Again, Buhari Rules Out Restructuring Of Polity
President Muhammadu Buhari has again ruled out the possibility of restructuring the country as advocated by some leaders .
Rejecting calls for restructuring, Buhari said: “You are telling us to dissolve a system and call for an obscure conference to come and discuss how we can move forward as a nation. That can never be done and no country will agree to that.”
Buhari’s position was contained in a message to the launch of the Kudirat Abiola Sabon Gari Peace Foundation in Zaria, Kaduna State.
The president, who was represented as Special Guest of Honour by the Executive Secretary, Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Alhaji Mohammed Bello Shehu, said those calling for the balkanization of Nigeria were only doing so to destabilise his government.
“There is no government in the world that will cede their authority to the people that are not elected,” he said.
He wondered what the advocates of restructuring wanted precisely, saying: “Those who are discussing restructuring, my question is what are you going to restructure?
“If you ask many Nigerians what are they going to restructure, you will find out that they have nothing to talk about.
“Some of them have not even studied the 1999 Constitution. The 1999 Constitution is almost 70 to 80 per cent 1979 Constitution.
“It is okay to demand restructuring, renewal of constitution, but what is most important now is how can Nigeria states make local governments functional? How can Nigerian states make the judiciary independent?
“Rather, we ask Nigerians to put focus on putting pressure on the National Assembly members to make sure that the local government autonomy as enshrined in our constitution is respected and implemented.
“So, if that were to be done, some of the issues like insecurity, you will find a situation where local government chairmen, in collaboration with traditional rulers, will form a chain, a communication to figure out what is really happening.
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“So, those who are doing that (agitating) should go back and meet their representatives in the House of Assembly and ask for whatever amendment of constitution. Due process should be followed.
“The other issue is that those who are calling for restructuring and conference or what they call ethnic nationality, if you go to Southern Kaduna, Taraba, who is to represent them? We have different combination of ethnicities in many states.
“Even in Kano and Kaduna , Igbos have properties. The same goes with Yorubas. There are Fulani in Port Harcourt. So those calling for whether separation or restructuring, some of them I will say they are very naive or even mischievously dangerous.
“Those agitating for secession are ignorant of war and its consequences, because Nigeria is a dominant force in West Africa.
“My appeal to each and everyone here is to try and educate their children. We are better as a nation. There is no way we can be separated.
“And I said also that the majority of those calling for restructuring are people that are so afraid to go into partisan politics. And even if they were to go into partisan politics, they will not win.”
Buhari in his Democracy Day broadcast last week had said government was not unaware of misgivings causing national discontent in different parts of the country, including allegations of marginalization and constitution amendment and said efforts were on to address such misgivings.
He said: “In responding to the challenges that this period imposes on us, government also recognizes the need to acknowledge notions of marginalization and agitations for constitutional amendments among various segments of our population.
“While this government is not averse to constitutional reform as part of our nation building process, everyone must understand that the primary responsibility for constitutional amendments lies with the National Assembly.
“This body which, as I said, is the arm of government responsible for constitutional changes has concluded the preliminary stages of amending and improving our constitution in a way that the majority of Nigerians will be happy with.
“Government is, however, willing to play a critical role in the constitutional amendment process without usurping the powers of the National Assembly in this regard.
“As a nation we have come very far from where we started and we are getting incrementally closer to where we ought to be.
“Overcoming the present challenges is but one of a necessary process that we have to undergo as a nation so that we can come out stronger.”
The Kudirat Abiola Sabon Gari Peace Foundation was founded in memory of Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, wife of the winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, Chief M.K.O. Abiola.
Kudirat was born in Zaria.
Also speaking at the event, Kudirat’s son, Alhaji Jamiu Abiola, said the death of his parents would be in vain should Nigeria or its democracy collapse.
Abiola said the foundation was floated to work for peace and unity of Nigeria in the face of agitations for secession.
