Weekly political notes

Asiwaju Bola AhmedTinubu

I’ll Not Contest Against Buhari In 2019– Tinubu
Former Lagos governor, Ahmed Bola Tinubu, has ruled out the possibility of contesting against President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.
Buhari, who is on extended vacation, has not said he will seek a second term.

Tinubu, an influential member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), said he would never contest against the President, or support anyone who does, should he decide to seek re-election.

Tinubu was reacting to a newspaper report suggesting he was preparing for a presidential run, and was set to dump a purported alliance with the main opposition, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)

A statement signed by Tunde Rahman, for the Tinubu Media Office on Tuesday, said the report was a “fantasy” seeking to place Tinubu at odds with President Buhari.“Writing such a baseless report is a very foul and wrong thing to do,” the statement said.

While, there could be nothing wrong in Tinubu’s 2019 presidential ambition if true, there is something wrong about the timing of his alleged declaration, which may have prompted his quick denial of the reported ambition. It is within Tinubu’s constitutional rights to contest for the office of the president, but it appears insensitive and disloyal of him to say so publicly at a time his party’s incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari is on extended medical vacation.

Even though Tinubu has denied the report, it is expected that mischief makers and his political opponents will take it with a pinch of salt. They will try to make mountain out of molehill; all in an attempt to pitch Tinubu against Buhari ahead of 2019 presidency.

But as a politician with immense experience and exploits, Tinubu is not a man that could be caught unawares. He may have prepared his mind for whatever may be the outcome of the unconfirmed report, knowing that in politics, enemies are at work always. Despite Tinubu’s denial, events in the days ahead will either vindicate or expose him.

PDP Crisis: Jonathan, Governors Opt For Political Solution
Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday night, held a meeting with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors and opted for a political solution to the crisis rocking the party.

The meeting took place at the former president’s office in Maitama, Abuja, with governors of Ekiti, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Taraba, Cross River, Abia, Ebonyi, Gombe and Bayelsa states in attendance, while Rivers state was represented by his deputy.Sources close to the meeting said it was expected to discuss issues critical to the survival of the party.

At about 11:15 pm when the meeting ended, chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum and governor of Ekiti State told journalists that Jonathan was concerned about the state of affairs in the party.

He said the meeting resolved to look for a political solution, while the actors have been urged to refrain from making inflammatory statements that would further jeopardise the very existence of the party.

Some may say that Jonathan’s intervention in the PDP crisis is belated and an afterthought. It is better late than never. It is good that Jonathan is not only concerned about the crisis, he is trying to resolve it amicably. It is good of him. Especially when it is obvious that he was instrumental to the crisis. History wouldn’t have been kind to Jonathan if he had failed to initiate this peace move.

Meanwhile, the decision to adopt political solution in resolving the crisis is a welcome development. Whatever informed this decision is immaterial, considering that further legal tussle will do more damage to the party. What is paramount now is how to achieve genuine peace and return the party to its winning ways.

But of worry in this regard is the attitude of some belligerent and loquacious actors, including some governors. It is hoped that all the actors are ready to strictly abide by the political solution that will be adopted. The PDP leaders should be reminded that Nigeria needs and deserves a virile opposition party of which PDP is the best option for now.

Release Kanu Now, Soludo, Utomi, Igbo Leaders Tell Buhari
A Pan Igbo group, Nzuko Umunna, led by former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Professor Chukwuma Soludo on Tuesday, told President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately release the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu, saying the Federal Government must obey court orders, even when such orders appear unpalatable.

This came as the group claimed Nigeria was becoming a failed state, despite having the potential to be one of the most prosperous nations on earth. Other signatories to the statement, read by Prof. Soludo include; Prof. Chidi Odinkalu, Ebere Onwudiwe, Mr Law Mefor, Rev. Fr. Jude C.; Emeka Ugwu-Oju, Ferdinand Agu and Tony Nnadi. Others are Dr Sam Amadi, Mr Innocent Chukwuma, Collins Ugwu and Andy Wabali.

Addressing journalists in Abuja, Prof. Soludo said: “We demand for the urgent release of Nnamdi Kanu, his colleagues and all prisoners of conscience, as part of the process of the search for national cohesion and building a new Nigeria. There is a legitimate debate among Nigerians on the Biafra question, and there are indeed many Igbos who, like many other Nigerians, do not agree with Nnamdi Kanu’s objective or means.”

It is gratifying to see some prominent Igbos now speaking against the treatment being meted to Kanu. It is good they have woken up from their slumber, after waiting for someone like the new Ohanaeze president general, Chief Nnia Nwodo (jnr) to bell the cat. Many may ask; why the long wait? Is it because of fear or insouciance?

Meanwhile, the motive behind Soludo and his cohorts’ action is not important at this point. What is of paramount importance now is to sustain the agitation and push for Kanu’s eventual freedom. That is the only way the group could prove its sincerity and altruism. Let it not be that its action is political. Besides, it is one thing to speak out and entirely another thing to match words with action.

No doubt, Kanu deserves freedom and Soludo and his group have spoken against his maltreatment, what next? This is especially as many have spoken in the past and it fell on the deaf ear. Will there be any different now or will it be business as usual? Time will tell

Osinbajo Consults Buhari On Major Policy Decisions – Presidency
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo consults his boss, Muhammadu Buhari, on a daily basis before taking major decisions, the Presidency has said on Wednesday.

Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, disclosed this in an interview with State House correspondents.
Osinbajo has been acting as president since January 19, when Buhari embarked on medical vacation to the United Kingdom.
Critics have rated the performance of the acting president higher than that of his boss.

However, the presidential aide described the comparison as thoughtless and a ploy by the opposition to cause an unnecessary division.Hmmm, Ojudu, why are you speaking like somebody who does not know Nigerians too well? Have you forgotten that Nigerians’ capacity for mischief is legendary, while Nigeria government’s way of doing things has not helped matters. Constitutionally and politically, there is one presidency, because Buhari and Osinbajo were into office on a joint ticket. But since Buhari went on medical vacation, Osinbajo has been the acting president incharge of governance till date.

Whether Osinbajo consults Buhari or not on major policy decisions, is not of concern to Nigerians. What is of utmost importance to the people is good governance, which seems to be evolving gradually, since Osinbajo took charge. If it is the same Buhari who cannot speak to Nigerians from abroad that is dictating to Osinbajo, so be it. But Nigerians wonder why the same Buhari failed to do these things when he was in Nigeria. Maybe Buhari is a good distance learning lecturer and consultant, but a poor one at home. Ojudu, are you saying that Buhari while in London enrolled in leadership and governance course, which is making the difference in governance in Nigeria?

If that were the case, many Nigerians will prefer Buhari to remain in London and continue to serve as a senior consultant to Osinbajo. Who knows, maybe from there, Donald Trump and other world leaders will engage him as a consultant on good governance away from home.

It is not out place if Nigerians didn’t know that Buhari could be a good consultant, while Osinbajo is the executor while voting them into office. Now that circumstances have brought it to the fore, what next for Nigerians? Your guess is a good as mine.



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