Tag Archives: PDP

Saraki formally declares to run for president

Breaking: Saraki declares to run for president

By Anthony Ogbonna

Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki has officially declared to run for the president of Nigeria come 2019 election.

Saraki made his intention known during a dialogue with Youth and Young aspirants, held at Sheraton hotel, Abuja, on Thursday, august 30, 2018.

According to him, he possesses a blend of executive and legislative experience being a former governor of a state in Nigeria and now, the Senate President. Saraki said, as such, he has all it takes to “push for and implement reforms that will deliver real improvements in the daily lives of our people. I know what it takes to create jobs and grow the economy. I can make the tough decisions when it matters. I will spearhead a new agenda that can transform the lives of ordinary Nigerians in real terms.”

Saraki said it will not be business as usual because his government will, if elected as president, “be a dynamic government of action that will pursue the growth of Nigeria with doggedness, determination and conviction.”

Saraki also said that he will lead a result-driven administration that will set targets “with clear timelines to ensure that anticipated deliverables are met.”

Saraki said he will deliver on all promises driven by what is best for Nigerians.

The full speech reads thus:

“Let me say, once again, how wonderful it is to see so many talented and purposeful young people at this first edition of the Public Dialogue Series with Political Parties on Youth Candidacy and Party Primaries. Looking at you, I see future leaders who present themselves as capable and worthy to take on the mantle of leadership in this country, and this gladdens my heart.

From my interactions with many of you, and with your contemporaries across the country, I can see that we are blessed with a determined generation that stands ready to join with us to power a Nigerian renaissance. The quality of people I see here today affirms my belief that, indeed, you are Not Too Young To Run.

I deeply appreciate this opportunity to share some of my ideas about where we are as a nation, as well as the challenges before us as we approach the great decider that is the 2019 General Elections.

It is widely acknowledged that ours is a relatively ‘young’ country bursting with tremendous energy, ability and potential. More than 70 per cent of our population is under the age of 40. You are indeed the future of this country. Ordinarily, such a young population would be the envy of many Western countries that are faced with ageing populations, but the dire state of our affairs tarnishes the youthful advantage that we have.

Up and down our country today, Nigerians are crying out for succour. Many of our children are hungry. Many people are dying of avoidable or otherwise treatable diseases. Many have fallen below basic living standards, and are now among the 87 million that sealed Nigeria’s position as the country with the highest number of people in extreme poverty. Our young people lack opportunities. The necessary education facilities and system to equip them for the future simply do not exist. We are not creating the jobs needed to usefully engage them in order to grow our economy. And too often, the youth feel shut out, prevented from having any say in the direction of this nation.

The harsh conditions of extreme poverty faced by the people, fuels the state of insecurity all over the country. Hunger, lack of education and lack of opportunities push many Nigerians into criminal activities including terrorism. Many of our communities are paralysed with fear – due to incessant communal crises, kidnappings and other social ills, as well as the threat of terrorism. We are failing abysmally to tackle the problems of today and to prepare for the future.

Our economy is broken and is in need of urgent revival in order for Nigeria to grow. GDP growth rate has declined. Diversification remains an illusion. Unemployment is at an all-time high. Businesses are shutting down. Jobs are being lost in record numbers, and the capital needed to jumpstart our economy is going elsewhere.

Nigeria is perhaps more divided now than ever before. We are increasingly divided along regional, religious and ethnic lines. Nigerians are also divided by class, a festering gulf between the ‘Haves’ and the ‘Have-Nots’. The fault lines of this nation are widening to an alarming degree. We must do something fast, and we must be brave about it.

We must ensure the security of lives in Nigeria. As things stand now, no one is safe in this country. No one feels truly safe. We must restore the sanctity of the rule of law and strengthen democratic institutions in order to build a just, fair and equitable society for all. We must rebuild the trust of our people in government. We need a new generation of leaders that are competent, with the capability to rise to the challenges of the 21st century. We must pull this country back together and rebuild, block by block, with dedication and commitment.

