun State, is comfortably the winner in Osun. While it could be taken for granted that his emergence deserved, owing to his records as a party man close to both the party leaders and Aso Rock, his nomination did not come easy. The State governor, Gboyega Oyetola, had pushed for the appointment of Iyiola Omisore, to cement the memorandum of understanding reached between Omisore and the Osun APC during the rerun of the governorship election.
It was learnt that Oyetola forwarded his name to the presidency, not in any particular effort to thwart the ambition of his predecessor, but to secure two nominees from the state as is the case in Lagos, Edo and other states.
Tinubu’s 2023 stakes
Bola Tinubu’s rumoured ambition to run for the presidency in 2023 seems to have its imprints on all his political moves. It is believed that his plan to have his men in place ahead of the event has been successful so far. Despite the fact that he did not nominate all of them in the southwest, he is on political high ground, capable of drawing loyalty from the current beneficiaries. Having the southwest firmly in his grips is non-negotiable. His team comprising Messrs Aregbesola, Mamora, Fashola, and Dare are salutary to his interest.
Although Niyi Adebayo was nominated by the governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, they and the national leader of APC are allies.
Emeka Nwajiuba, a member of the House of Representatives, was a surprise beneficiary of the politics of ministerial nomination. He was in Accord Party before his nomination. He was a beneficiary of a court verdict which upturned the election of Chike Okafor of the APC for not being validly nominated. Nwajiuba defected from the AP to the APC barely 24 hours after he was nominated for ministerial appointment. He is reported to be a staunch Buharist, and a founding member of the APC who served in the constitution drafting committee of the party. His emergence has a rationale of the party’s growing need of a stronger foothold in the southeast region.
Feelers from Abia State indicate that Uchechukwu Oga was nominated from the state on the strength that he was the governorship candidate of the APC in the last governorship election. The party in the state had complained earlier in the year that the former Minister of Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, was not performing and representing them well.
From Bayelsa, former governor Timipre Sylva is replacing Heineken Lokpobiri in the federal cabinet. Sylva, who had attempted to return to the governorship seat on the platform of the APC in previous elections, might be leaving the space for Lokpobiri, who has already picked his form to contest for the governorship ticket of the party in the state. Sylva’s nomination is not unexpected, given that he is the leader of the party in Balyesa.
Gbemi Saraki was a surprise pick from Kwara. But analysts suggest it was a strategy to keep the party in the minds of the people coming from the stalk of the beloved late Saraki who still enjoy a post-hummus adoration from many people in the state. It was learnt that she was particularly pencilled for a ministerial position owning to her standing by the party when all others, including her brother, Bukola, moved away to the opposition. Lai Mohammed, the returnee minister, was outstanding in ensuring the prosecution of the routing of the Bukola Saraki structure from the state. To many, Mohammed deserved his “wages” and should it have been otherwise, it would have been a slight on his efforts.
Audu Ogbe, the former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, did not get “a second chance” to serve as a minister. He debunked the rumour that he rejected the offer to return to the cabinet, stating that the president did not offer him a chance to return to cabinet.
Ogbe’s replacement, George Akume, is a loyal party man, who is a former governor of the state and represented the people of Benue North West senatorial district for three consecutive terms of 12 years. His nomination is certainly a reward for his stand for the party, especially with the defection of the governor, Samuel Ortom, to the PDP.
Solomon Dalung did not hide his crave to return to the federal cabinet when in an interview, he said no one could stop him from returning to the cabinet except God. His failure to make the list was a disappointment, as another former minister, Pauline Tallen emerged to take the Plateau slot in the list of ministerial nominees. She had turned down an ambassadorial appointment last year for reasons that she could not leave her sick husband behind in the hands of others.
The absence of the name of former Lagos Governor, Akinwumi Ambode, on the list of nominees, in spite of his earlier humiliation from the governorship race, is hard to comprehend. His nomination was widely speculated but he eventually lost out to the heavyweights in his state.
There is every reason to agree with stakeholders from all political divisions, that the 2023 elections are in focus with the configuration of the new cabinet. The summoning of the political juggernauts from the “four winds” of the nation’s polity in preparation for the battle could be setting the stage for another bloody affair when the time of transition finally comes.
