Edo 2016 And The Way Forward

The gubernatorial election of Edo State is on September 10, 2016. Tempo of campaign has already escalated to feverish level. Worthy of note is that the contest is devoid of ethnicity. The two main contestants come from highly respected families in Benin City. As campaign rhetoric inundates the State which prides itself as the heartbeat of Nigeria, there is the need for the electorate to separate the chaff from the wheat. Outcome of the election shall be materially influenced by past performance of the political parties while in power in the state and the personal qualities of the contestants.


From 1999 to 2007, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with Chief Lucky Igbinedion as governor governed the State. PDP administration continued until 2008 when the court removed the then governor, Prof. Osarhiemen Osunbo. The re-election of Chief Lucky Igbinedion for a second term and election of Prof. Osunbor were made possible by the ‘do or die” politics under former President Olusegun Obasanjo. The 2007 general elections had already gone down in history as the worst, a monumental fraud and national disgrace.


The PDP administration took office with high expectations, considering Chief Lucky Igbinedion’s success as Chairman of Oredo Local Government Council. But regrettably, the party left Edo State in ruins after nine years in power With a battered economy, misery pervaded Edo State in those years of misrule. several indigenes fled to avert the crisis that gripped the State.


Some policies under the PDP were so injurious that till date, the State is still reeling from their harmful effect. For instance, instead of boosting domestic rice production for which Ekpoma, Agbede, Lamkpese and other cities were popular, at a point, the PDP administration imported and dumped large quantities of expired rice on every local government in the State. As a result of the competitive disadvantage provoked by this wicked act, several farmers deserted their rice farms.


While PDP governed the state, roads, educational and public health infrastructure suffered serious deterioration as they were neither maintained nor improved upon. Insecurity escalated to unimaginable proportions.


The maladministration also extended to traditional institutions which were desecrated with impunity. Even the revered Oba of Benin was not spared from embarrassment. At a point, he was subjected to indignity of trekking barefooted to the High Court in a case with the reigning PDP governor. The nine years PDP governed Edo State can only be remembered with sad and unpleasant memories.

Following the Court judgment that declared Comrade Adams Oshiomole as governor, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) took over administration of Edo State in 2008. ACN later metamorphosed into All Progressives Congress (APC). There were initial apprehensions that being a labour activist, viability of Comrade Oshiomole as an administrator was uncertain. It was unclear how this erroneous notion took root that labour activists were only good as critics but bad as leaders. However, eight years of Comrade Oshiomole’s rule as governor of Edo State has demonstrated that labour activists can even be better as political leaders.


APC took over a state that was practically in destitution. In eight years, it has almost restored the glorious days when


Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia was military Governor of old Bendel. In the past eight years of APC administration in Edo State, the economy has been revamped, despite headwinds from an unfriendly PDP led federal administration. Within this period, several dilapidated roads and drainages in the State have been rehabilitated and new ones constructed.


Existing educational and healthcare infrastructure have been upgraded and new ones established. Insecurity has been firmly dealt with. As a result of the new enabling environment, Edo State has once again become a beehive of social and economic activities.


Now, there are no more tales of woe to tell about the State as things have moved from despair to hope for even a brighter future. Whoever wins the upcoming gubernatorial election will inherit an administration with a solid foundation that can be built upon.


The APC candidate, Godwin Obaseki is no stranger to the outgoing administration. He is credited with crafting of the economic plan that propelled the State into a success story. His opponent in PDP, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu is also experienced in Edo State politics, having served at various times in the State legislature and executive.


The APC candidate, an Investment Banker, Godwin Obaseki packaged and listed several high profile corporate issues including Dangote Cement Plc, the most capitalized company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. This has enabled several Nigerian investors to share in the wealth created daily by these successful companies.


Due to his distinctive competence in economic policy formulation and capital formation, any promise made by Godwin Obaseki in the area of economic development can be taken seriously and regarded as achievable.

Nigeria-China Trade Volume Exceeds $13 Billion In 2015- Envoy

The Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Gu Xiaojie, said this at a reception to mark 45 years of diplomatic relations between both countries in Abuja on Thursday night.

Mr. Xiaojie explained that both countries had strengthened bilateral relations since 1971.