You will agree with me that this is an urgent task that requires the concerted efforts of each and every one of us. If we look around today, what do we see? What is the condition of our citizens? Where are we as a nation? How are we perceived locally and internationally? Why are we not making the expected progress? Why are we not growing? There is no time to waste. The time is now, to come together to stimulate growth in Nigeria, especially in the national economy.

The choice we face in the forthcoming election is either to keep things as they are, or make a radical departure from the old ways. To find a better way of doing things or keep repeating the mistakes of the past. To fix the problems or keep compounding them.

It is with all these in mind, and taking account of the challenges that I have outlined, that I have decided to answer the call of teeming youth who have asked me to run for President. Accordingly, I hereby announce my intention to run for the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the coming General Elections in 2019 on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). I do so with the firm conviction that I have what it takes to secure inclusive growth for Nigeria and Nigerians.

My Plan for Nigeria has inclusion in all aspects of the country’s affairs as a central pillar. Every citizen has the inalienable right to feel a sense of belonging, no matter their background or creed, or what part of the country they come from. No matter who you voted for or what your convictions are, government must work for you.

Your generation does not deserve to live in the poverty capital of the world. It is no longer an issue of how we got here, but how do we get out of this situation? I promise you that I will lead the fight and employ every God-given resource available to us in turning things around. I am determined to grow Nigeria out of poverty. We will stimulate the growth of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as one of the ways of energising the economy and to create wealth for our people, especially the youth.

I want to see the youth play major roles at all levels, not only in government but also in the private sector and indeed in every area of Nigerian life. This will be a government driven by youthful energy, innovation and a pioneering entrepreneurial spirit. Nigerian youth will be given all the opportunities to realise their potential to the full within a national framework that guarantees inclusiveness. For youth who have ideas and capacity, we will make sure that there is funding for their ventures; and we shall build on the Made in Nigeria legislation as part of our job creation drive.

My plan is to secure Nigeria by redesigning our national security architecture, while adequately equipping our security agencies to fulfil their primary role of protecting lives and property.

I will address our infrastructural deficit through aggressive financing initiatives including mutually beneficial PPP arrangements, regular floating of bonds and other financial instruments, which will ensure stable, adequate and reliable funding to see to the completion of core projects especially road, rail and power.

My plan is to protect all Nigerians and defend their constitutional rights and freedoms. I will stand for and uphold at all times the principle of the rule of law, which is the bedrock of democratic governance.

Ours will not be a selective fight against corruption. The emphasis will be on strengthening institutions, with a particular focus on deterrence. We cannot afford to compromise our institutions with proxy wars against perceived political opponents. We see the fight against corruption as crucial to Nigeria’s economic development.

I offer leadership driven by empathy. Where leaders are responsive to the citizens. Where they know that government cares. We will not be indifferent or turn a blind eye to the real concerns of our people. Every single Nigerian life matters.

For me, the leadership we deserve is one that will be a source of pride to all Nigerians, one that will be respected and admired in Africa and around the world. It should be a leadership that can hold its own and stand tall anywhere in the world. That is the type of leadership I offer.

As a former two-term Governor and currently President of the Senate by the grace of God, I believe I possess a unique blend of executive and legislative experience to push for and implement reforms that will deliver real improvements in the daily lives of our people. I know what it takes to create jobs and grow the economy. I can make the tough decisions when it matters. I will spearhead a new agenda that can transform the lives of ordinary Nigerians in real terms.

Believe me when I say that it will not be business as usual. This will be a dynamic government of action that will pursue the growth of Nigeria with doggedness, determination and conviction. I will lead a result-driven administration. We shall set targets with clear timelines to ensure that anticipated deliverables are met. You can benchmark us and hold us accountable. In short, I assure you that I will deliver on all promises. What I envision is a new chapter in governance in this country. We will be driven by what is best for Nigerians.

I have deliberately chosen the opportunity of being here with you, my Number One constituency who I see as the future of our great country, to make my intention known. I believe the Nigerian youth are critical to rebuilding and growing the economy, and restoring our national pride.

