Connect with us

Opinion

Opinion: Tinubu, Atiku and political Obituary (1)

Published

on

Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi

By Tunde Odesola

(Published in The PUNCH, on Friday, March 3, 2023)

When cornered by death or stalked by danger, an insect called the Malaysian Exploding Ant turns against its assailant, ruptures its abdominal muscles, causing its poisonous glands to explode.

With the explosion of the poisonous glands, the ant releases an irritating substance in all directions. The released secretion is capable of immobilising or entangling the adversary.

The Malaysian Exploding Ant loses its life in the explosion, dying an honourable death, ‘ikú yá ju èsín’, teaching its assailant a bitter lesson – never mess with a Malaysian Exploding Ant. By falling on the sword, the ant preserves its clan, sacrificing itself for its colony.

In the olden days, whenever a tyrannical Alaafin of Oyo poked the eyes of the earth with his blue heels, the Oyomesi – a fraternity of powerful chiefs – would storm the palace, and open to the Alaafin, the calabash of death. Abomination! The king must never see the inside of the empty calabash. Èèwò!!

The statement, ‘See Paris and die’, is totally different from ‘See calabash and die’. ‘See Paris and die’ proclaims Paris as the ultimate scenic city in the world where every mortal should visit before dying. But an Alaafin that sees an empty calabash is on the journey of no return.

READ ALSO:

The youths that stormed the Lekki tollgate three years ago were Nigeria’s exploding ants, who, condemning police brutality and demanding improved welfare and infrastructure, resorted to legitimate protest because they were tired of living under conditions unfit for even animals in the wild.

The government didn’t wait to see whether or not the youths would rupture their abdomens in harakiri at Lekki, rather, it sent its sheriffs and soldiers after them, singing a Bob Marley lyric, ‘kill them before they grow’, and yet call them ‘leaders of tomorrow’ a day after the massacre.

The youths were mistaken; they had thought their leaders were only wicked, little did they know they were heartless, too.

After marking the Lekki tollgate with the blood of innocent citizens, the regime of Nigeria’s President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), denied that no youth was killed, calling on wailing parents and relatives to produce the pheromones in the blood of the dead.

However, the late Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, blamed Buhari’s regime for allowing the protest to get out of hand. After the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government crushed the youth’s resistance against oppression at Lekki, Buhari and his party went home and slept with their two eyes closed. We had won, they thought. But revenge is the unforgiving cousin of karma; it’s brutal and unforgetting.

Millions of Nigerians youths nationwide had a voice in the Lekki tollgate protest because they all are affected by the actions and inactions of the directionless Buhari regime. So, they lay in wait and bide their time. Their time came last Saturday. And they utilised it to the hilt.

From the ruins of the earthquake that shattered entrenched political structures and disembowelled godfathers along with their godchildren, I seek interpretations to Nigeria’s new political map etched through the ballot nationwide on February 25, 2023.

The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Obi is not the hero of the 2023 presidential election, he is the arrow. He’s not the vehicle of the struggle, he’s the driver who preached to not make monetary inducement a guarantee for support. With his message of hope and an assurance that Nigeria could be born again, Obi got support across ethnic and religious lines because poverty speaks only one language: lack.

READ ALSO:

Nigerians who queued behind Obi are the heroes and heroines of the 2023 presidential election. Even when the struggle became intense and had to cross ethnic and religious lines, the heroes and heroines remained resolute for the horrors they’ve been subjected to by the APC and the PDP in almost 24 years is worse than errors of the struggle.

Being a product of the All Progressives Grand Alliance and the Peoples Democratic Party, Obi is, surely, no saint, but his lyrics make sense to a nation in need of a messiah different from those of the betrayers resident in the two leading principalities and powers of darkness called parties.

Make no mistake about it, Peter Gregory Obi must have been pleasantly surprised with the numbers thrown up by the election. Not in his wildest imagination would he be sure to sweep the broom into the Lagos Atlantic or snatch Plateau State from the jaws of the Peoples Democratic Party and the All Progressives Congress.

Obi, with the backing of his supporters, knew he had something big in his hands, but like the unpredictability of football tournaments or new inventions, he wasn’t sure how his innovation would turn out. He simply put his product in the market, and b-o-o-m, the rest belongs to history.