“China and Nigeria have enjoyed longstanding friendly exchanges 45 years ago on February 10, 1971 since the two countries established diplomatic relations.

“In 1971, the bilateral trade volume was only $10 million, nowadays the bilateral trade volume is hundred times that of 1971.

“Nigeria is China’s largest engineering contracted projects market in Africa; Nigeria is the second largest export market of China in Africa and Nigeria is also the third biggest trading partner and major investment destination in Africa.

“By the end of 2015, China’s cumulated, non-financial direct investment is more than $13 billion.

“Cooperative projects such as the launch of satellite, construction of railroad and the fast development of Lekki and Ogun free trade zones are the true story of China- Nigeria pragmatic cooperation,” he said.

Credit: PremiumTimes

NDLEA Destroys 10,239.26 kgs Of Narcotics In 2015– Official

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Oyo State Command, on Thursday said it destroyed 10,239.26 kilogrammes of narcotics in the state between January and December 2015.

The spokesperson of the command, Mrs Mutiat Okuwobi, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan that it also seized 9369.8 kilogrammes of cannabis sativa and 34.42 kilogrammes of psychotropic substance respectively.

She also said that the agency destroyed 192.39 acres of farmlands in different parts of the state where weeds suspected to be cannabis were cultivated.

Okuwobi said that the agency arrested 227 suspects comprising 215 males and 12 females and recorded 59 convictions in 2015.

The official said that the command’s Drug Demand Reduction Unit also rehabilitated and counseled 20 drug addicts within the period under review.

She cautioned the public on dangers associated with drug abuse, and urged parents to monitor the movements of their children to prevent them from anti-social behaviors.

Credit: Leadership

P-Square Heads For Calabar Carnival 2015 (PHOTO)

As the year comes to an end, the sensational annual end of year carnival held in Calabar is gearing up and it is certainly going to be lit soon.

Attending the sensational Calabar Carnival 2015 is our sensational musical duo, P- Square. Peter Okoye took to his IG page to share his take off photo, even though we all know he is flaunting his pretty face, *Sigh*… obviously because he captioned:

Calabar we r on our way to you.. Say hello to dis Cool Dude?????? #calabarcarnival2015 #teampsquare


Calabar we r on our way to you.. Say hello to dis Cool Dude?????? #calabarcarnival2015 #teampsquare

APC Ready For Rescheduled Bayelsa Poll — Sylva

The governorship candidate of All Progressives Congress, APC, and former governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Timipre Sylva, says he is ready and willing to compete against Governor Seriake Dickson at any electoral contest.

Sylva, who boasted that he would emerge victorious, accused the incumbent, Dickson, of engaging in underhand tactics to win.

The APC candidate, through the Director, Media and Publicity, Sylva-Igiri Campaign Organisation, Chief Nathan Egba, said that it was for this reason that the party protested the alleged illegal cancellation of the Southern Ijaw council election.

He said: “It is for this reason that the APC vehemently protested the illegal cancellation of the Southern Ijaw election results which clearly would have put us well ahead of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. But with all the stakeholders having agreed on a new date, the Sylva- Igiri Campaign Organisation is poised to galvanise our support-base in order to repeat the feat we performed in Southern Ijaw council and some other polling units across six local government areas.

“Our strength is in the fact that majority of the people of Southern Ijaw council are with us and are still committed to standing by us through this whole process in order to eventually celebrate a hard-won victory.”



Credit : Vanguard

WAEC Releases November/December 2015 Results

The West African Examination Council on Friday released the November/December 2015 General Certificate Examination result.

The Head of National Office of the Council, Isaac Adenipekun, who announced the result in Lagos, said results of 235,542 out of the 237,154 candidates that sat for the examination were fully processed and released.

He also said 1,612 candidates (0.68%) had some of their subjects still being processed as a result of some errors.

Mr. Adenipekun, said 79,490 candidates (33.51%) got six credits and above while 113,573 others (47.88%) obtained five credits.

Mathematics and English were among the subjects, he said.

A total of 146,253 candidates (61.67%) obtained credits and above in four subjects, 175,718 others (74.09%) got credits and above in three subjects and 200,304 candidates (84.46%) obtained credits and above in two subjects.

Mr. Adenipekun praised the supervisors, invigilators, custodians, security agencies and other ad-hoc personnel for their role in the conduct of the examination.