I therefore ask you and all well-meaning Nigerians to join hands with me in this noble cause.

My brothers, My sisters, Let’s Grow Nigeria Together.

God bless you all.

God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” he concluded.

Credit : Vanguard

Beware of Saraki, Kwankwaso, other defectors, Makarfi warns PDP

Makarfi cautions PDP leaders on accommodation of defectors

by Itodo Daniel Sule, Lokoja

A former governor of Kaduna State and presidential aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 election, Senator Ahmed Makarfi has urged the leadership of its party to thread with caution in the accommodation and integration of those that defected to the party in recent times to avoid implosion.

Makarfi, who was a one time caretaker national chairman of the PDP gave the warning on Friday in Lokoja when he met leaders and stakeholders of the PDP in Kogi State to solicit their supports for his presidential aspiration.

He said the party’s leadership must be wary of the kind of mistake that happened when the PDP was handed over to Senator Ali Modu Sheriff with the expectation of rebounding it but rather took the party down the drain.

“Everybody is welcome but we must be careful so we don’t give the impression that it doesn’t pay to be loyal. We must be careful how we accommodate and integrate those that are defecting to the party. It must be balanced in a way that the interest of everybody is taken care of.

“We must not create a situation whereby you have a home and you have a visitor and when the visitor comes, you give him a guest room to stay; then the next day, he wants the masters bedroom and then the next day, you leave the home for him…does that happen?

“PDP must never allow that kind of thing to happen. Let them come in and enjoy the privileges but you must know what to give and what not to give”, said.

According to him, the PDP must get it right in choosing its presidential flag bearer and other candidates for the 2019 elections, adding, “It will be a great disaster not only for the PDP but entire Nigeria if we make that mistake”.

He urged the delegates to go for candidates that have the capacity and should not be swayed by moneybags.

“Together we can make it. If they give you their bags of money, collect it but go and do the right thing. After all, you are not going to give receipts. Collect and do the right thing and don’t collect bank draft or transfer from their personal accounts” (laughter), he said.

He said Nigeria is currently faced with myriads of problems such as insecurity, hunger, lack of cohesiveness, joblessness and poverty, saying that it takes a visionary leader with capacity to turn around the negative narratives.

“We want a society where there is equitable distribution of wealth so that everybody can feed and take care of their families; educate their children, provide shelter for their family and provide good health care for their family and feel secured”, he said.

Makarfi said he has the capacity to turn around the fortunes of Nigeria for the better and urged the PDP stakeholders in Kogi State to give him their supports.

Responding, the PDP Chairman in the state, Engr Sam Uhotu, assured him of their supports, saying that the PDP would have been buried were it not for the efforts of Senator Makarfi who came in to rescue the party.

Why I’m dumping APC – Saraki

Why I’m dumping APC – Saraki

Dr Bukola Saraki

The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki has announced his resignation of membership of the ruling All Progressives Congress. Here is his press statement formally announcing the defection.


I wish to inform Nigerians that, after extensive consultations, I have decided to take my leave of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

This is not a decision that I have made lightly. If anything at all, I have tarried for so long and did all that was humanly possible, even in the face of great provocation, ridicule and flagrant persecution, to give opportunity for peace, reconciliation and harmonious existence.

Perhaps, more significantly, I am mindful of the fact that I carry on my shoulder a great responsibility for thousands of my supporters, political associates and friends, who have trusted in my leadership and have attached their political fortunes to mine. However, it is after an extensive consultation with all the important stakeholders that we have come to this difficult but inevitable decision to pitch our political tent elsewhere; where we could enjoy greater sense of belonging and where the interests of the greatest number of our Nigerians would be best served.

While I take full responsibility for this decision, I will like to emphasise that it is a decision that has been inescapably imposed on me by certain elements and forces within the APC who have ensured that the minimum conditions for peace, cooperation, inclusion and a general sense of belonging did not exist.