RUSSIAN SUBTERFUGE AND THE INVASION OF UKRAINE- CONSEQUENCE OF REDUCTION IN US GLOBAL INFLUENCE.
By Patrick Olufemi Adelusi
The world woke up to the multidimensional invasion of Ukraine by Russia on the 24th of February 2022.Flurry of diplomatic efforts to dissuade Russia from the intended invasion were carried out by the UK, France, Germany, EU and the US among others. Putin lied to these callers on him. He said he had no intention of invading Ukraine. He had gone against his promise. The methodology that suits this study is the Systems Analysis. The US political system threw up ex-President Donald Trump. A character that is anybody but a good representative of the Political Culture, Social and Economic System of the US. Reports established by the Executive and Congressional Committees of the US has established Russia’s extended help to candidate Donald Trump to win the Presidency of the US. Russia under Putin’s has been emboldened by the US policy of incremental withdrawal from global theatres of action and responsibilities. With Donald Trump cosy person to person relations with his helper, Russia to the Oval Office in Washington, and his refusal to send US Congress approved Military and other economic assistance to Ukraine in time. Putin’s Russia has decided to fill the vacuum. In this Study, attempt would be made analyse the Russian subterfuge and her invasion of independent European country called Ukraine. The remote causes of Russian confidence to dream of recreating sphere of influence in Europe can be traced firstly to the Donald Trump’s US! Secondly, to Ukraine’s geographic location on the route of the gas pipeline to Europe with economic cost of $2billion gatekeeping charges by Ukraine from Russia and Thirdly, attempt to shield probably from early discovery of the corruption at the Presidency of Russian Federation. A thriving Ukrainian system will probably trigger the pressure of Russians towards a desire to emulate Ukraine. To carry out this analysis, the study has been divided into four sections: namely, First, Abstract, Second, the Introduction, thirdly, Remote and immediate causes of Russian Invasion of Ukraine. Fourthly, Conclusion.
Russian invasion of Ukraine on the 24th of February 2022 after a flurry of diplomatic shuttles around President Putin of Russia by representation from Euro-American governments. The President of the United States had about two or more telephone calls to his counterpart Vlad Putin. US Secretary of State had meetings with Russian opposite number on many occasions. French President visited Moscow and met President Putin. The UK Secretary for Foreign Affairs Liz Struss met her counterpart Lavrov more than one occasion. German Chancellor visited President Putin, just mention a few of the callers on Russia to allow dialogue to prevail instead of violence. On each occasion, President Putin kept on saying that he had no intention of invading Ukraine!
The technology on point now has laid bare the issues about threats of and issues of war. Russia has been integrated into the world economy. Fear about hidden enemy against Russia had receded. The cold war paradigms of analysis only serve historical purpose here. This study will not travel along that route. Russia being the largest among the countries that made up the former Soviet Union followed by Ukraine, has been incorporated by European countries, Canada and the United States, into the world economy, cultural, sports, space, science technological cooperation as well as financial system of the world. In essence, the world outlook of peaceful relations and development encouraged these international system actors mentioned above to focus more on science driven industrialization and market driven trade relations. The now to be abandoned Russia gas pipeline to European countries is a great example of such confident improved relationship.
When Vladimir Putin annexed Crimea, a seaport land part of Ukraine, there was mooted outcry. This emboldens Russia to continue to stir uprising and rebellion among the majorly Russian ethnic populated South-eastern Ukraine. The amassing of over 175,000 men and weapons along this neighbouring border to Ukraine signalled a threat of invasion of the country by Russia. Flurry of diplomatic efforts to dissuade Russia from the intended invasion were carried out by the UK, France, Germany, EU and the US among others. Putin lied to these callers on him. He said he had no intention of invading Ukraine. He had gone against his promise. The methodology that suits this study is the Systems Analysis.