Globally, braggadocio is a sauce with which politics is eaten. Former US presidents Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Bill Clinton fit the bill of braggadocious leaders exuding the air of infectious confidence.

The presidential candidate of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, publicly said it would be belittling of him to even take Obi’s name on his lips, now that Obi has slammed him in Lagos, he should tender an open apology to Obi for belittling the new face of opposition in Nigeria.

* To be continued.

Email: tundeodes2003@yahoo.com

Facebook: @tunde odesola

Twitter: @tunde_odesola

Opinion

Nigeria, let the Igbo go

Published

on

Tunde Odesola

Tunde Odesola

(Published in The PUNCH, on Friday, March 17, 2023)

Cleveland, a city in Ohio, USA, was long regarded as the sufferhead among American cities. Bearing on its big head the weight of an unfortunate nickname – The mistake on the lake – Cleveland shares a few similarities with Nigeria. How did Cleveland get its nickname? This is how.

As recently as the late 1960s and 1970s, Cleveland was described as a city where ducks flew upside down because there was nothing worth dumping on. An unforgettable incident happened in June 1969 that made the appellation of a rundown city stick to Cleveland like a mask.

Just as Nigeria has River Niger, Cleveland has Cuyahoga River, where the city’s factories dumped their waste with reckless abandon. The Cuyahoga River, by the way, empties into Lake Erie, which is the 11th largest lake in the world.

On a fateful ‘Ọjọ́ burúkú, èsù gbo’mi mu’ day when the devil was horribly thirsty for evil, a spark from a moving train on a bridge above the river ignited the toxic chemicals floating on the river, resulting in an inferno five storeys high. The fire was quickly put out and nobody died from the incident.

If such an inferno occurred in our beloved Nigeria, your guess is as good as mine; fake pastors would’ve had a field day, the opposition would’ve accused government of arson, government would have said the fire was God’s wish, and Bubu wouldn’t visit the scene; Garba or Adesina would’ve issued a statement silent on casualties, calling on Christians and Muslims to watch and pray. The hopeless country would’ve moved on.

READ ALSO:

Commerce, industry and life folded up in Cleveland as the former 5th largest city population in the US shrunk to become the 54th largest. The river of tears rolling down the cheeks of the Nigerian masses bearing the brunt of misgovernance such as naira scarcity and poverty is bigger than the fast-shrinking Lake Chad, slowly drying up rivers Niger and Benue, and the polluted rivers in the Niger Delta.

But Cleveland has rebounded and is holding its own as America’s third largest iron and steel producing city, arts and cultural hub, topnotch healthcare destination, champion of environmental protection and progenitor of Rock and Roll.

If Cleveland was a ‘Mistake on the Lake’, Nigeria must be a ‘Disaster on the Niger’. Or a ‘Blight on the Benue’. Nigeria’s socio-political history paints the picture of domination, suspicion, hate and jealousy among her various tribes.

The seed of tribal domination, suspicion and hatred was sown with the nation’s first coup d’etat when Igbo soldiers, Major Chukwuma Nzeogwu and Major Emmanuel Ifeajuna, in the night of January 15, 1966, led other coup plotters, who were mainly of Igbo extraction, to carry out a pogrom on Nigeria’s political elite that included Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa, and more than 20 top politicians, senior army officers including their wives, and junior soldiers on duty, even as another Igbo soldier, General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi, seized the reins of power when the country was descending into anarchy.

Apart from Nzeogwu and Ifeajuna, other majors that were the masterminds of the first coup in Nigeria were Timothy Onwuatuegwu, Chris Anuforo, Dan Okafor, Adewale Ademoyega, and Humphrey Chukwuka.

A list of the casualties in the January 15, 1966 coup include Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Premier Ahmadu Bello, Premier Samuel Ladoke Akintola, Finance Minister Festus Okotie-Eboh, Ahmed Musa (Ahmadu Bello’s aide), Hafsatu Bello, Mrs Latifat Ademulegun, Zarumi Sardauna, Ahmed Pategi (Bello’s driver).