They have done everything to ensure that the basic rules of party administration, which should promote harmonious relations among the various elements within the party were blatantly disregarded. All governance principles which were required for a healthy functioning of the party and the government were deliberately violated or undermined. And all entreaties for justice, equity and fairness as basic precondition for peace and unity, not only within the party, but also the country at large, were simply ignored, or employed as additional pretext for further exclusion.

The experience of my people and associates in the past three years is that they have suffered alienation and have been treated as outsiders in their own party. Thus, many have become disaffected and disenchanted. At the same time, opportunities to seek redress and correct these anomalies were deliberately blocked as a government-within-a-government had formed an impregnable wall and left in the cold, everyone else who was not recognized as “one of us”. This is why my people, like all self-respecting people would do, decided to seek accommodation elsewhere.

I have had the privilege to lead the Nigerian legislature in the past three years as the President of the Senate and the Chairman of the National Assembly. The framers of our constitution envisage a degree of benign tension among the three arms of government if the principle of checks and balances must continue to serve as the building block of our democracy. In my role as the head of the legislature, and a leader of the party, I have ensured that this necessary tension did not escalate at any time in such a way that it could encumber Executive function or correspondingly, undermine the independence of the legislature. Over the years, I have made great efforts in the overall interest of the country, and in spite of my personal predicament, to manage situations that would otherwise have resulted in unsavoury consequences for the government and the administration. My colleagues in the Senate will bear testimony to this.

However, what we have seen is a situation whereby every dissent from the legislature was framed as an affront on the executive or as part of an agenda to undermine the government itself. The populist notion of anti-corruption became a ready weapon for silencing any form of dissent and for framing even principled objection as “corruption fighting back”. Persistent onslaught against the legislature and open incitement of the people against their own representatives became a default argument in defence of any short-coming of the government in a manner that betrays all too easily, a certain contempt for the Constitution itself or even the democracy that it is meant to serve.

Unfortunately, the self-serving gulf that has been created between the leadership of the two critical arms of government based on distrust and mutual suspicion has made any form of constructive engagement impossible. Therefore, anything short of a slavish surrender in a way that reduces the legislature to a mere rubber stamp would not have been sufficient in procuring the kind of rapprochement that was desired in the interest of all. But I have no doubt in my mind, that to surrender this way is to be complicit in the subversion of the institution that remains the very bastion of our democracy. I am a democrat. And I believe that anyone who lays even the most basic claim to being a democrat will not accept peace on those terms; which seeks to compromise the very basis of our existence as the parliament of the people.

The recent weeks have witnessed a rather unusual attempts to engage with some of these most critical issues at stake. Unfortunately, the discord has been allowed to fester unaddressed for too long, with dire consequences for the ultimate objective of delivering the common good and achieving peace and unity in our country. Any hope of reconciliation at this point was therefore very slim indeed. Most of the horses had bolted from the stable.

The emergence of a new national party executives a few weeks ago held out some hopes, however slender. The new party chairman has swung into action and did his best alongside some of the Governors of APC and His Excellency, the Vice President. I thank them for all their great efforts to save the day and achieve reconciliation. Even though I thought these efforts were coming late in the day, but seeing the genuine commitment of these gentlemen, I began to think that perhaps it was still possible to reconsider the situation.

However, as I have realized all along, there are some others in the party leadership hierarchy, who did not think dialogue was the way forward and therefore chose to play the fifth columnists. These individuals went to work and ensured that they scuttled the great efforts and the good intentions of these aforementioned leaders of the party. Perhaps, had these divisive forces not thrown the cogs in the wheel at the last minutes, and in a manner that made it impossible to sustain any trust in the process, the story today would have been different.

For me, I leave all that behind me. Today, I start as I return to the party where I began my political journey, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

When we left the PDP to join the then nascent coalition of All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2014, we left in a quest for justice, equity and inclusion; the fundamental principles on which the PDP was originally built but which it had deviated from. We were attracted to the APC by its promise of change. We fought hard along with others and defeated the PDP.