The US political system threw up ex-President Donald Trump. A character that is anybody but a good representative of the Political Culture, Social and Economic System of the US. Reports established by the Executive and Congressional Committees of the US has established Russia’s extended help to candidate Donald Trump to win the Presidency of the US. Russia under Putin has been emboldened by the US policy of incremental withdrawal from global theatres of action and responsibilities. With Donald Trump cosy person to person relations with his helper, Putin’s Russia to the Oval Office in Washington, and his refusal to send US Congress approved Military and other economic assistance to Ukraine in time. Putin’s Russia has decided to fill the vacuum. In this Study, attempt would be made analyse the Russian subterfuge and her invasion of independent European country called Ukraine.
The remote causes of Russian confidence, to dream of recreating sphere of influence in Europe can be traced firstly to the Donald Trump’s US! Secondly, to Ukraine’s geographic location on the route of the gas pipeline to Europe with economic cost of $2billion gatekeeping charges by Ukraine on Russia and Thirdly, attempt to shield probably from early discovery of the corruption at the Presidency of Russian Federation. A thriving Ukrainian system will probably trigger the pressure of Russians towards a desire to emulate Ukraine.
To carry out this analysis, the study has been divided into four sections: namely, First, Abstract, Second, the Introduction, thirdly, Remote and immediate causes of Russian Invasion of Ukraine. Fourthly, Conclusion.
III- REMOTE AND IMMEDIATE CAUSES OF RUSSIAN INVASION OF UKRAINE IN 2022
Cold war paradigms of analysis want the world to accept the narrative about the borders drawn between the receding totalitarian remnants of the Soviet Union and the Euro-American systems. No one can deny history. What we have come to live by now since the fall of the Berlin wall in the fall of 1989 is the rules based international order.
The importance of this acceptance of rules based international order by Russia, China and India among other States operating in the international System is simply that the ‘bogey of the evil empire’ has receded in the minds of citizens of all countries.
International Social, Economic, Cultural and Political Relations now assume open cordiality and cooperation between Russia, US, EU, and other countries of the world. A snippet of Russia’s trade relations shows that ‘Russia’s oil and gas exports last year accounted for almost 40% of the government’s budget’ BCA Research said in a recent note. ’According to Russia’s central bank, crude and product revenue last year amounted to just under $180 billion, while pipeline and LNG shipments of Natural Gas generated close to $62 billion last year’.
One remote cause Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is the US’s incremental withdrawal from the international theatres of military engagement and influence. The withdrawal seemed to have started under President Obama. His idea seemed that let the US review and have a change in Military engagement overseas!!! Indeed, to cease to be the ‘policeman’ of the world. A position that upheld international peace in Europe and the Asia. Putin’s Russia then calculated that having a pliant US President could hasten that perceived US withdrawal.
US under Donald Trump was anything but coordinated or stable both at home and in her international relations. Trump associated more with dictators and practiced more of person-to-person dealings with them. Trump’s meetings with Putin showed that he lacked understanding of the traditions of the US in foreign relations. He openly disgraced US’ intelligence community!! Putin moved quickly to corner the supposed vacuum left by the US.
Another remote reason for Putin’s invasion lies in the supposedly $2 billion costs to Russia for passing the natural gas pipeline under Ukraine. By merging the Ukraine with Russian Federation, the bill will become nonissue and Russia will have net profits from doing business with Germany and the EU!
The attempt to shield probably the corruption at the Presidency of Russian Federation from early discovery might constitute another remote cause for Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. A thriving Ukrainian system will probably trigger the pressure of Russians towards a desire to emulate Ukraine. There is democracy with its freedoms operating in the country. That Ukrainians are now used to free press, new trappings of the social media and cultural affinities developing in the country.
Russians are not immune to the attractions brought by real democratic openness and commercial relations. Vladimir Putin was once KGB maximum director/controller, then Russia’s President later her Prime Minister.
He later transformed again to be Russian President a second time. He closed open democratic party participation. The young man that challenged him at polls, he kidnapped him, pumped poisonous substance into his body. He was rushed to Germany just in time, His blood was cleansed of the poison. The young man returned to Russia again to contest the lordship of Putin. He has now been locked behind the cell in Russia now.