Others include Brigadier Samuel Ademulegun, Brigadier Zakariya Maimalari, Colonel Ralph Shodehinde, Colonel Kur Mohammed, Lt Colonel Abogo Largema, Lt Colonel James Pam, Lt Colonel Arthur Unegbe, Sergeant Daramola Oyegoke, Police Constable Yohana Garkawa, Lance Corporal Musa Nimzo, Police Constable Akpan Anduka, Police Constable Hagai Lai, and Philip Lewande. Unegbe was the only Igbo killed during the coup.

READ ALSO:

Yoruba leader, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, luckily escaped being killed in the January 1966 coup plot because he had been sentenced to a 10-year jail term for alleged conspiracy to overthrow the Balewa government in 1963.

Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, the President of the country, who was on a cruise to the Caribbean when the coup occurred, had transferred powers to the Senate President, Prince Nwafor Orizu.

Then came the counter-coup of July 1966 aka ‘July Rematch’ which was more senseless and sickening than the January coup as an undisclosed number of Igbo soldiers, including Ironsi, were murdered, setting Nigeria on the path of a civil war that started on July 6, 1967 and ended on January 15, 1970 – lasting exactly 2 years, 6 months, 1 week and 2 days.

It’s true to say that the spine of the fragile unity of Nigeria was broken by the January 1966 coup, it is truer to say that the Igbo have never recovered from the Biafra War. No tribe can ever recover from a war that killed an estimated three million people.

Aborigine Indians never recovered till date in the US, Tibetans, Taiwanese and Uyghurs never fully recovered in Chinese hands, natives never recovered in Canada – in wars wherein genocide, starvation and sterilization were potent weapons for forceful land takeover and imperialism.

War is always terrible and avoidable. It’s like the bullet, once shot, it hurries to wreak havoc. It’s sane to say that the January 1966 coup was a military action, whose consequence shouldn’t be visited on an entire tribe. But warmongers would say that everything is fair in war and that the Igbo got what they deserve. However, is it right to kill an ant with a sledgehammer? Is it right to kill a dog because it barks?

The whole concept of Nigeria’s amalgamation is insane, unnatural and pretentious because after the Biafra War, ‘No victor, no vanquished’ became the new song on every lip, whereas suspicion, mistrust and contempt sit in the belly of each tribe.

With the 2023 general elections, the chickens have, again, come home to roost. The elections have, once again, widened the national fissures of ethnicity, religion and hypocrisy accentuated by the headless regime of retired Major General Muhammadu Buhari – a beneficiary of coups. Buhari divided Nigeria so much that when people are killed anywhere in the country nowadays, the first question that comes to mind is, “I hope my tribe isn’t involved’.

READ ALSO:

Sadly, ethnicity, religion and hypocrisy have been critical factors determining the swing of electoral victory in the 2023 elections, just like past elections. Sadly, this is what the political elite designed for the masses, and it’s bearing bountiful harvests.

If not hypocrisy, what would you call Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who, as the day of election reckoning nears, has gained rapid demotion from being Lagos State foreman to being Lagos State groundsman ready to hug the homeless, lick the vulcaniser arse and stand at church entrance like a stranded sexton.

If not for ethnicity and hypocrisy, why haven’t the Igbo ever been this concerted, assertive and vehement in condemning bad governance in Igbo land especially, and across Nigeria generally, as they’ve now been rooting in Lagos?

Inasmuch as I’m an advocate of giving the job to the best hands, notwithstanding religious consideration, I’ll be remiss and insincere if I claim that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s Muslim-Muslim was altruistic. That political act was in disregard of Christian religion, and could embolden an encore by the political class in future elections. Its unforeseen fallout is what’s making Sanwo-Olu’s heart beat 1,000 times per minute at the mention of Elluu Pee.

For one thousand and one reasons, the All Progressives Congress should’ve been punished at the polls but it exploited the nation’s faultlines, like other parties also did, to garner votes nationwide in confirmation of the weaponization of poverty.

No doubt, the memory of Biafra wracks the Igbo till date, the same way the loss of Ilorin, a Yoruba land, to the Fulani, rankles the Yoruba still. This is why ‘Lagos is no man’s land’ mantra provokes instant disgust in the Yoruba.