Credit: PremiumTimes

See List Of 2015 Most Trending People According To Google

Google released its annual list of the year’s top trending people, a reflection, more or less, of what people were curious about in 2015. The names on this list — all of whom are alive; the list doesn’t include people who died — recorded the highest spikes in traffic over a sustained period in 2015 as compared with 2014.

See list below:

  1. Lamar Ordom
  2. Caitlyn Jenner
  3. Ronda Rousey
  4. Donald Trump
  5. Ruby Rose
  6. Charlie Sheen
  7. Brian Williams
  8. Rachael Dolezal
  9. Adele
  10. Josh Duggar

16,000 Nigerian Children Under Five Die Everyday In 2015- WHO

The National Surveillance Officer, World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr Irene Isibor has said most children in Nigeria still die from vaccine-preventable diseases due to people’s wrong attitude.

Isibor said this at the 19th Biennial Conference and Annual General Meeting of the Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria, held at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, Lagos with the theme: “Internally Displaced Persons, Health and Socio-economic Impact.”

She, however, urged Nigerians to develop the right attitudes to immunisation of their children against the child-killer diseases and stop all the myths attached to them.

Isibor said, “Everyday in 2015, 16,000 children under five years continue to die, mostly from preventable causes. Child survival must remain the focus of the post-2015 development agenda.

“The distribution of the estimated deaths among children under five years of age, from diseases that are preventable by vaccination in 2008 in Nigeria shows that measles accounts for 118, 000. Death from Neonatal tetanus-59,000, Tetanus (non-neonatal)-2,000, Pneumococcal disease- 476, 000, Rotavirus- 453,000, Pertussis- 195,000, and Hib-199,000.”

Isibor said that immunisation was one of the most successful public health initiatives, noting that there was a need to fully embrace and implement it.

According to her, the number of children under five years dying every year as of today has reduced to 6.3 million from 12.7 million in 1990 due to administration of vaccines.

Credit: DailyTimes

FG Approves 2015 Civil Service Promotion Examination

Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, Acting Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HOS), has approved the conduct of the 2015 promotion examination for officers on salary grade levels 06-13.

This is contained in a statement issued by Alhaji Mohammed Manga, Assistant Director (Media Relations), in the office of the HOS in Abuja on Tuesday.

According to the statement, the examination is scheduled to take place on Dec. 17, at the Public Service Institute of Nigeria (PSIN).

It added that a circular signed by the Permanent Secretary, Career Management in the office of the HOS, Mr Innocent Ogbonnaya, had already been issued to all government Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

According to the circular, eligible officers on Grade Levels 06-13, depending on the grade level, must have spent a minimum of two or three years on their present grade by Jan. 1, 2015.

Eligible candidates were advised to attend the screening and accreditation beginning from Dec. 14, at the Public Service Institute of Nigerian (PSIN), from 8.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.

According to the statement, all eligible officers are expected to come with one passport size photograph, the original and one photocopy each of staff identity card and letter of first appointment.

They are also to bring along with them, evidence of confirmation of appointment, birth certificate or declaration of age and letter of transfer, conversion, absorption or regularisation, if applicable.

Other documents required for the exercise, the circular said, include letters of last two promotions and academic credentials.

Credit: Vangard

Amir Abdulazeez: As PDP Continues To Mock Reality…….

Any proponent of competitive democracy and any advocate against one-party state would like to see the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) remain strong and vibrant enough to keep the ruling All Progressives’ Congress on its toes. Probably, only a fanatical APC sympathizer would like to see PDP become extinct in the current situation. The role of a strong opposition in a democracy cannot be overemphasized and without opposition, democracy becomes autocracy.

Many neutrals have recently began to have sympathy for the PDP neither because the party deserves such nor because it is showing signs of deserving such any soon, but because it is the only party that is in a strong position to keep APC on its toes-something the governing party itself needs to checkmate complacency. However, the question is: does the PDP have as much sympathy for itself? Apparently it doesn’t, because many of the party’s actions tend to de-market the party rather than promoting it.