In retrospect, it is now evident that the PDP has learnt more from its defeat than the APC has learnt from its victory. The PDP that we return to is now a party that has learnt its lessons the hard way and have realized that no member of the party should be taken for granted; a party that has realized that inclusion, justice and equity are basic precondition for peace; a party that has realized that never again can the people of Nigeria be taken for granted.

I am excited by the new efforts, which seeks to build the reborn PDP on the core principles of promoting democratic values; internal democracy; accountability; inclusion and national competitiveness; genuine commitment to restructuring and devolution of powers; and an abiding belief in zoning of political and elective offices as an inevitable strategy for managing our rich diversity as a people of one great indivisible nation called Nigeria.

What we have all agreed is that a deep commitment to these ideals were not only a demonstration of our patriotism but also a matter of enlightened self-interest, believing that our very survival as political elites of this country will depend on our ability to earn the trust of our people and in making them believe that, more than anything else, we are committed to serving the people.

What the experience of the last three years have taught us is that the most important task that we face as a country is how to reunite our people. Never before had so many people in so many parts of our country felt so alienated from their Nigerianness. Therefore, we understand that the greatest task before us is to reunite the county and give everyone a sense of belonging regardless of region or religion.

Every Nigerian must have an instinctive confidence that he or she will be treated with justice and equity in any part of the country regardless of the language they speak or how they worship God. This is the great task that trumps all. Unless we are able to achieve this, all other claim to progress no matter how defined, would remain unsustainable.

This is the task that I am committing myself to and I believe that it is in this PDP, that I will have the opportunity to play my part. It is my hope that the APC will respect the choice that I have made as my democratic right, and understand that even though we will now occupy a different political space, we do not necessarily become enemies unto one another.

Thank you.

Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, CON

President of the Senate

Ekiti: PDP accuses APC of plotting to Impeach Fayose

PDP accuses APC of plotting to Impeach Fayose

Governor Ayodele Fayose

By Abisola Olasupo

Nigeria’s ruling Party, All Progressive Congress(APC) has been accused by People’s Democratic Party(PDP) of plotting to impeach the outgoing governor of Ekiti state Ayodele Fayose.
PDP raised alarm over the alleged plot to impeach Fayose on Wednesday in a statement signed by the party’s publicity secretary Kola Ologbondiyan.

“The Peoples Democratic Party has warned the All Progressives Congress (APC) to stop its nefarious plot to impeach Ekiti State Governor, Chief Ayo Fayose or attract dire consequences,” Ologbondiyan said.

“The PDP states that any resort to underhand measures to impeach Fayose, without the constitutionally required 2/3 of the members of the House, particularly at this time, when the lawmakers are currently on their annual recess, will surely be resisted by our members,” he added.

Ologbondiyan further accused APC of laying siege to “Ekiti State Assembly Complex last night without a formal request by the Speaker, the Clerk or the Sergeant-at-Arms, who is the chief security officer of the complex.”

The opposition party warned the ruling party to desist from the alleged plots, claiming that APC is trying to cover up for suspected rigging of the just concluded gubernatorial election in the state.

“PDP is aware that the plot is a desperate bid by the APC to rush into the Ekiti Government House to remove and tamper with documents and evidence confirming the rigging of the July 14 governorship election, ahead of the sitting of the election tribunal,” Ologbondiyan sated.

The governorship election held on July 15 was marred by malpractices.

The poll returned APC’s candidate and the former Minister of Mine and Steel Kayode Fayemi as the governor-elect of the state.

Source : The Guardian

The Expressway to Anarchy

The Expressway to Anarchy

Senate President, Bukola Saraki and House of Representatives Speaker, Yakubu Dogara

The Verdict By Olusegun Adeniyi, Email: olusegun.adeniyi@thisdaylive.com

Let nobody be deceived, none of the actors in the game of political brinksmanship going on within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is thinking about the people of Nigeria: It is all about retaining powers and privileges. Has anybody, for instance, wondered why neither the executive nor the legislative arm of government has intervened on the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate scandal involving the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun? That is simply because their interest is the same on that sordid matter.

