Weekly political notes

Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State


INEC Shortlists 37 Parties For Anambra Governorship
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Anambra State, has published names of 37 registered political parties to contest the November 18 governorship election in the state.

The list also contained the names of the governorship candidates and their deputies.The State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Nwachukwu Orji, on Wednesday in Awka, said the exercise was in line with what is required of the commission by the law.

He said the commission has put all necessary mechanisms in place to ensure a transparent and hitch free election. The commissioner appealed to the various political parties in the state to campaign peacefully to help the commission deliver on its mandate of free, fair and credible election.

Among the political parties and their candidates published are the All progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), All Progressives Congress (APC) Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and others. 

This is a usual case of many are called, but one must be chosen. Out of the 37 parties in the race, only four are contenders, while the rest are pretenders and spoilers. They are briefcase political parties that only become active during elections, because of what the promoters will grab from the exercise. That is why immediately after elections, they will go into oblivion until another election time.

The election is likely to be a three-way horse race between APGA, PDP and APC, while UPP will be waiting in the wing to benefit, if there is a stalemate. In the days ahead, candidates of the briefcase parties will step down for candidates of the major parties. This is after some financial and political deals are struck. This has been the practice in most governorship elections in Nigeria, especially in Anambra with a stagnated and usually financially induced governorship election.

Recall: INEC Dumps Documents In Melaye’s Office
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has dumped documents on the recall of Senator Dino Melaye (APC Kogi) at the entrance of his office in the National Assembly.

The documents, which were in four ‘Ghana Must Go’ bags and one other were dumped around 11:00 am on Tuesday. Melaye’s office number 2.13 on second floor of the new Senate wing was under lock.

Nawao, If one may ask; when will the cat and mouse game between Melaye and INEC over the recall end? With this latest development, it is either Melaye has been evading service as alleged by INEC, or that INEC has been economical with the truth. If not, why should INEC dump the documents at Melaye’s office just a day after Melaye said his recall process has expired? Who told Melaye that the recall has expired, INEC or court?

When has Melaye become a lawyer or judge to interprete the law as it suits him? It is hoped that Melaye and INEC are not playing pranks on Nigerians. They should be asked to obey the law and stop devaluing the country’s democratic process. After all, they are products of the law and the country’s democracy.

Senate To Legalise Constituency Projects–Saraki
Senate President Bukola Saraki said on Tuesday, that a bill to legalise constituency projects is being considered to address controversies trailing it.

Speaking during a public hearing on three bills tagged,” constituency projects (budgetary provision bill), Tax incentives management bill and Companies Income Tax (Amendment), organised by the Senate committee on Finance, Saraki said the bill will ensure that every local government is covered in the allocation of projects in the annual budget.

“In some African democracies with similar presidential system as ours, like Kenya and Uganda; there exist legal and institutional frameworks for the implementation of constituency projects.”

What is wrong with Senate leadership? So, of all the pressing challenges facing the country now, what is of paramount importance to the Senate leadership on resumption is public hearing to legalise constituency projects? Was it not the same constituency project the Senate leadership argued was legal the other time? This is hypocrisy and selfishness at its peak.

Legalising constituency projects is not the major issue, but lack of transparency and accountability in budgeting and implementation. It is expected that the bill will bring about sanity and openness in the handling of the constituency project funds.

N15b Fraud: EFCC Challenges Tambuwal For Pardoning Commissioners, Others
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on September 25 filed an appeal at the Sokoto Division of the Court of Appeal, challenging the ruling of the Sokoto State High Court in respect of the pardon granted by the Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, to five persons who were charged for fraud alongside a former governor of the state, Attahiru Bafarawa.

The Sokoto State High Court presided by Justice Bello Abbas had on June 29 discharged Tukur Alkali, Bello Isah, Isah Sadiq, Habibu Halilu Modachi and Muhammadu Dingyadi, from further criminal proceedings based on a pardon granted to them by Tambuwal.Tambuwal granted the pardon while the officials were still being tried for the alleged fraud.

However, being dissatisfied with the ruling, the EFCC took the matter to the Court of Appeal seeking an order setting aside the judgment of the trial court on four grounds.Tambuwal!!!, Tambuwal!!!, is it true that you, who is a seasoned lawmaker, lawyer and governor, pardoned public office holders who are facing criminal trial for alleged diversion of public funds? This is disappointing after all that Tambuwal represents. Can Tambuwal explain to Nigerians where he derives powers to do so without recourse to judicial pronouncement?

Tambuwal’s action amounts to undermining the judiciary and the anti-corruption fight of the APC-led government on whose platform he became governor. There is no justification for Tambuwal’s action, even if he is a beneficiary of the fraud. Besides, appointing such persons into government positions when they have criminal charges hanging on their necks say much about Tambuwal and his style of governance.

With this singular action, there is need for the EFCC to beam searchlight on Tambuwal’s past and present, in order to make him account for his stewardship as soon as he loses immunity as governor.

I Was Bribed To Suppress PIB-Senator Alasoadura
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), Tayo Alasoadura, has said he resisted pressures from ”higher places” who tried to ensure that the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, PIGB, did not see the light of the day.

The original Petroleum Industry Bill before the Senate was split into smaller bills, including PIGB to ensure easy passage.
Alasoadura said he rejected huge sums of money offered as bribe to frustrate the passage of the bill, which had been in the Senate for more than 13 years.

The senator representing Ondo Central said he declined to collect the bribe because he was conscious of the kind of legacy he wanted to leave behind for his children and grandchildren.Alasoadura, however, failed to mention those who attempted to bribe him.He said the passage of the bill by the Senate had made him proud as a federal lawmaker and as a Nigerian

Alasoadura spoke at his constituency office in Akure, the Ondo State capital, after receiving a commendation letter from the Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Ondo State Council.Senator, you need to have realised that certain things are better not said than playing to the gallery. Why tell Nigerians that you rejected bribe without disclosing who gave it to you? How are we sure you did not collect the bribe and watered down the content of the bill?

People are aware that Nigerian politicians, especially senators are like rats that cannot be trusted with fish. But if you say you are different, be bold enough to disclose who offered you bribe. It will help Nigerians, especially the people of Niger Delta to know their enemies, who may be living among them. Nigerians know that 2019 is near and politicians must do anything to win sympathy of voters. If not, of what importance is your confession, even when the bill has not been passed into law yet?

Anglican Communion Endorses Ugwuanyi For Second Term
THE Archbishop of Enugu Ecclesiastical Province and Anglican Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Most Rev. Emmanuel Chukwuma, has endorsed Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State for re-election in 2019, saying the governor deserves a second term because of his commitment to peace, good governance, love for the poor masses and development of the church.

Chukwuma made the endorsement during his sermon at Centenary anniversary of the Anglican Church in Nkanuland, which was attended by Governor Ugwuanyi; former Governor of old Anambra State, Senator Jim Nwobodo and his wife, Patricia, among other dignitaries.

For those who have been following governor Ugwuanyi’s performance since he came into office, the endorsement is not a surprise, especially coming from the church. Apart from restoring peace and providing good governance in the state, Ugwuanyi has been transparent, prudent and eclectic in handling the state resources.

At this time that payment of workers salary has become a challenge in most states, Ugwuanyi has never owed workers’ salary. That was why the workers conferred on him the award of the “Workers Most Friendly Governor” during this year’s workers’ day. Ugwuanyi could be best described as a home governor, who is always on ground and handy to be accessed by his people, especially in time of need.



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