No matter how well outsiders wish to see things go for PDP, it won’t be possible if the major stakeholders within the party are not willing to put their acts together. If there were other viable opposition options apart from PDP, majority of Nigerians would most likely go for them and back any among them to become the major opposition party in the country. Alas! There is none and considering what it takes to build a formidable national political party or to transform a dormant one in Nigeria, we can say, there would be none at least for the time being, except if an unforeseen miracle-like situation happens.

After the 2015 General Elections, the question on the lips of Nigerians was: how would PDP manage defeat? Others asked whether PDP would bounce back and if yes, how and when? The problem we are facing in Nigerian politics is that political parties are almost solely judged based on electoral performance. Therefore, in the eyes of many, PDP would only be considered to have bounced back if it takes over from APC at the next polls. From the look of things, PDP itself also narrowly look at things that way. The truth is, if PDP can still remain in existence, strengthen its organs, engage in massive grassroots membership drive and followership, give the nation a rebranded and innovative opposition, retain its states and win some elusive states like Lagos and have a decent presidential election outing in 2019, that would be enough success even if they don’t win back the presidency in the next 8 years. The PDP should not be exclusively looking forward to winning elections, it should think of ways it can set the standards and become the epitome of internal democracy, de-commercialization and de-monetization of politics, inspiring political consciousness and awareness as well as ideology-based politicking.

Is PDP ready to bounce back? It depends on what we take ‘bounce back’ to mean. However, we take it, the answer is, the party has the potential to bounce back, but it is not yet ready. Virtually, all of the actions and inactions of the PDP stakeholders since after April 2015 suggests that they are not ready to bounce back even in the next 16 years. When you find yourself in the midst of a self-inflicted mess, the least that is required of you to get out of that mess is to even believe that you are in a mess, sincerely acknowledge the role you played in putting yourself in that mess followed by genuine repentance.

Time and again, the PDP through many of its notable chieftains still boasts that it is the largest party in Nigeria and it is still the only party that has presence everywhere including the remotest parts of the country. Even a small kid knows this is not true, but such is PDP’s arrogance even as an opposition party. When they were in power, they declared themselves the largest party in Africa without depending on any scientific yardstick. The PDP is presently a regional party confined mainly to the South-South and the South-East and the truth is that if free and fair elections had held in those regions, APGA, LP and to some extent APC would have occupied most of the seats, ‘elected’ PDP members are now occupying. One needs not to wonder why 70% of total annulled 2015 elections by the tribunals across the country so far are coming from the South-South and South-East.

The PDP has been the biggest loser in all the decided cases by the election petition tribunals so far. Instead of the party to tell itself some home truths, galvanize and see how they can salvage the situation to enhance their chances of winning the re-run elections, they are busy accusing the APC and the presidency of influencing tribunal judgements. Would PDP ever accept half of what transpired in Rivers and Akwa-Ibom states as elections if they were not the beneficiaries? PDP is accusing the Presidency of judicial interference probably because that’s what they use to do when they were in power and hence they expect others to be doing the same. It looks like PDP’s game plan is to continue with this propaganda to blackmail the tribunals into succumbing to their pressure and prevent them from doing their jobs adequately. If the party is not careful, some of the victories it recorded in some tribunals might be upturned after the cases might have been carefully reviewed in the appeal and supreme courts.

The way PDP has been lamenting its defeat in the 2015 elections is very funny. How many times have PDP actually won elections? If free and fair elections had been taking place, the party would have since become history, probably since 2003 or 2007. PDP should cherish the fact they still exist with some relevance. They have spent the last 6 months lamenting and advancing reasons why they lost, whereas they knew deep in their hearts that the party seldom wins any election post 1999.

Almost two years after, the PDP has continued to call the people that left the party as betrayers, traitors and ingrates. Uptill today, they have failed to move forward on this. The party has refused to accept responsibility, not to talk of addressing the issues that led to the exit of such people. The PDP has forgotten that it has been the biggest beneficiary of defections since 1999. Arguably more than 90% of all defections from 2001 to 2010 have been in favour of the party and none of the then opposition parties refused to move forward and plan ahead because of this.