This illustrates how Putin and those surrounding him are afraid of a breakdown of the Russian centrally controlled economy driven Political system. The beneficiaries of the system are the corrupt few at the top. Putin has been reported to be in stupendous wealth. He has been observed to have spoken of his preference for a return to Cold War International system. He has been threatening to put the nuclear arsenal on alert! He has even been saying that the sanctions rained against Russia are declarations of war!
The only perceived immediate cause of Putin’s Russia is the Putin’s frozen cold war brain! He has long stayed in power. He was in demand during the ‘cold war’ and since the end of ‘cold war’ where new technology has changed many indices of economic, social, cultural, and military spheres, his influence has started to wane. Ukraine democratic credentials could be intimidating to a closed economy represented by Russia. Ukraine’s 44 million determined population cannot be but a competitor to Russia.
The rules based international order has served the people of the world. The UN system came alive by the observance of this international order. Russian citizens, Chinese citizens, McDonalds Franchises and other US companies, the EU companies, and the newly completed gas pipelines from Russia to Germany yet to be approved for use, are real life turn around relations among countries and their citizens before the madness of Putin’s Russia invasion of Ukraine. There is hardly any country existing in the international system that harbours pure ethnic homogeneity. Inherited Borders of countries have been upheld for purpose of Countries internal administration and peace. Forceful re-drawing of international boundaries is against the ‘rules based international order’. An act of aggression is committed by any Country that has tried to do so.
Russia is not a Superpower. Russia is a pretender to be a Superpower. Putin has been self-seeking. He wants Russia to be placed on the same table with the US. China has more indices of a Superpower than Russia. In the 21st century, there are more weapons of war with built-in precision. Mass of troops are no longer needed to achieve military objectives. Crude demolition of Civilian otherwise referred to as soft targets by Russia is an indication of the level of her power status!!If Russia a medium power cannot use precision weapons to make her statement in Ukraine, a country that shares landed borders with her!! Ukraine, an independent country with 44 million of determined people should not be dictated to. Hear Putin, ‘military action could only be halted only if Kyiv ceases hostilities and fulfils the well-known demands of Russia’. It is likely that a similar India/ Pakistan uneasy relations may soon develop between Russia and Ukraine. Russia can never subjugate Ukraine. It is better for Putin’s Russia to forget recreating old sphere of influence. It will never happen again! Modern technology has outlined the non-relevance of such strategic thinking. It has just come off the propaganda mill that Putin’s Russia is no longer seeking a regime change in Ukraine. Who will ever believe whatever information comes from Putin’s Russia again? In fact, it is Russia that needs a regime change! Putin has overstayed his welcome. An erratic man Putin as President of Russia is as dangerous as when US had to contend with Donald Trump. The big difference is that the US Political System checkmated Trump. Citizens are allowed to decide their leaders in a free and fair elections at intervals. Even as we are analysing Putin’s Russia invasion of Ukraine, former twice impeached US President Donald Trump is still deluding himself while misleading the members of US second most important Political Party with a big lie that he won the 2020 US Presidential elections! He is alive and not hanged!! Can Putin’s Russia allow citizens to have access to real life streaming of the invasion of Ukraine, on whose behalf the security of Russia is at stake? Closing of Russian electronic and Print media that are not government controlled and arresting over 3,000 citizens protesting the invasion in more than 30 cities of Russia speaks a lot about Putin’s Russia.
Here comes another cold war period of international system!!! The UN voting by 141 countries on the Russia’s invasion demonstrated misunderstanding of the issues at stake. Russia propaganda is talking of areas of influence which should be no-go area. Putin is a spent force. He is going to be hunted for years to come. Russians’ avoidable deaths and more importantly avoidable distortions to world economic, sports, cultural, trade and political systems will not be forgotten in a hurry. All the happenings are being recorded in coloured and by high-definition technological instruments.