If the Labour Party loses Lagos governorship election on Saturday, the Igbo will come to great political pain, and return to the old song, “We want Biafra.” I join in the song; if the Igbo cannot aspire to be what they want in Nigeria, let them go.

Email: tundeodes2003@yahoo.com
Facebook: @tunde odesola
Twitter: @tunde_odesola

Continue Reading

Opinion

Tinubu, Atiku and political obituary (2)

Published

on

Tunde Odesola

Tunde Odesola

(Published in The PUNCH, on Friday, March 10, 2023)

Bitter, sweet and curious creature, the honeybee. When the honeybee stings, its abdomen tears up, its mouth opens and closes, hitting the ground in a final kiss of death. That is the fate of the honeybee and its stinger – a weapon it uses for protection and the harbinger of its ultimate death.

Hey, the next time you see a dead bee on the ground, you probably need to stoop, if you can’t pick it up, to see if it ‘bled’ to death in the abdomen.

Science has shown that when the honeybee sinks its stinger in flesh, for example, the stinger gets hooked. In an attempt to force the stinger out, the longer part of the stinger embedded inside the bee tears up the end of the abdomen, and the bee opens its mouth ‘in shock’, then closes it, and drops to kiss the ground in death.

Arguably America’s foremost Extension Apiculturist – Eric Mussen – lecturer at the University of California at Davis, devoted most of his 78-year life to research on bees and beekeeping before passing in June, last year. “When a honeybee stings, it dies a gruesome death…It is only the female honeybees, also known as the worker bees, that sting. Each hive contains some 60,000 workers..,” Mussen told the Public Broadcasting Service.

The honeybee, and the Malaysian Exploding Ant, which I referred to in the first part of this article, thus, suffer the same ghastly fate when defending their castes.

Like the honeybee and the Malaysian Exploding Ant, the APC and the PDP suffered self-amputation during the presidential and federal legislature elections held on February 25, 2023, bursting their abdomens, exposing their entrails – necessitating the ambulance rushing to the ER.

In Lagos, the headcount taken after the passover of February 25 shows that the days of political prisoners singing the slavish panegyric, “On Your Mandate We Shall Stand,” are numbered. Even the Architect of Modern Lagos, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who wears a shackled cap instead of a helmet, was force-fed the humble pie before falling ‘yakata’ from construction scaffolding into the sinking sand on the Atlantic beach, and washed off into the Osun River!

With the loss the PDP suffered in its home states of the South-East, South-South and parts of the North during the election, former vice president and serial loser, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, should, by now, have come to the painful realisation that the PDP salt has lost its taste, the lion has lost its mane. In the just concluded presidential election, the ‘largest party in Africa’ was torn into shreds in Lagos, and in its former strongholds of Abuja, Rivers, Edo, Delta, Anambra, Enugu, Imo etc.

Now, the coffin is ready for the expiring patient, who is ready for the grave, already dug by undertakers, who are teary but ready to bury. So, in flames goes the wish of a party whose dream of ruling for 60 years terminated in 16 years.

By the results of the February presidential and federal legislature elections, it’s crystal clear that ignoble age-long political practices such as godfatherism, money politics, ethnicity and religious divisiveness would be a thing of the past if the majority of the 93,522,272 Nigerian voter population participate in elections and vote their conscience. Sadly, only 23,377,466 Nigerians voted during the elections, which represent 24.9% of total voters.

Bemused, I watch as Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has been running on hot coals since February 25 when the APC lost Lagos to Labour Party, knocking on residents’ doors, begging for votes and personally taking selfies with ordinary Lagosians, who ordinarily, could never get close to him if he wasn’t driven by the fear of impending electoral loss.

I can see the voter laugh, close his eyes, mount his horse and wish election comes every year to humble the vagabonds in power. Times are changing. The ground is dizzy. The voter was a beggar; he had a wish and a horse, but wasn’t allowed to ride. Now, he has whip of PVC and has mounted his horse en route to his dream, woe betide the voice of retrogression wailing in the wilderness, appealing to ethnic or religious sentiments.