Another disgusting habit of the PDP is boasting and crediting itself with Nigeria’s 16 years of uninterrupted democratic rule. This is childish and akin to a scenario where the military begins to boast and ask Nigerians to thank it for not carrying out a single coup since 1999. PDP are fond of making vague statements; nothing could have happened to Nigeria’s democracy with or without PDP. In fact the PDP-led Federal Government should be blamed of threatening democracy by supervising some of the worst elections in Nigeria’s history. If we may ask, how willing was the PDP government to allow the 2015 elections hold? How can a party known for one of the worst records on internal democracy entrench any democracy elsewhere?

Some PDP chieftains who have not completely lost touch with reality like their colleagues have admitted that the party has done so many political wrongs even if they refuse to agree that the party had failed to bring any meaningful development to the country. In short, the believe PDP has done very well in terms of governance. The question we should ask them is, between infrastructure, power, health, employment, Security, Agriculture and poverty, what single sector can the PDP point out to have achieved 75% success to justify the money it spent in 16 years? Where then is the development? PDP’s mistake is that, they keep judging themselves on inputs instead of results.

One other issue is PDP’s over celebration of the emergence of Ike Ekweremadu as Deputy Senate President in an APC controlled government and citing it as ‘first in Africa’ and an indication of good things to come. First and foremost, what would have been the chances of Ekweremadu in that election if all 109 senators were around in the Senate Chambers when the election for the post of Deputy Senate President took place? Would he have contested? Hardly. Therefore, PDP cowardly took advantage of a situation courtesy of APC’s blundering and misjudgement. Morally, PDP should not have allowed any of its members to contest for any principal office in the National Assembly because in its 16 years rule, it gave no one any chance. It seems, PDP wants to become a ruling and an opposition party at the same time. This is evident as, it also wanted the Deputy Speakership of the House. One thing PDP doesn’t understand is that it is shooting itself in the foot. With the party holding the Deputy Senate Presidency, it is officially part of the Federal Government and must therefore partly bear the burdens of its wrongs.

It is a welcome development that the PDP organized a National Reform Conference that is aimed at rebranding and reshaping the party for future challenges. The problem however is that the aim of the conference seems to have been defeated already. Instead of PDP to concentrate on using the conference for self-assessment and rebranding strategies, speakers took turns and wasted useful time and energy in using it as an opportunity for bashing the APC and the President. There would be many upcoming tangible things to criticize Buhari’s government on and there would be ample time to do so, but PDP seem to be in a desperate hurry as if that is what will help it reclaim past glory.

The APC is the least of PDP’s worries currently. APC has many shortcomings and it will gather many more baggage as the journey continues, but no matter how bad the APC becomes, Nigerians may likely stick with it in 2019 if PDP refuses to truly reform itself and move away from its past. PDP should deal with itself and Nigerians would do the rest by dealing with APC. The PDP must be ready to present itself as an alternative which Nigerians can trust in the event of an APC failure. The PDP should look inwards and try to reform, re-shape and rebrand itself from a party with the image of impunity and cheating to that of justice and fairness and thereafter re-present itself to Nigerians. This would be better than mocking reality and the continuation to live in denial.

Mallam Amir is on Twitter: @AmirAbdulazeez

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of www.omojuwa.com nor its associate

Buhari’s Aide Narrates How NTA, AIT Humiliated Them During 2015 Presidential Election

President Muhammadu Buhari has restated his gratitude to Nigerians for his victory at the general elections saying he emerged winner against all odds.

Speaking at The Red Media Summit in Lagos, Thursday,? Mr. Buhari that he won the election despite the deployment of state forces against him.

“Muhammadu Buhari’s goodwill greetings to you is on account of the fact that he won an election that many people think he was not going to win,” said Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, ??who represented Mr. Buhari.

“Americans say that elections are won on the dollar. It’s very improbable that anybody can win an election without money. We didn’t have advertising money on our campaign. Even when we had little money to spend on advertising, the Nigerian Television Authority was not making available to us slots, neither was AIT.

“I remember on a particular night I called NTA, they had 16 slots of one minute adverts and I said I wanted to buy one minute for the Buhari campaign, they said all 16 had been sold.

“Some other instances that exposed the partisan nature of the NTA. Money was returned to us, from AIT money was returned to us. They simply won’t advertise for us.”

Mr. Shehu expressed the presidency’s gratitude to Statecraft, an arm on The Red Media, for ?”selling an unlikely candidate to a very skeptical nation.”