He said it would work against the forces trying to bring Nigeria down, adding that the creation of Nigeria by God was not a mistake and the country had gone too far as a united nation to break up now.
He said: “I chose to float this foundation now, 25 years after my mother’s demise, because of where we are now as a country.
“Where we are now as a country is very dangerous. We have a democracy but we have fake news and so many things working towards destroying the country.
“So, the same way these forces against the country, we also have to establish forces of our own to work for the country. We should get more forces positively than the negative forces.
“So, this is the time, because if things go wrong and democracy does not work, it means my father and my mother died for nothing, and there is no way I can let that happen.
“So, this time around, we are going to assist the government to look for solutions to the problems, because we don’t want to benefit from government, we want the government to benefit from us.
“So, we are encouraging people to join our course so that we can recover quickly.
“This government has good intentions. They want to do well, but they need us to participate. So, we are drawing the line to say we either move forward or backward, and I am sure Nigerians want to move forward.
Also speaking, Governor Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai of Kaduna State, represented by Education Commissioner Shehu Usman Mohammed, warned that the country had grown beyond separation.
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BREAKING: PDP Crisis Worsens As Chairman Ayu Steps Aside, Deputy Takes Over
As an indication of a worsening crisis in the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) , its National Chairman Iyorchia Ayu on Tuesday stepped aside.
Ayu was replaced by the Deputy National Chairman, (North) Umar Iliya Damagum.
Damagum will assume office as the Acting National Chairman of the PDP, pending the determination of the case in court.
A High Court in Makurdi, the Benue state capital, had restrained embattled Ayu from parading himself as chairman of the party pending the determination of the substantive suit which has been adjourned to April 17, 2023 for hearing.
A member of the PDP from Benue, Terhide Utaan, who is the plaintiff before Justice W. I Kpochi, obtained the order restraining Ayu from parading himself as national chairman of the party.
Addressing journalists in Makurdi after obtaining the court order, the plaintiff said following the suspension of Ayu by his Igyorov Ward Exco on Sunday, it was wrong for him to keep up with the office of national chairman and further disunite the party.
Ayu was suspended late last week for anti-party activities in the wake of the party’s loss in the presidential election.
But in a Monday statement by his media aide Simon Imobo-Tswam, the former lawmaker argued that only the ward lacked the powers to suspend him.
Ayu’s political rival in the PDP and Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike on Monday, said he was elated that a Benue State ward exco passed a vote of no confidence in him.
“I am not from Benue State, but I am happy, and now that Benue State has done it, we would now come out and say we are in support of it,” he said.
Prior to this development, there had been intense calls for Ayu to step aside for a Southerner to take over as the Chairman of the party.
BREAKING: Obi Speaks On Joining Tinubu’s Unity Government
Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, has given insight into what his position will be if he is invited to join Bola Tinubu’s Government of National Unity.
Tinubu, the president-elect and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) have been taken to court by Obi over the outcome of the February 25 election.
The camp of the APC candidate had hinted that the former Lagos Governor would form an all-inclusive government to carry all his opponents along in his government.
While featuring on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Thursday, Obi was asked what he would do if he was called upon to be a member of Tinubu’s Government of National Unity.
In his response, Obi said he was still challenging the process of the election and the declaration.
According to him, the process of the election should be put right first before anyone could talk of the Government of National Unity.
“The first thing I want to see is that the process is right. The process through which you achieve anything is far more fundamental than what you do thereafter. Let us go back first, I am challenging the process and the declaration.
“Until we get it right, then we can talk about a government of national unity. Otherwise, we would go and sit down and say that those who stopped a train and kidnapped people can call us to discuss peace when they have people in captivity. Until things are done rightly, we will be encouraging what we don’t need to encourage,” he said.
When he was asked whether or not he would accept the outcome if it is not in his favour, Obi said he would be shocked if the court upholds Tinubu’s election.
His words: “Issues about the election will be sorted out in court. I will be shocked if this country goes on with that situation. It will then stand that it is a corporate criminalised country. We can’t allow it. We need to start unbundling this criminality.