I wish the Labour Party wins Lagos for democracy and the opposition to thrive. For eight years, Tinubu was a pain in the neck of President Olusegun Obasanjo who allegedly sought to perpetuate himself in government through a third term agenda. Let Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour put a needle to Tinubu’s neck too – now that he will be president.

In 2006, I forced my way into the heavily guarded Osun State House of Assembly legislative chamber – venue of the South-West public hearing on constitution amendment which had the governors of the region in attendance.

Noble lawyer and courageous activist, Bamidele Aturu; may his gentle soul rest in peace, popular activist, Moshood Erubami; and many other activists across the South-West stormed the venue of the hearing, which many believed was orchestrated by Obasanjo to earn a third term.

The police and the DSS who mounted guard at the doors leading into the chambers barred activists from entering, precipitating a shouting and shoving match before the activists and many members of the public forced their way into the chamber.

An enraged Governor Ayodele Fayose climbed the table and ordered the police to flush out the ‘intruders’. Years later, Fayose accused Obasanjo of masterminding a third term agenda.

I learnt then on good authority that Tinubu as Lagos governor was in support of some of the activists that stormed the venue to stop the purported third term agenda. Does this good deed qualify Tinubu as a democrat? NO! In eight years, Tinubu had three deputy governors – Kofoworola Akerele-Bucknor, Femi Pedro and Sarah Sosan.

So, whenever Tinubu is tempted to go imperial, as is his wont, there should be a political force to repel him as he repelled the Ebora Owu who has the sole ownership of a university, controversial library and farm in Ota. The sauce distilled as pepper soup for the goose is simmering on the boil for the gander. After 24 unbroken years of APC administration, Lagos deserves another ‘last man’ standing.

I don’t like the way Rhodes-Vivour speaks Yoruba like a faulty pepper grinding machine but to say he’s unqualified to contest Lagos governorship on account of his mother being Igbo is a symptom of afternoon madness.

Remi, the beautiful wife of Tinubu, is Itshekiri. Is it then right to say that the daughters bore Tinubu by Remi aren’t Yoruba and Lagosians? Is it right to say the children bore Seyi, Tinubu’s son, by his Igbo wife, aren’t Yoruba and Lagosians? Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke, was born by an Igbo woman, today he’s the executive governor of Osun. Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu ,married an Igbo. Does that stop their children from contesting elections in Ondo? The list goes on and on.

I think it’s ripe enough time to ask about the maternity of Seyi Tinubu, and that of Tinubu’s prominent daughter, Folashade Tinubu-Ojo, who is the Iyaloja General of Nigeria. Full disclosures on the mothers of all Tinubu’s children would put Nigerians in good perspective as to who should refund Lagos State billions of naira in contracts, perks and freebies raked under the Tinubu family name.

The letter ‘T’ is synonymous with Tinubu and Tortoise. When the insensitive Governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele, came up with his watercolour design of the naira, Tinubu and his disciples like Nasir el-Rufai, Abdullahi Ganduje and Adams Oshiomhole cried like malevolent spirits.

But since the APC won the presidential election, the once disconsolate defenders of the masses have withdrawn into their posh shells and abandoned suffering Nigerian masses to queue in the sun daily at banks, waiting to buy naira with naira. There is no human face to their shame and insensitivity.

A monk beds a prostitute at night and mounts the pulpit in the morning to condemn harlotry. I know the monk and his followers. Do you? Of course, you do. Then, vote your conscience on March 18, 2023.

tundeodes2003@yahoo.com
tunde
Tinubu, Atiku and political obituary (2)

Tunde Odesola

Bitter, sweet and curious creature, the honeybee. When the honeybee stings, its abdomen tears up, its mouth opens and closes, hitting the ground in a final kiss of death. That is the fate of the honeybee and its stinger – a weapon it uses for protection and the harbinger of its ultimate death.

Hey, the next time you see a dead bee on the ground, you probably need to stoop, if you can’t pick it up, to see if it ‘bled’ to death in the abdomen.

Science has shown that when the honeybee sinks its stinger in flesh, for example, the stinger gets hooked. In an attempt to force the stinger out, the longer part of the stinger embedded inside the bee tears up the end of the abdomen, and the bee opens its mouth ‘in shock’, then closes it, and drops to kiss the ground in death.