“The day there was a security siege at my home, I woke up to see that my house had been surrounded by armed policemen in the course of the campaign,” Mr. Shehu said.

Read Morepremiumtimesng

Teen Choice Awards 2015 Winners: Full List

Bethany Mota (WINNER)
Eva Gutowski
Grace Helbig
Jen McAllister
Michelle Phan
Lele Pans

Cameron Dallas (WINNER)
Matthew Espinosa
Joey Graceffa
Ryan Higa
Felix Kjellberg
Tyler Oakley

“Worth It” -Fifth Harmony (WINNER)
“Bad Blood” – Taylor Swift & Kendrick Lamar
“Cheerleader” – OMI
“Cool For the Summer” – Demi Lovato
“Fight Song” -Rachel Platten
“Good For You” -Selena Gomez & A$AP Rocky

Fifth Harmony (WINNER)
Miley Cyrus
Cara Delevingne
Selena Gomez
Taylor Swift

Fifth Harmony (WINNER)
Barden Bellas
Icona Pop
Little Mix

One Direction (WINNER)
Justin Bieber
Kim Kardashian
Kylie Jenner
Nicole Scherzinger

One Direction (WINNER)
5 Seconds Of Summer
Justin Bieber
Ryan Guzman
Austin Mahone
Zayn Malik

Ross Lynch, Austin & Ally (WINNER)
Anthony Anderson, Blackish
Jamie Camil, Jane The Virgin
Chris Colfer, Glee
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Andy Samberg, Brooklyn Nine-Nine

“No Control” – One Direction (WINNER)
“BBHM” – Rihanna
“Blank Space” – Taylor Swift
“I Want You To Know” – Selena Gomez & Zedd
“Shut Up & Dance” – Walk The Moon
“Uptown Funk” – Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars

Pretty Little Liars (WINNER)
The Fosters
Grey’s Anatomy

Paul Walker, Furious 7 (WINNER)
Vin Diesel, Furious 7
Ansel Elgort, The Divergent Series: Insurgent
Theo James, The Divergent Series: Insurgent
Taylor Lautner, Tracers
Dylan O’Brien, The Maze Runner

Furious 7 (WINNER)
The Divergent Series: Insurgent
Kingsman: The Secret Service
San Andreas
The Maze Runner

Nina Dobrev, The Vampire Diaries (WINNER)
Candice Accola, The Vampire Diaries
Jennifer Morrison, Once Upon A Time
Danielle Panabaker, The Flash
Emily Bett Richards, Arrow
Eliza Taylor, The 100

Wiz Khalifa (WINNER)
Iggy Azalea
Nicki Minaj
The Weeknd
Kanye West

Stephen Curry (WINNER)
American Pharoah/Victor Espinoza
Tom Brady
Lebron James
Cristiano Ronaldo
Jordan Spieth

Chloe Grace Moretz, If I Stay (WINNER)
Felicity Jones, True Story / The Theory Of Everything
Blake Lively, The Age of Adaline
Britt Robertson, The Longest Ride
Kristen Stewart, Still Alice
Reese Witherspoon, Wild

Read MoreVariety

39% obtain credit in English/Maths as WAEC releases 2015 SSCE result

Following the release of the May/June 2015 Senior School Certificate Examination, SSCE, result, only 38.68 per cent of those who participated, amounting to 616,370 candidates had credit pass in five subjects including  English Language and Mathematics.

This was announced on Monday in Yaba, Lagos by the WAEC Head of National Office, Mr. Charles Eguridu, who said: “Out of 1,593,442 candidates who sat for the examinations, only 616,370 candidates, representing 38.68% obtained credits in five subjects and above including English Language and Mathematics.”

Comparing the result to that of previous years, Eguridu said that in 2013, the total number of candidates who obtained five credits in English and Mathematics were 639,760 representing 38.30 per cent while in 2014only 529,425 candidates representing 31.28 per cent obtained five credits in English and Mathematics.

WAEC releases 2015 SSCE results, withholds 118,101 candidates’ results

The West African Examinations Council has released the May/June 2015 Senior School Certificate Examination results, withholding 118,101 candidates’ results out of the 1.5 million students that sat for the examination.

Head of WAEC National Office, Mr. Charles Eguridu, made this announcement at a press conference in Lagos on Monday.