Therefore, no matter the pretensions to the contrary, the ongoing power struggle is not about the people and their welfare. At a period the population keeps growing amid shrinking opportunities and pervasive poverty even as the number of out-of-school children is increasing by the day, the only response from many of the politicians who now command national attention is to produce Nollywood video to celebrate their ‘home my home’. I am just going to sit by and enjoy all the drama while taking some notes that could prove useful one day.

However, I am also aware that when Nigerian politicians get desperate, as APC leaders on both sides of the divide are right now, danger is not too far away for the polity. When adjournment of a federal legislative house becomes a cynical political weapon, when public officials who are supposed to be fighting corruption begin to wear the campaign lapel of the president as part of their daily uniform to beam searchlights only on regime opponents and when leading ‘transmission’ agents behave like muscle men for Aso Rock, democracy is definitely imperilled.

As an aside, I find it particularly amusing that when a similar drama is staged and restaged at different times in our country, the actors never improve on their performances. In June 2011 when a new session of the National Assembly was to commence, President Goodluck Jonathan did not want Hon Aminu Tambuwal to be speaker so it was felt that the easiest way to achieve that was for the police and other security agencies to prevent the current Sokoto State governor from accessing the National Assembly on inauguration day. At the end, Tambuwal still beat hundreds of security men to arrive at the House of Representatives and the rest, as they say, is now history.

When, in 2014, some members were to decamp from the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the APC, efforts to prevent the House from sitting failed rather spectacularly. Now fast-forward to June 2015. In an attempt to prevent Dr Bukola Saraki from becoming the Senate President, both his residence and the premises of the National Assembly were invaded by the police and other security outfits. Yet, Saraki managed to find his way into the Senate chambers to achieve his ambition. And despite the early morning drama of Tuesday, the Senate still had their session where some APC members decamped to the PDP.

The question then is: How can security outfits that serially bungle simple operations like keeping politicians in their bedrooms to prevent them from mischief handle complex national security challenges? That is why a dead and ‘fatally wounded’ Abubakar Shekau has ‘reincarnated’ again and again to threaten our peaceful existence even as sundry criminal cartels are now on the prowl, turning our country into a huge killing field. While these are issues for another day, it would appear that some people are playing the Peruvian Fujimori script of the nineties but students of history also know how that misadventure eventually ended. It is therefore in the interest of President Muhammadu Buhari to call to order those who may be abusing their powers in his name.

Meanwhile, the real danger to our democracy today is not the shenanigan of politicians jumping from one political party to another but rather the disobedience to court order and the justifications being provided by the Attorney General and Justice Minister, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, who ordinarily should defend the rule of law. From the continued detention of Sheikh Ibraheem Elzakzaky and his wife despite the order of the Federal High Court for their release to the consistent disobedience of no fewer than six successful bail application rulings on the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd), it should worry critical stakeholders that our courts are being rendered impotent.

With the example set by the federal government, it is also becoming increasingly common for state governments to ignore court orders they consider unfavourable. Yet the greater implication is that when those who swore to uphold the law treat the court with contempt, they are only unwittingly sowing the seeds of anarchy because what they encourage is for citizens to resort to self-help in settling disputes. Besides, no rational investor will bring their money to an environment where court judgements are treated with scorn so the implications for the economy are also enormous.

It may be useful at this point to put the whole issue within the context of an ongoing global debate. We are at a period in history when the age-old issue about strong man and strong institution is resurfacing, especially given what is happening in the United States. In a 6th February 2017 piece titled, “Will Donald Trump be the one to put rogue courts in their place?”, following a temporary stay against the ban of foreigners from seven countries granted by a federal judge in Seattle, popular American radio talk-host, Mr Steve Deace, advocated that President Trump should disobey the order. “Despite his dominant personality, Trump officially became just another Republican president this week. Handcuffed from doing the people’s will by a pernicious lie whose bluff should’ve been called a long time ago”, wrote Deace.