Is there a way out of the Putin’s Russia invasion of Ukraine? The strongman of Russia has become like a bull inside a chinaware shop, how to guide him out of the shop without destroying everything inside the shop! He has been reported to having changed his goal in invading Ukraine. He no longer wants regime change! Who will take him at his word? He has been reported to have ‘assured’ leaders of States who had considered him a sane person by pleading with him to stay off war but to accept diplomacy, that he had no intention of invading Ukraine! The world now knows who Vladimir Putin is. There are already echoes of Putin’s boasting that “Sweden and Finland won’t join NATO either at his watch, adding that Russia will survive without the West, its them who can’t survive without Russia” He was observed to have vowed.
A regime change in Putin’s Russia can be the ultimate answer. The wishes of the citizens of Russia are of secondary importance to Putin. He has made up his mind that he will prefer a new ‘Cold War’ international system where countries are divided along West and East. Those nomenclatures have gradually been discarded for overlapping bilateral and multilateral relations.
APC National Convention, Matters Arising and the Threats
Conducting the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Convention in February 2022 as approved by President Muhammadu Buhari no doubt is a welcome development, especially as most stakeholders of the party believe that the Gov. Mai Mala Buni-led APC Caretaker and Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) has over stayed its welcome.
The Buni-led APC CECPC, which currently pilots the party`s affairs, was inaugurated on June 25, 2020, to, among other things, conduct a national convention for the election of new National Working Committee (NWC) members to manage the party`s affairs.
While some members of the party have decided to just sit and watch unfolding events in the party, others believe that conducting its National Convention in February 2022, will help douse tension arising from its congresses.
Even as agitation mounts on why the national convention must hold, the Chief Whip of the Senate, Sen.Orji Uzor Kalu, in a recent letter to Buni, urged the committee and its members to consider postponing the party’s national convention.
The former Abia governor appealed to the party to consider conducting the presidential primaries and election of National Working Committee (NWC) members of the party on the same day.
To him, holding the convention in February without sorting out issues of disagreements that came up during the party`s congresses will lead to implosion.
In reacting to Kalu`s suggestion, concerned APC Stakeholders, said because the former Abia governor was not a founding member of the APC, he has no right to say the party’s national convention should not hold.
Alhaji Abdullahi Dauda, spokesman of the group which is a sub political group within the APC, stressed that holding the party’s national convention is critical to avoid issues within its ranks and files.
“Kalu has PDP to fall back to if the court gives judgement against the actions of the Buni-led APC CECPC in future, while we don’t have where to go, because APC is all we have.
“Therefore, members of the APC CECPC should rise and save the party before it’s too late.
“It is our hope and belief that the CECPC will not employ any delay tactics that will result to further postpone the national convention from the February 2022 date as it has done in the past,’’ Dauda said.
He noted that the original six months mandate of the Buni-led committee was extended to almost by 18 months.
According to him, the major, if not the only task before the committee as of today, is the conduct of the party`s national convention which must be pursued with all vigour and seriousness it deserves.
He reiterated the group`s earlier position that the upcoming national convention must not only be free, fair and transparent, but must be seen to be so by all party men and women.
To Dauda, the convention must be open, credible and devoid of any form of imposition in whatever guise.
“It is time the APC again, subject the emergence of its leadership to the will and consent of the majority of party members, rather than the backdoor consensus arrangements of any bloc or group.
“The Concerned APC Stakeholders, in their avowed commitment to ensuring that our party is returned to its core progressive ideals and foundation, will continue to watch the processes leading to the convention closely,” he said.
Dauda added that the group would ensure that only individuals with requisite pedigree emerge as new leaders of the APC.
He appealed to members of the APC CECPC to resist further temptation to postpone the party’s national convention in the interest of larger party members.
Dauda equally appealed to President Buhari to call the committee to order before it becomes too late.
The APC CECPC, in a bid to prove its readiness to conduct the national convention in February 2022, said it will set up a budget sub-committee and other relevant structures ahead of the party’s National Convention, a decision that was applauded by most members of the party.
Dr Salihu Lukman, Director-General Progressives Governors Forum (PGF), while expressing appreciation for the steps taken so far, commended Buni and his committee for rising up to the occasion and affirming that the February date for the party`s national convention is sacrosanct.
He, however, said there is need for the committee to go a step further by announcing the national convention date, stressing that it must remain proactive and ensure that certain issues are not allowed to go into speculation.
