Disquieting Times For The Nigerian Military

July 10, 2008
7 mins read

The obvious confusion” is part of the chaotic situation in the country. “The country has been in serious chaos since he (Yar’adua) assumed power” – Prof. Itse Sayay, SAN.


They have by the volume of adverts expressed themselves as ignorant. It was also a colossal waste of our resources because the adverts were placed with the payersmoney.


“We cannot continue to encourage the culture of impunity. The President should speak up on this issue. He is either the one lying or his people do not know what they are doing.” Dr. Joe Okei – Odumankin, President, Campaign for Democracy.


Over the past one week and a half. Nigerian newspaper have been awash with birthday greetings to commemorate the 57th birthday anniversary of President Umaru Yar’adua. Governors of the various Nigerian states have been at the forefront of this ritual. At the last count, THE PUNCH newspaper of Tuesday, July 15,2008, listed governors who have sent a birthday greeting to Malam Umaru Yar’adua to include those of Niger, Bayelsa, Imo, Rivers, Plateau, Akwa Ibom and Sokoto. I will add that of Kwara State.


The truth is that we are used to the philistine ritual of “”eye-service

Which pervades the Nigerian public space each year. Wasn’t that the practice under General Sani Abacha? Didn’t the governors congratulate the disgraced despot, Olusegun Obasanjo annually, even when everybody knew that because of his wretched peasant background, he did not know his birthday only to dump him after his accursed reign?


This is the tradition in our country. It has become the norm to congratulate the “Oga” when his birthday comes around the corner; when he earns a meaningless honorary degree in some third state institution or he has commissioned some irrelevant project through which he manage to steal some more money from the coffers of the state!


But in a marvelous example of investigative journalism. THE PUNCH newspaper reported on Tuesday, July 15, 2008, that there has been total confusion about the real date on which Umaru Yar’adua anniversary falls. Those early birds who sent out full-page colour advertisements on July 7th from the THE PUNCH story actually got it wrong. One of those who got it wrong was John Odey, the regime’s Minister of Information and Communications. When John Odey, who should be the repository of information about government was contacted by the newspaper, he went ahead to put a spin on the confusion; John Odey, according to THE PUNCH, ‘attributed the development to an error committed by a (faceless) state of his ministry’!


According to THE PUNCH story, the curriculum vitae of the President secured from the Special Adviser on Media and Communications, Segun Adeniyi. showed that Malam UmaruYar’adua was born on August 16,1951and not the July 9, which became the point of choreographed celebration by members of the nation’s nomenc1atural!But why would these people find such a basic fact so wrong? When I told my wife that I writing about this issue, she thought it should not have merited a column. But my take on it is that if there is so much confusion about our President’s birth date, isn’t  a tale of wisdom here, a metaphor about the extent of confusion in the land?


It might be apocryphal, but there is a story from the early days of  Malam Yar’adua’s emergence from the relative obscurity of his governorship in Katsina to becoming the anointed of Olusegun Obasanjo. The story went that none of the people priming the man for presidency knew telephone number. While it was also said that Malam Yar’adua did not have the number of up to three governors!


There has been far more lack of knowledge about the PDP candidate Who eventually became our president. That lack of knowledge has also been underscored by the president’s natural reserve and reticence, which take together, have continued to send very wrong signals about the man and his regime. It is this enveloping ambience of confusion, indecision and policy flip-flops, which even the incorrect understanding of presidential birth date has underscored!


Nigeria is mired in a grand confusion one year into the Yar’adua presidency. It is quite unfortunate that the president has refused to rise to the occasion, which demands a decisiveness of leadership, clarity of vision, forthrightness of declarations and an inspiring and exemplary application to the national weal. The background of a corrupt ambience inherited from the past regime along with the controversial circumstances that threw up the presidency of Malam Yar’adua have gone to confluence with the un-presidential carriage of the man himself.


Presidential minders must become far more proactive with the feelings of the Nigerian People to help to nudge the president towards a more responsive leadership. This is what the current confusion in Nigeria says to those who have the wisdom to decipher. When even those who should know cannot get he presidents’ birthday right then it means we are all in trouble.


Liyel Imoke: INEC and PDP will rig it, stupid!

The party will at both state and national levels swing into action by mobilizing it s supporters in the state in preparation for the re-run election, so that the PDP will RECAPTURE the state….Prof Rufai Ahmed Alkali, National Publicity Secretary, PDP.


In a sane society, Liyel Imoke will NEVER have been give the opportunity to become the governor of a state. But Nigeria is a nation of anything goes; for eight years, Imoke was at the heart of a pyramid scheme at the behest of Olusegun Obasanjo. They wasted over sixteen billion dollars of our national funds to deepen darkness and ensure a monumental shortage of electricity to industrial, commercial and domestic users all over Nigeria.