Incidentally, it is not only people like Deace who believe an American president could act above the law, there are also respected politicians who rationalise such viewpoints. “We have had an executive branch that has emasculated itself by surrendering constantly to the idea that once the court says something, that’s it; it’s the law of the land,” argued Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas governor, on Fox News before he added that he was “glad to see” Trump attacking James Robart, the Seattle judge who had blocked key parts of his executive order. At the time, Trump had actually commented wryly: “We’re going to see what happens. You know, some things are law, and I’m all in favour of that. And some things are common sense. This is common sense.”

I am making the foregoing point not only to highlight the tension between those who believe a president has absolute power to infringe on individual liberty under the guise of national security and those who argue that the court is the final arbiter in such matters but also to show that even the America that most of us see as the ideal is not a perfect system. The difference between us and America is that there are several layers of checks to the excesses of the president that are sorely lacking here with the most significant being the subordination of the military and security agencies to the Constitution and not the man in the White House!

In Nigeria, the primary responsibility of those who superintend those critical institutions of state is regime protection for whoever is in Aso Rock. That is why we cannot afford a situation in which the president and his enablers will also render our courts prostrate. Unfortunately, in an incoherent interview with the Voice of America (VOA) Hausa Service last week, Malami rationalized the disobedience to court orders in the Dasuki case on grounds that the former NSA, who is yet to be convicted of any offence, was “instrumental to the death of over 100,000 people” because “there was massive mismanagement of funds meant for military hardware which the military could not access and that led to the death of many.”

What that says quite clearly is that Dasuki has already been convicted by the federal government so you wonder what role the court still has to play in his case. Incidentally, it is the same disposition that the administration has adopted on Elzakzaky as well as in the war against corruption. Once you are accused of an offence you are deemed guilty, regardless of whatever the courts say and notwithstanding that they may even not be able to produce any credible evidence beyond the nebulous blackmail line of “corruption is fighting back.”

According to Mr Femi Falana, SAN, it is the height of contempt which smacks of official impunity for any public official to justify the disobedience of a valid and subsisting order of a properly constituted court of law. “Even under the defunct military dictatorship in Nigeria, detainees were released from illegal custody once the detention orders issued pursuant to the obnoxious State Security Detention of Persons Decree No 2 of 1984 were set aside by the law court”, said Falana.

He is not alone. At a public lecture at the faculty of law, University of Lagos, on 31st May this year, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen warned about the possible effects of disobeying court orders. “Any government that is against the enthronement of the rule of law is by implication inviting anarchy into the system. A democratic government must not only obey the law but also courts’ orders,” Onnoghen said.

Against the background that so much song and dance was made of a recent invitation of President Buhari to The Hague by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for the 20th anniversary, one wonders whether this administration worries about its predilections for hypocrisy. At the ICC event, President Buhari said the co-operation of Nigeria with the Court “is borne out of our strong belief in the respect for the rule of law and human rights, and in our firm commitment to the sanctity of fundamental freedoms at international and domestic levels as ingrained in the objectives for establishing the Court.”

Speaking at the 2017 All Nigerian Judges’ conference last November, CJN Onnoghen said while Nigerians easily refer to the Supreme Court judgment on the Kenyan presidential election to conclude that the judiciary in that country is doing better than ours, they “forget to mention that President Uhuru Kenyatta promptly accepted the judgment annulling his victory and agreed to a re-run against his opponent”. I hope President Buhari will get the message and begin to accord more respect for the rule of law in Nigeria.

On the Dasuki and Elzakzakky cases, it is not enough to cite the usual higher national security excuses for their continued incarceration against the law. If indeed these excuses have substance, they ought to have been canvassed in court. A situation where government casually undermines the very foundation of democracy under excuses hinged on ‘the reason of state’ is a ready escape into the realm of autocracy. Considerations of ‘national security’ cannot be a leeway for any government to cherry-pick which laws to obey and which to arrogantly disregard.