“Information about the date of the convention, I think should be made public so that every party member knows when the convention is going to hold in February,’’ he said.
Lukman, while acknowledging the crisis in some of the party`s state chapters, said there is the need for its statutory organs to meet regularly to deepen negotiations within its ranks and files, adding that the party`s leadership should prioritise internal negotiations.
He particularly appealed to APC leaders to prioritise sustaining relationship, noting that the major challenge of politics in the country is poor management of relationship among party leaders.
“This is creating a lot of internal crisis, and I believe that as we move towards the party`s national convention, we should resume meetings of statutory organs of the party.
“Because that will help to resolve a number of issues, whether it is that of congresses or any other disagreement. One meeting can settle everything.
“Our leaders should be able to convene a meeting, possibly, a meeting of National Caucus or National Executive Committee (NEC), before the National Convention,’’ he said.
Lukman, however, noted that the Buni-led CECPC has demonstrated good capacity to make sacrifices, which, he said, is the way to go.
He said it is important for party leaders to embrace negotiation and ensure that meetings took place and decisions taken are respected.
According to him, it is the capacity of the party`s organs to meet that provides a platform for negotiations that will move the party forward.
The Saliu Mustapha Campaign Organisation, while also applauding the APC CECPC on its decision to set up a budget sub-committee and other relevant structures ahead of the party’s National Convention, said the decision showed that the committee is committed to the mandate given to it by the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC).
Saliu Mustapha is one of the frontline national chairmanship aspirants of the APC.
Mr Dapo Okubanjo, of his campaign organisation, said the move is a sign that the APC CECPC is prepared to ignore Kalu`s call to defer the convention.
“We see the move as a sign that the CECPC is prepared to ignore calls to defer the convention and work in line with the position of majority of party stakeholders who are already bracing up for February 2022.
“We are looking forward to the committee naming members of the budget sub-committee and of other structures in order for them to begin work in earnest, and set a definite date for the convention,” he said.
Like the PGF DG, Okubanjo advised the Buni-led committee to, however, go a step further to prove critics wrong by releasing the guidelines for the convention as well as set up other sub-committees as soon as possible.
“This will go a long way in laying to rest all sorts of suggestions about the intentions of the interim party executives,” he said.
He urged the APC CECPC to reject any proposals or suggestions at variance with the clear position of President Buhari on the forthcoming national convention.
However, as the clock ticks, a sub group of the APC: the Progressive Mandate Movement (PMM), has threatened to occupy the party’s national secretariat until the right thing with regards to the party’s national convention is done.
The group, which claimed to be a foundational group of the APC, appealed to the Buni-led APC CECPC to ensure that the party’s national convention is conducted on February 5, 2022.
It also urged the APC CECPC to ensure the immediate release of processes leading to the national convention, latest by Jan. 5, 2022, to avoid crisis within the party’s ranks and files.
It called on the Buni-led CECPC not to prolong the date for the party’s national convention a day beyond Feb. 5, 2022.
“This organisation has always been in the forefront of upholding the progressive ideology of our party and we will not stop at this critical period.
“The delay in conducting the overdue APC national convention is already giving the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) some advantages, making it look like nobody is in charge of the ruling party.
“We therefore call on the APC national caretaker committee not to go beyond Feb. 5, 2022, to hold our party’s national convention,” Alhaji Abdullahi Mohammed, National Coordinator of the group, said recently.
He said the group is in possession of the instructions given to the committee by the Presidency on the need to conduct the party’s national convention on Feb. 5.
He, therefore, appealed to the CECPC to respect the party’s leaders and President Buhari by releasing to the public all the necessary information concerning the forthcoming national convention.
“We also warn that if nothing is made public before Jan. 5, 2022, we shall launch an aggressive operation #OCCUPYAPCNATIONALSECRETARIAT to force our leaders to do the right thing.
“We made bold to say that we do not have another party and we will not allow our leaders to make mistakes that will eventually make us lose elections in 2023,” the statement said.
