Thursday, February 23, 2017

NIGERIA, BUHARI & DEJA VU

It's been more than a month since President Muhammadu Buhari left Nigeria for what was initially considered a ten day vacation, in which he also planned to his doctors for regular medical checkup. This has since been severally altered to become an indefinite medical vacation going by his letter to the National Assembly, as read by the Senate President earlier this week, with the Presidency insisting that the President has been advised to rest, while he awaits results of tests carried out on him. Between the first and the last fact, had been others ranging from the plausible, to the most ridiculous, like the inability of the president to return at a certain time he was rumoured to soon return, because the presidential jet meant to convey him back to Nigeria was faulty.


The present situation has become a déjà vu of some sorts to Nigerians who only years back witnessed same with the late President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua, who incidentally is from the same state as the incumbent, who had at the time advised his kinsman to do noble and needful by tendering his resignation, even going as far as asking that the late President Yar'Adua be impeached,
an admonition that has now come to haunt him today. One lesson that the government appeared to have learnt from that imbroglio in 2010, was that of transmitting power to the Vice President, which the former failed to do back then (though in hindsight, many have come to believe that Yar'Adua might not have been in the position and state of mind to cause for such a letter to be written to the National Assembly to activate such a clause), leading to the Senate invoking the DOCTRINE OF NECESSITY to make the then Vice President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, the Acting President.


Beyond that, nothing much has changed. Just as with Yar'Adua when select members of the National Assembly went to visit the former president in Saudi Arabia, a repeat of that is playing out today, even widened with party leaders from his party also paying him visits, with photoshoots to boot
APC NATIONAL LEADER, ASIWAJU BOLA AHMED TINUBU & APC CHIEFTAIN, CHIEF BISI AKANDE DURING THEIR LATEST VISIT TO BUHARI IN LONDON.

to prove to Nigerians that besides the fact that the president isn't dead (to which Nigeria's cyberspace responded with several photoshop versions of themselves with the president, with or without the
original guests in the picture), he's "Hale, Heart and Chatty", according to Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, who appears to be saving what's left of this government's credibility by portraying it, simply by gestures only, in ways Nigerians couldn't have imagined of the directionlessness that's become the hallmark of the government since inauguration close to two years now.


Again, as with the time when Goodluck Jonathan was Acting President, Acting President Osinbajo seems to be acting only as a puppet controlled by strings pulled by what was popularly called the "Cabal" in those days. Only the undiscerning will fail to see this, in claiming that Osinbajo is truly in "Acting" capacity as president, evidenced with what happened when America's President Donald Trump called, but spoke with a Nigerian president supposedly on vacation, in flagrant breach and disregard of protocol, seeing that nothing discussed can be considered to be formal and official, yet it was done, probably to prove that the president is alive. If what Abdulmumin Jibrin, the now suspended and self-exiled House of Representatives member tweeted yesterday, alluding that when the Acting President "... Osinbajo gives instruction and you have people running to London to ask PMB if that is what he wants..." is anything to go by, it means there is no end in sight, anytime soon for the unfortunate situation that Nigeria is in all aspects, as important issues of state by so doing will remain either unattended to with the required alacrity, or proceed at snail speed, just because some people feel that a "mere commissioner" is below them?


And that's even a situation where it is suspected that the president is in a position to make those decisions, accent to or decline, as the case may be, leaving a gaping hole for the case where he might not be capable of such, and how Nigeria might just be on autopilot, or ruled by proxy, seeing that the Acting President can't independently decide on key issues and policies of state, in the manner he should be able to, as incumbent on him, proceeding from the dictates of the constitution, which forms the basis for the cautious optimism held by some watchers, of the agility that the presidency has witnessed in the past few days and weeks since Professor Osinbajo slipped into acting capacity on behalf of his principal. Unfortunately, it is the people who got this government into power against all odds that are bearing the brunt of the cluelessness and shame that's become of the presidency, especially regarding the president's yet satisfactorily unexplained absence, with double-digit inflation, skyrocketing costs of doing business, exponential increase in costs of essential commodities, hunger, starvation and death, even at dilapidated health institutions that those in government have neglected, since they can easily fly abroad where the systems work, for the best of healthcare, while calling on Nigerians to put them in prayers, without necessarily admitting that they are ill, talk more of what illness ails them.