Equality of the government and the governed, irrespective of circumstance, is the highest aspiration of all democratic culture. The private whims of an individual leadership must therefore not in any way be disguised as national security nor should we allow autocratic flirtations to undermine this fragile democracy even with all its imperfections.

Abuja Teens Conference!
If you reside in Abuja and environ and you have children/wards in their teens, please be informed that online registration for the 2018 Abuja Teens Career Conference has commenced on http://www.rccgteapteens.org where all the relevant information (including about past editions) can also be glimpsed. Only those who register online will be allowed to attend the conference with the theme, ‘if you can dream it, you can make it happen!’

• You can follow me on my Twitter handle, @Olusegunverdict and on http://www.olusegunadeniyi.com

Culled From ThisDay

Defection drama! PDP ‘loses’ two senators as Tejuoso, Akanbi return to APC

Sen. Tejuoso, Akanbi back in APC

Posted By: Agency Report

Sen. Lanre Tejuoso, who Senate President Bukola Saraki claimed left the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday returned to APC on Wednesday.

Tejuoso, representing Ogun Central, announced his return at a meeting between APC Senators and President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Rock on Wednesday night.

While introducing himself to the President, he said: “Mr President, your son has returned home.”

Also at the meeting was Senator Adesoji Akanbi, Oyo South, who Saraki also claimed had joined the PDP. He emphatically denied the list of defectors as dubious the following day, saying he remains a member of the APC.

His showing up at the meeting with President Buhari affirmed his faith in the APC.

Senator Shehu Sani from Kaduna, who has been blowing hot and cold about his political allegiance was also at the meeting, exchanging banters with his colleagues.

Those attending the meeting included Sen. Adamu Aleiro, Bala Ibn Na-Allah, Aliyu Wamako, Ibrahim Gobir, Kabiru Marafa and Abu Ibrahim.

Others were Kabiru Gaya, Barau Jibrin, Abdullahi Gumel, Ahmed Lawan, Ali Ndume, Abubakar Kyari, Baba Kaka Garbai, Aliyu Abdullahi, David Umaru and Abdullahi Adamu.

Sen. George Akume, Francis Alimekhina, Andrew Uchendu, Magnus Abe, Ovie Omo-Agege, John Enoh, Nelson Effiong, Andy Uba, Sunny Ugboji, Hope Uzodinma, Ben Uwajimogu, Yusuf Abubakar and Oluremi Tinub were also in attendance.

Other senators in the meeting were Gbenga Ashafa, Solomon Adeola, Tayo Alasoadura, Ajayi Boroffice , Yele Omogunwa, Fatima Rasaki, Olanrewaju Tejuoso and Yahaya Abdullahi.

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, believed to be hobnobbing with the PDP, was among those who were not at the meeting.

With Tejuoso and Akanbi and Sani now firmly identifying with the APC, the party has now increased its majority in the Upper Chamber to 54, enough to dictate the direction of policy.

Melaye, Gemade, Kwankwaso, 12 other senators defect to PDP

Senate: Gemade, Melaye, Kwankwaso, 12 others defect to PDP

15 senators including Barnabas Gemade, Dino Melaye and Dr. Lanre Tejuoso on Tuesday defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Their letter of defection was read by the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki ,during the Senate proceedings.

Others are:

Senator Mohammed Shaaba Lafiagi

Senator Muhammad Ubali Shitu

Senator Rafiu Ibrahim

Senator Isah Misau

Senator Suleiman Othman Hunkuyi

Senator Monsurat Sunmonu

Senator Abdulahi Danbaba

Senator Usman Bayero Nafada

Senator Sulaiman Mohammed Nazif

Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso

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Saraki later announced that Senator Abdullazeez Nyaku has also informed him of his defection from APC to PDP.

There was palpable tension in the Senate chamber as Saraki entered the place at 10.41 a.m.

Senate proceedings ongoing.