To Sen. Victor Lar, Campaign Director of Sen. Ali-Modu Sheriff Campaign Organisation, one of the frontline national chairmanship aspirants of the APC, while the February date is welcomed, there is need for the APC National Executive Committee to meet ahead of the national convention to ratify the February date to avoid issues in future.
The APC national convention has been described by most of the party stakeholders as the factor that will determine the party’s future. To them, it will either make the party stronger or weaken the more its foundation which had been threatened by the outcome of its congresses and internal wranglings among its members in some of its state chapters. Time will however tell. (NAN)
PDP Governors Forum, NNPC, CBN and State of National Economy
By Valiant Okongko
Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel on Monday played host to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors across the nation. The Governors who met under the aegis of the PDP Governors Forum spent the day in taking a critical look at the state of the nation. Led by its Chairman, Alhaji Aminu Tambunal of Sokoto state the Governors rose a 14 point communique.
The first ‘Salvo’ hit the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), which the Governors accused of deliberately refusing to make its usual contributions to the Federation Account, thereby stiffling the economy of the states and Local Governments and making them unable to make more employment, development and general well being of Nigerians.
The meeting emphasized that under the Nigerian Constitution, the NNPC is duly bound to remit proceeds of sales or business of petroleum available to the three tiers of Government.
The meeting also frowned at a situation where the NNPC decides on discrepancies and often whimsical manner on how much to spend as well as how to remit to the Federation Account.
It, therefore, called on other agencies of the Federal Government including Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Federal Inland Revenue (FIRS), Nigeria Customs and similar organizations that are statutory required to make contributions into the Federation Account to do more.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was dragged to the floor of the Forum and was accused of operating as an independent Government within a Government.
“A situation where CBN creates money, decides how much of it to spend, on what to spend it on without any forum of control or supervision is potently sensitive of our Constitutional order.
“The Apex Bank has become such an Octopus that it threatens State Governments publicly without decorum about sanctions on any attempt to question its Modus Operande”, the Governors observed and urged the bank to take immediate steps to halt the depreciation of naira.
The forum also frowned at the rising and seemingly uncontrollable debt profile of Nigeria with over 80% of normal appropriation spent on debt servicing.
“All the gains made by the PDP Government under General Obasanjo, GCFR where Nigeria exited its foreign debt obligations have been destroyed.
“Borrowing for frivolous items should be discontinued, rather money should be borrowed for productive purposes as Nigeria’s current debt of over N36Trillion is becoming clearly unsustainable relative to our earnings and GDP. The borrowing spree of APC administration if remained unchecked, will surely lead Nigeria into unavoidable bankruptcy,” the Forum further stated.
The Forum examined the activity of the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission and urged it to send the revised Revenue Allocation Formula to the President for onward transmission to the National Assembly for enactment, failure which the Chairman and members of the Commission should resign forth with or be relieved of their duties.
Concerned by the need to diversify the economy, to generate more funds for the Country, the forum called for more involvement of states in mining and geological activities within their states.
This it said, was necessary in order to compliment Oil as a foreign exchange earner for Nigeria.
The meeting called on the APC Federal Government to think outside the box and find solutions to the challenges facing electricity supply in Nigeria as the current system is certainly most delivering power needed for Nigeria’s rapid industrialization.
On the recurring question of insecurity in Nigeria, the forum reiterated the need to decentralized the operations of security apparatus of state even within the existing legal framework to ensure the input of local operators in State and Local Governments in policing and security.
It reminded the President that he has ultimate authority under the Constitution over security organization even through the states have a role to play.
Cooperation and synergy between the states and the Federal Government in security operations is critical insecurity in Nigeria.
Concluding the meeting extolled the achievements of the chief host, Governor Udom Emmanuel observing that he has brought prudence, innovation and competence on the management of states resources with major landmark projects and interventions.
Governors in attendance included Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwai CFR- Sokoto State- Chairman; Okezie Ikpeazu- Abia State- Vice Chairman; Udom Emmanuel Akwa Ibom State- member; Douye Diri Bayelsa State- member; Samuel Ortom, Benue State – member; Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, Delta State- member; Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi – Enugu State, member; and Nyesom Wike, Rivers.
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