“When people were talking about structure, it is this fraud and criminality that we witnessed that they were talking about, and we want to unbundle it for the sake of our children.”
The former Anambra State governor said he believes the judiciary would do the right thing.
LP Chieftain Flays Return Of 1999 PDP as Ibori, Henchmen Seek Political Relevance In Delta APC
The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta State is gradually taking on the colouration of 1999 PDP with all of former Governor James Ibori’s ‘boys’ now leaving the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in droves and finding a new home in APC to swell its ranks ahead of the guber elections on Saturday, March 18, 2023, according to a chieftain of Labour Party (LP), Chief Delly Ajufo.
Ajufo described the development as “a gathering of vultures to consume the soul of Delta State,” noting that Ibori, who has suffered a pariah status under Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s 8-year administration, now has a chance to reclaim his “godfather or grand commander” position over his godson, guber candidate of APC and Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege.
According to him, Ibori looks to resume his godfather position as Bola Ahmed Tinubu of Lagos State, a position that slipped out of his hands since his stint in the UK prison.
Ajufo said Deltans needed to be wary of Senator Omo-Agege’s governorship bid, and see it as a backdoor for Ibori to re-take control of the management of the state’s resources in a manner likely to be worse than the 1999 – 2007 era when he was governor. He warned that Deltans could not have forgotten how Ibori raped the fortunes of the state in his eight-year administration by corruptly enriching himself and his cronies (including Sen. Omo-Agege) that earned him a UK prison sentence. He described the APC as PDP-2 trying to upstage Okowa’s PDP-1 from power, saying Deltans should reward both of them with electoral defeat since both parties have run the country (APC – 8 years) and Delta State (PDP – 24 years) badly.
He argued that none of them deserves to occupy the seat of power in Asaba come May 29, 2023.
The Labour Party chieftain also said the gathering of Ibori’s political family under APC is dark and ominous for the state, and urged the electorate to reject both ‘PDAPC’ at the polls on Saturday, and vote for Labour Party (LP) as the only political breath of fresh air that Delta people need now.
“We must sever our links with the people from both parties that have collectively ruined the fortunes of this oil-rich state by running it aground since 1999,” he noted.
Ajulo added that Ibori trying to reclaim his faded godfather position, using APC as his new launch pad was tantamount to vultures gathering to feast on the carcass of a dying animal, a situation that Deltans should not wait to see but to halt it in its tracks outright.
“This is a gathering of vultures and it does not augur well for our beloved Delta State,” said Ajufo.
“Ibori wants to use the APC backdoor to reclaim his faded godfather status since all his allies are dumping PDP in droves and moving over to APC. The signs are not good for Deltans who have been pauperised for so many years in spite of the huge oil wealth that comes to the state monthly. I urge Deltans to see through the evil that’s about to befall them if they elect Ovie Omo-Agege. Of course, PDP is dead, going by February 25, 2023 election. There is no need to bother about it. Deltans will bury whatever remains of it in the guber elections.
“The nightmare we must all now resist is APC taking over. Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege was SSG and Commissioner under Ibori’s eight-year reign of wasted resources in Delta from 1999 – 2007. A vote for Omo-Agege is a vote for the return of Ibori into Delta’s mainstream, with his baggage of corruption and mismanagement of state resources. Delta is tired of another Tinubu returning to pillage the coffers of the state for his selfish interests. We cannot afford to ‘carry last’ on this matter.”
The chief urged Deltans to do for Labour Party what they did on February 25 when they massively voted for Labour Party and Peter Obi, saying they should do the same for the party’s governorship candidate, Deacon Ken Pela and all House of Assembly candidates. He called on all women to look the way of Labour Party’s candidate, Dcn Ken Pela for the governorship election, adding, “We also call on women to rally their own fellow woman, an educationist and erudite scholar, Prof. Nwabogo-Umukoro, to represent and champion women’s causes in government at the highest decision-making level.”
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