Arguably America’s foremost Extension Apiculturist – Eric Mussen – lecturer at the University of California at Davis, devoted most of his 78-year life to research on bees and beekeeping before passing in June, last year. “When a honeybee stings, it dies a gruesome death…It is only the female honeybees, also known as the worker bees, that sting. Each hive contains some 60,000 workers..,” Mussen told the Public Broadcasting Service.

The honeybee, and the Malaysian Exploding Ant, which I referred to in the first part of this article, thus, suffer the same ghastly fate when defending their castes.

Like the honeybee and the Malaysian Exploding Ant, the APC and the PDP suffered self-amputation during the presidential and federal legislature elections held on February 25, 2023, bursting their abdomens, exposing their entrails – necessitating the ambulance rushing to the ER.

In Lagos, the headcount taken after the passover of February 25 shows that the days of political prisoners singing the slavish panegyric, “On Your Mandate We Shall Stand,” are numbered. Even the Architect of Modern Lagos, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who wears a shackled cap instead of a helmet, was force-fed the humble pie before falling ‘yakata’ from construction scaffolding into the sinking sand on the Atlantic beach, and washed off into the Osun River!

With the loss the PDP suffered in its home states of the South-East, South-South and parts of the North during the election, former vice president and serial loser, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, should, by now, have come to the painful realisation that the PDP salt has lost its taste, the lion has lost its mane. In the just concluded presidential election, the ‘largest party in Africa’ was torn into shreds in Lagos, and in its former strongholds of Abuja, Rivers, Edo, Delta, Anambra, Enugu, Imo etc.

Now, the coffin is ready for the expiring patient, who is ready for the grave, already dug by undertakers, who are teary but ready to bury. So, in flames goes the wish of a party whose dream of ruling for 60 years terminated in 16 years.

By the results of the February presidential and federal legislature elections, it’s crystal clear that ignoble age-long political practices such as godfatherism, money politics, ethnicity and religious divisiveness would be a thing of the past if the majority of the 93,522,272 Nigerian voter population participate in elections and vote their conscience. Sadly, only 23,377,466 Nigerians voted during the elections, which represent 24.9% of total voters.

Bemused, I watch as Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has been running on hot coals since February 25 when the APC lost Lagos to Labour Party, knocking on residents’ doors, begging for votes and personally taking selfies with ordinary Lagosians, who ordinarily, could never get close to him if he wasn’t driven by the fear of impending electoral loss.

I can see the voter laugh, close his eyes, mount his horse and wish election comes every year to humble the vagabonds in power. Times are changing. The ground is dizzy. The voter was a beggar; he had a wish and a horse, but wasn’t allowed to ride. Now, he has whip of PVC and has mounted his horse en route to his dream, woe betide the voice of retrogression wailing in the wilderness, appealing to ethnic or religious sentiments.

I wish the Labour Party wins Lagos for democracy and the opposition to thrive. For eight years, Tinubu was a pain in the neck of President Olusegun Obasanjo who allegedly sought to perpetuate himself in government through a third term agenda. Let Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour put a needle to Tinubu’s neck too – now that he will be president.

In 2006, I forced my way into the heavily guarded Osun State House of Assembly legislative chamber – venue of the South-West public hearing on constitution amendment which had the governors of the region in attendance.

Noble lawyer and courageous activist, Bamidele Aturu; may his gentle soul rest in peace, popular activist, Moshood Erubami; and many other activists across the South-West stormed the venue of the hearing, which many believed was orchestrated by Obasanjo to earn a third term.

The police and the DSS who mounted guard at the doors leading into the chambers barred activists from entering, precipitating a shouting and shoving match before the activists and many members of the public forced their way into the chamber.

An enraged Governor Ayodele Fayose climbed the table and ordered the police to flush out the ‘intruders’. Years later, Fayose accused Obasanjo of masterminding a third term agenda.

I learnt then on good authority that Tinubu as Lagos governor was in support of some of the activists that stormed the venue to stop the purported third term agenda. Does this good deed qualify Tinubu as a democrat? NO! In eight years, Tinubu had three deputy governors – Kofoworola Akerele-Bucknor, Femi Pedro and Sarah Sosan.