A young man who thinks he is some form of expert, Imoke was just a dilettante whose brief was to do Obasanjo’s briefing in the crazy scheme of the disgraced despot to become the richest president Nigeria ever had. In that business of helping out Obasanjo, Imoke also did well for himself. But there was the small matter of what happens after the despot left power, especially in the wake of the defeat of the third term agenda.


The crimes committed in the power sector were some of the most mindboggling of the eight years of the Obasanjo administration. Obasanjo thought long and hard, and fell upon an ingenious scheme; the only way to save his skin was to ensure that Liyel Imoke was imposed as the governorship candidate of the PDP in Cross River State. The carnival-organising, multi-millionaire Donald Duke was made to endorse Obasanjo’s candidate. Liyel Imoke, while Maurice Iwu’s INEC was given the marching order to rig him into power.


And so badly was the rigging done that INEC allocated lmoke 800,000 votes in an election Which only 33,000 people were duly accredited, Maurice lwu’s INEC allocated Liyel Imoke more votes than all the registered voters in the entire Cross River State! It is poignant to remind there and that one of the grounds of appeal by opposition was the allegation of perjury, ‘Which Liyel Imoke was alleged to have committed on oath, by claiming to possess some academic qualification

which he never had.


Chief Okoi Obono-Obla, who spoke on be behalf of the opposition, reacted to the nullification of Imoke’s so-called election, by stating that “we won the petition but the tribunal did not have the courage to annul the election after over whelming evidence that there was 00 election in Cross River State on April 14, 2007″.


The statement above is the clincher. The order for the conduct of a new election is meat for PDP and INEC. Just as sure as it is that night will turn to day, we can clearly “predict” that the And lNEC will RIG the election re-run, In the words of the PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, they Will RECAPTURE Cross River State, just as they did in other states in the recent past, It must be restated that the 2007 elections were built on an elaborate structure of fraud, theft of ballot boxes, stuffing of boxes, voodoo counting and a criminal connivance between the PDP, INEC, security forces and thugs. The only way that the fraud can be kept alive is for the PDP to keep on rigging all the election sand bye-elections.


They cannot take chances of ever allowing the people’s real mandate to the exercised. As a matter of fact, the PDP does not mind to lose in courts, especially if what will be ordered is a re-election; they will pull stops to massively rig the opposition into oblivion! In the next few days, the PDP mandarins and President Yar’adua himself will relocate to Calabar to ensure a water-tight process of rigging.


Liyel Imoke will be rigged back to ensure that he can continue to hide behind the sandbags of immunity for four years and another round of rigging will extend that for an extra four years! Many birds will be killed by that stone: Obasanjo will sit pretty in Ota; Imoke will not be pulled in to sing like a bird: the PDP machinery of rigging will find an extra gear and the Nigerian people will become even more frustrated. The bandits who run our country know that we do not really protest; we are too steeped in the fatalism of religion; we will pray to Allah/God to take control.


They will even pretend to share the same spiritual space with the  Nigerian people, making a show of their presence in mosques and churches! But in the end, they farnish the land; steal the country blind and spread despair amongst the citizenry! This is the picture which follows in the wake of a stolen election; when a country is a land of anything goes, which allows the likes of Liyel Imoke to mount the rostrums of power.


David Mark: A judicial victory; a rape of the people “In the light of the ruling from the election tribunals and Appeal Court of recent, don’t you think we were in a hurry to praise the judiciary? or is Yar’adua’s admonition to judges taking its toll?


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Last Tuesday, the most ill-concealed “secret” of Nigeria’s politics finally came to pass. The judicial abracadabra which decided that David Mark was the “winner” of the April 2007 senatorial election against the genuine man of the people “Young Alhaji” was finally pronounced. Given the way that the upper bench has behaved in recent years and the high wire politics in our country, it was obvious that the much-reviled David Mark was going to be “returned” by the courts. David Mark is a representative of the forces that hold us back in so many ways; he was a very gung-ho supporter of Obasanjo’s Third Term Agenda; it was in fact the reason that he became the President of Nigeria’s Senate. Nigerian’s progress will never materialize as long as people like David Mark rule the roost!


Here was a character that defended dictatorship with total conviction; we defeated Third Term Agenda and he turns out to be the greatest beneficiary of our struggle and our decisive defeat of what he defended! I find David Mark particularly despicable because he is in the position of Senate President as representative of the North Central where I come from. Well David Mark, the courts can declare you “winner” but you DON’T represent me or my values: those of honour, decency as well as democracy!


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