'kovich


PICTURE CREDIT:
- https://www.thecable.ng
- http://www.nairaland.com 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

JUSTICE FOR JUSTICE ONNOGHEN

Finally, Honourable Justice Walter S. Nkanu Onnoghen's name has been forwarded by the Presidency to the Senate for confirmation as the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN just before the expiration of the three months period within which he could remain in acting capacity, due by the tenth of February. Since coming to power, President Muhammadu Buhari hasn't for once hidden his disdain for the judiciary, moving beyond rhetorics to having many judges homes raided by the officials of the secret service (headed by his kinsman) on charges of corruption. Interestingly, like many other forward thinking actions that's so far happened under this President Muhammadu Buhari government since coming to power more than twenty months ago, it happened while he was out of the country, supposedly on "vacation".
JUSTICE W. S. N. ONNOGHEN


The delay in forwarding his name all this while, have unsettled not a few Nigerians who have had it to the neck with the Presidents' nepotistic tendencies in appointments in virtually all areas of government, seeing that the honourable justice will be the first CJN if confirmed from Southern Nigeria in thirty years. Even the observation by certain legal eggheads that the National Judicial Council, NJC which Justice Onnoghen also heads can renominate him to the presidency for confirmation by the senate, should the term in which he can perform in acting capacity elapse, wouldn't douse the doubt in the minds of the many who feel they cannot trust Buhari to do the needful should such a situation arise, without pandering to his parochial interest in naming a successor who would satisfy what will seem to be his condition (being of Hausa, or most importantly, Fulani origin) for anyone occupying such a position of authority while he holds sway. They didn't think, going by his antecedents, that it will matter to him that this same Justice Onnoghen held the only contrary decision in that Supreme Court Judgment that upheld Late President Yar'adua's heavily flawed (do-or-die) election in 2007, in his favour.


Had this not happened this way, and President Buhari had had his way, it would've become one such appointments too many to favour Nigerians of his ethnic group or closest to him in northern Nigeria, and even those who have been supporting him all the while, especially regarding his appointments, stating that as president it is his prerogative, and he could as well choose anyone he wishes to work with from only a part of Nigeria he's comfortable with, as long as they go about government business in the interest of Nigeria (which as we have so far seen is far from the truth and reality), would not find the mouth to explain what would've been the most outrageous decision he would've made as president.


Now that his bluffs have been saved him by Vice President, now Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, and a looming crisis of confidence averted in the now totally browbeaten judicial arm of government, his supporters would most likely jump on that as having been in the works all this while, as thorough work of screening the acting CJN was responsible for the delay in forwarding his name as constitutionally required to the senate for confirmation in the first place; same delay that in the absence of information from the government over the issue, led to rumours about the person of President Buhari when it comes to playing the ethnicity card, that the good Justice was compelled just last week to plead with those making the delay in forwarding his name to the senate by the presidency a political/ethnic issue to henceforth desist. It would appear that powers temporal who resisted this much awaited action on Onnoghen's behalf have been prevailed upon by powers spiritual to do the needful, and this should humble the honourable jurist.


But should we always wait for the president to be out of the country before the ship of state is steered in the forward direction? Once there was, under this same government when Buhari messaged Nigerians only via the foreign press outside the country, even that hasn't happened since his vacation that's now become medical tourism (the sort that has now thrown Nigeria in the same situation it was, a few years back when ailing Late President Yar'adua's health status was kept secret while he was in a hospital in Saudi Arabia), which was extended indefinitely over the weekend leaving Nigeria on auto pilot as the Acting President appears to have limits within which to act, because of the peculiar nature in which power is held and dispensed (at the mercy, even of incapacitated executives like it happened in Taraba State with Danbaba Suntai) in Nigeria, and not necessarily because it's a constitutional mandate. I hope this movement by the Acting President will continue in terms of policies that will alleviate the sufferings of the majority of Nigeria's impoverished, should he develop the cojones and political will to pursue and insist on their implementation in the absence of his principal, by ignoring and calling the bluffs of "invisible" hands currently pulling the strings of the puppet in the presidency.


'kovich


PICTURE CREDIT:
- http://www.punchng.com

Saturday, February 4, 2017

AS TUFACE BACKS DOWN ON HIS PLANNED PROTEST

People who know me enough, know to bet against teams I openly support, hence when it comes to betting I hardly am your best bet in terms of predictions but I guessed something right this time around, unfortunately I didn't stake a claim publicly before it became reality, and so you could feel free to say "Yeah Right" in response to my veiled prediction. Maybe next time, I'd be more forthcoming, but the truth is that since talk about this proposed rally or peaceful protest or demonstration, which later had popular Nigerian artiste, Innocent Idibia aka Tuface aka Tubaba as its face became talk of town, with supporters and antagonists equally matched with daggers drawn, I'd personally spoken or written little about it on social media and outside of it, because somehow, having put several two and twos together, I felt it wouldn't hold. I didn't know however, that Tuface himself (who continues to endure personal attacks verbally thrown at him on all sides since pegging his name to the protests) will via YouTube cancel it, for now, for fear that it might be hijacked by vested interests, not aligned with the spirit of the protests, especially seeing that there are now genuine fears for the lives of protesters by no less, those whose constitutional responsibility it is to protect them (with precedence to boot).
TUFACE CANCELS PLANNED PROTEST.