So, whenever Tinubu is tempted to go imperial, as is his wont, there should be a political force to repel him as he repelled the Ebora Owu who has the sole ownership of a university, controversial library and farm in Ota. The sauce distilled as pepper soup for the goose is simmering on the boil for the gander. After 24 unbroken years of APC administration, Lagos deserves another ‘last man’ standing.

I don’t like the way Rhodes-Vivour speaks Yoruba like a faulty pepper grinding machine but to say he’s unqualified to contest Lagos governorship on account of his mother being Igbo is a symptom of afternoon madness.

Remi, the beautiful wife of Tinubu, is Itshekiri. Is it then right to say that the daughters bore Tinubu by Remi aren’t Yoruba and Lagosians? Is it right to say the children bore Seyi, Tinubu’s son, by his Igbo wife, aren’t Yoruba and Lagosians? Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke, was born by an Igbo woman, today he’s the executive governor of Osun. Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu ,married an Igbo. Does that stop their children from contesting elections in Ondo? The list goes on and on.

I think it’s ripe enough time to ask about the maternity of Seyi Tinubu, and that of Tinubu’s prominent daughter, Folashade Tinubu-Ojo, who is the Iyaloja General of Nigeria. Full disclosures on the mothers of all Tinubu’s children would put Nigerians in good perspective as to who should refund Lagos State billions of naira in contracts, perks and freebies raked under the Tinubu family name.

The letter ‘T’ is synonymous with Tinubu and Tortoise. When the insensitive Governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele, came up with his watercolour design of the naira, Tinubu and his disciples like Nasir el-Rufai, Abdullahi Ganduje and Adams Oshiomhole cried like malevolent spirits.

But since the APC won the presidential election, the once disconsolate defenders of the masses have withdrawn into their posh shells and abandoned suffering Nigerian masses to queue in the sun daily at banks, waiting to buy naira with naira. There is no human face to their shame and insensitivity.

A monk beds a prostitute at night and mounts the pulpit in the morning to condemn harlotry. I know the monk and his followers. Do you? Of course, you do. Then, vote your conscience on March 18, 2023.

Email: tundeodes2003@yahoo.com
Facebook: @tunde odesola
Twitter: @tunde_odesola

* Concluded.

Continue Reading

Opinion

Naija, your vote your power! – Princess Hamman-Obels

Published

on

THE ELECTORAL HUB PRE-ELECTION STATEMENT ON NAIJA DECIDES 2023

The 2023 election is the seventh general election in Nigeria since the transition to democratic rule in 1999. The election is unique owing to the shift from a two-legged race to a four-legged race; it has also attracted a lot of attention both domestically and internationally largely due to the increase participation of the youth in the recently conducted voter registration and PVC collection exercise as well as the campaigns.

Another reason for the apt attention on the general election is the risks that threaten the success of the election. The Electoral Hub research conducted with support from OSIWA/OSF identified ten key threats to the election as: insecurity, poor management of tight Presidential and Governorship election, vote trading (buying and selling of votes), poor infrastructure, staff incompetence and sabotage within the EMB, conflicting court orders and controversial judgments, glitches and hitches of electoral technology, trust deficit in the electoral system, interferences with voters’ access and voting rights and poor management of youth expectations in the electoral process.

For the past one year, we have been monitoring the electoral process and in the last two (2) months through our Electoral Volunteer Information Centre (EVIC).  The Electoral Hub in line with its commitment to promoting electoral accountability, knowledge, and integrity and with support from the DAI/EU-SDGN launched the Electoral Volunteer Information Centre (EVIC) in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Kano and Lagos States. The EVIC project is primarily aimed at civic engagement and education in relation to the forthcoming 2023 General Election. This intervention is also in furtherance of engaging citizens and mobilizing voters for election being a pillar of the electoral process and deepening citizens’ engagement to ensure electoral integrity. The EVIC objectives were: bringing electoral information close to the electorates/public/citizens, assisting citizens to know their PVC status and collection points, sensitizing citizens about their Polling Unit (PUs) locations and access, improving knowledge and understanding of the electoral process, procedures, INEC’s new technology and promoting women, youths, and PWDs’ participation in the electoral process. In other words, at the EVICs, citizens are provided with different electoral services such as assistance in checking for polling units, voters’ registration status, PVC collection centers, as well as about the BVAS and other electoral information.