The truth is that Nigerians are suffering, including those who are still playing ostriches, just because their man President Muhammadu Buhari is in power and they can't support any anything that may end up with power shifting from the north to the south (even with the likelihood slim to non-existent), the reason why he still has massive support in the North; or because they are too proud, like most southwesterners to admit that they fell for a well orchestrated scam in the last presidential election, even with their so called exposure and enlightenment; or because like southeastern politicians just because of a promise of power shift to the Igbo after eight years of Buhari, have now suddenly seen the "light", and in throwing their weight behind the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC by decamping in their droves from the People's Democratic Party, PDP with no thoughts for their brother, Deputy Senate President Ekwerenmadu whose position they've largely jeopardized unless he aligns with them and switch as well to the ruling party.

By dawn, when Nigerians wake to the news, those "Standing With Buhari" will see this as a victory, while those in opposition will lick their wounds, but the discerning will see this as another missed opportunity to demand that those in power be accountable to the people on whose behalf they exercise such powers. I have watched how some commentators in the past few days have missed the point in stating their positions, forgetting that protests are a cardinal part of democracy, more important even than the elections which is like the fuel for the engine that drives democracy, of which the work itself is in the driving, navigating through the bumpy parts and maintaining the vehicle. But they say, if we don't like a government we should simply wait four years to change it (rather than demand a change midstream even of the people in power who promised change, but appear only to have strengthened the old ways of doing things), as if we are all guaranteed to be alive in four years.
NIGERIA'S SHIP OF STATE.


I saw Nigerians, some of whom are leaders of thought, support the gagging of fellow Nigerians because they disagree with their stance on issues. Forgetting that the alternative to protests is something far worse, and that presently it's a slippery slope filled with smoldering embers that we are on, the flames of which this protest originally planned for Monday the 6th of February would've helped to douse. You could feel the anger in Nigerians when they speak on the streets, at newspaper stands,
on call-in programmes in the electronic media, in vox-pop sections of newspapers, to the social media, and some have gone ahead to express their displeasure in the rising rate of crime and criminality because of the hardship that the name Buhari now seems to embody and connote. Yet, when a group thought it wise that people should channel their anger in the orderly manner that a protest avails, as the constitution allows, some of their fellow country men, including the police charged with the responsibility amongst others, to maintain law and order, besides providing adequate security for protesters not only decided to frustrate the move, but at every point warned against holding the "peaceful" protest, even when the "Acting President" declared that Nigerians have every right to protest. Though in retrospect it's difficult to not read between the lines to find that he may not have matched action to his words, going by the manner the Inspector General of Police appeared to still issue a statement after that banning any protest, (in his estimation) for and against the government in power.


I understand that the ruling party will be weary of protests against its policies (that's even if they have any), as they should ordinarily, seeing that their ascendancy to power was on the back of protests such as this a few years ago, and because of extenuating circumstances, feel that this one may be politically motivated, just like they did while in opposition, unfortunately they will leave so very undone the very democracy for which they are beneficiaries today, as more Nigerians continue to bottle up their pent up anger at an aloof president, a veepee with hands tied, a selfish parliament, and weakened judiciary, with an Acting Chief Justice whose confirmation hangs in the balance and may have to quit in days, after holding the reins for just three months, because (according to widespread belief) he doesn't fit the geopolitical requirement for such a high position that he should normally live and have progressed into.


Finally, the greatest shame of all. The police that has yet to reform itself to become the police of the people, like they've become everywhere else in developed democracies, and not just phalanges of the president and people in power. I don't even know the generation of officers who will be committed to help bring Nigeria to the comity of "civilized" nations via exemplary policing amongst the present set of all cadres, starting with management of protests. Even with all of President Donald Trump's hatred for opposition, he didn't order a crackdown on protesters (who exponentially trumped the number of those at his "empty" inauguration) against his "knee-jerk reaction" executive orders. One of the reasons many people gave this
Buhari regime a chance was because of his Vice President 'Yemi Osinbajo, a law professor and former Attorney-General of Lagos State, and for him not to have gone beyond just mouthing support for this protest, definitely not against his party but for the right of Nigerians to do so, and insist on them being allowed as guaranteed by the constitution, injures the soul. In another opportunity where he's left to clear the mess after his boss, who once again is out of the country on "vacation", he forgets easily, the eternal words of the late President John F. Kennedy, that "those who make peaceful revolution (change) impossible, make violent revolution (change) inevitable". Mtcheeeeeew!


'kovich



VIDEO CREDIT:
- https://www.youtube.com


PICTURE CREDIT:
- NIGERIA FIRST STICKERS by RESPONSIBLE CITIZENS OF NIGERIA