READ ALSO:

 In line with our mandate, we have conducted other activities which include but are not limited to:

  • Sensitization on citizens’ rights and impact on security in the upcoming elections.
  • Providing electoral service assistance to the public by helping citizens to check the status of PVC registration, allocated collection points, polling unit information, information about the BVAS as well as addressing complaints and challenges.
  • Online digital advocacy on the need for compliance with the relevant institutional and regulatory framework.
  • Training of observers on observing, documenting and reporting of Electoral Conduct and Misconduct during the election.
  • Organising policy roundtables on electoral violence; the risks and threats for stakeholders to anticipate and prepare for.
  • Promoting inclusion and the full participation of youth, women and People living with Disabilities (PWDs).
  • Advocating for accountability and integrity among electoral stakeholders and staff to preserve the sanctity of democracy and rule of law.
  • Deployment of accredited election observers and citizens observers across the country.
  • Production of infographics and posters to educate voters on key things about the elections. These are available on our social media handles: @electoralhub on Instagram and Twitter, and @electoralhubng on Facebook.

READ ALSO:

The Electoral Hub has deployed observers across the states of the federation to observe the 2023 general election. Our observation will focus pre-electoral, electoral, and post electoral periods. We focus on issues such as:  compliance with legal framework, RAC preparations and set-ups, security presence, fuel and currency scarcity impacts, youth, women and PWDs participation, malpractices including vote trading and electoral violence, election related -violence against women, ad-hoc staff performance, collation process management, and post collation electoral environment/conduct of key stakeholders. These key areas would serve as basis for our analysis on the conduct of the election.

In promoting a peaceful and credible election, we urge stakeholders and citizens to work according to their responsibilities for the success of the upcoming election. Most specifically, it is our expectations that;

  • With the introduction of the new Electoral Act, INEC is more equipped to manage and monitor the electoral process adequately and ensure that the process is credible and in accordance with legal trends despite security challenges.
  • Ad hoc staff and electoral officials should carry out their responsibilities effectively, ensuring that important ideals like knowledge of the voting procedure, voting equality, vote privacy, and an inclusive electoral process is preserved.
  • Political parties should maintain the face of Nigeria’s democracy and avoid electoral fraud and malpractices such as rigging, vote-buying and post electoral malpractices.
  • Security agencies should maintain integrity, be vigilant and alert to protect election officials, voters, election equipment, and the general election environment. They should not spare defaulters and violators of electoral laws.
  • Civil society organisations and election observers should be attentive and highlight anomalies (if any), on election day.
  • The media should report factual and provide relevant updates about the events on election day. They are expected to verify reports before informing the public.
  • The electorate should participate effectively in the electoral process without inducements and biases. They should refrain from selling their vote on election day.

Each electoral stakeholder outlined is paramount to a successful election. We are optimistic that the different stakeholders will honour the electoral process, perform their statutory and civic responsibilities towards ensuring a successful election. As we go into the election, we urge Nigerians to come out massively to vote, as voting is their civic right and responsibility. It is important to note that voter’s participation is one of the criteria in determining the credibility of elections and as such we encourage Nigerians to come out and cast their votes.

We also urge political parties to desist from causing chaos and violence in the election just to protect their personal interest. Similarly, we urge the youth not to allow themselves to be used by politicians to cause havoc in the election.

To attain a successful election, we must all work together to play our part by coming out to vote and protecting the institutional integrity of INEC as the national EMB in Nigeria.

We anticipate a free and fair, inclusive, and transparent election on February 25, 2023!

#NaijaDecides2023, #NigeriaDecides2023, #ElectoralIntegrityNG, #ElectoralCredibilityNG, #ElectoralInclusivity, #NoToElectionViolence, #CitizenRight

Princess Hamman-Obels is the Founder and Director, The Electoral Hub

 

Continue Reading

Trending