Eguridu added that the states owing WAEC had reduced to 13, saying the candidates in public schools in the 13 states would not have their results until their state governments pay their candidates’ registration fees.

The examination body had earlier raised an alarm that 19 states owed the agency about N4bn, an amount that might cripple the operations of WAEC.

10 World’s Most Powerful Women 2015

Angela Merkel

REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

German Chancellor Angela Merkel continues her reign as the most powerful woman on the planet for past nine years. Why? She clinched a third four-year term of Europe’s most vibrant economy in December 2014, making her the longest-serving elected EU head of state. She fought off a national recession during the global economic crisis with stimulus packages and government subsidies for companies that cut hours for workers, and she is in the thick of trying to help Greece revive its economy. She has used her power against ISIS, breaking the post-Nazi-era taboo of direct involvement in military actions by sending arms to Kurdish fighters. In the Russia-Ukraine crisis, she has been engaging in shuttle diplomacy trying to broker a peace deal with Vladimir Putin. There’s only one woman who has a chance of endangering her tenure as No. 1 in 2016 – and that’s the world’s No. 2 most powerful woman Hillary Clinton.

Hillary Clinton


The presumptive Democratic front-runner in the 2016 presidential race is starting her campaign miles ahead of her challengers. Her Ready for Hillary super PAC raised $9 million in 2014 and some of her biggest potential donors have yet to commit. A recent CNN/ORC poll, seven out of 10 Democratic voters favored her, while her closest Republican contender, Marco Rubio, trailed her by 12 points. She is the first and only first lady to become a U.S. Senator, not to mention presidential candidate. Her bestselling 2014 memoir, “Hard Choices,” which chronicles her time as Secretary of State, reportedly earned her a high-seven-figure advance. Her popularity remains high despite the “emailgate” revelations that she used her own private email address and server while Secretary of State, instead of the government system, potentially making her correspondence vulnerable to hacking and foreign surveillance. She has said she regretted the decision and complied with government rules. In September 2014 she marked a personal first, the birth of her grandchild, Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky.

Melinda Gates

Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Helen Keller International

Melinda Gates has cemented her dominance in philanthropy and global development to the tune of $3.9 billion in giving in 2014 and more than $33 billion in grant payments since she founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with her husband in 2000. Her work has inspired other big donors and has changed way funders think about effective philanthropy: highly targeted campaigns coupled with data-driven monitoring and global collaboration. As the woman with her name on the door, Gates decides the direction of the organization and reviews the results. Much of her attention is now focused on championing investments in women and girls around the world.

Janet Yellen

REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Janet Yellen made history in 2014 when she became the first female head of the Federal Reserve.  The Yale and Brown educated economist has barely had a moments rest since then: She took over shortly after the central bank began unwinding its recession era bond buying program and then deftly ushered markets through six cuts that brought monthly purchases to $0 from a peak of $85 billion. Now the Fed is on track to loosen the economic reigns further by beginning to hike interest rates as soon as June 2015 — a feat it hasn’t attempted since 2004. With so much at stake a single word from Yellen can send asset prices swinging but she received praise in March 2015 when she managed to change guidance without spooking investors. Meanwhile she has been fighting a call to increase congressional supervision of the Fed while pushing to improve the Fed’s oversight of big banks.

Mary Barra

REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

Mary Barra survived a harrowing first year as the first woman ever to head a Big 8 automaker last year. She faced revelations about faulty ignition switches blamed for at least 74 deaths and 126 injuries, a 30-million car recall and pressure from investors to return more cash to shareholders. In October the 35-year GM veteran finally got to lay out her strategy for the future, which includes turning Cadillac into a global luxury brand, continuing to grow in China and becoming a technology leader. Under Barra GM is also proving to be more disciplined financially, making tough decisions like pulling out of Russia, Australia and Indonesia or killing the Chevrolet brand in Europe if there’s not enough profit to justify continued investment.

Christine Lagarde

REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

Christine Lagarde is entering  the last year of her first term heading the International Monetary Fund, the organization which serves as economic advisor and backstop for 188 countries. When she took over in 2011 the world economy was still recovering from the financial crisis. Today Lagarde is projecting 3.5% annual global growth — only a hint above last year’s rate and down from 4% in 2011. Lagarde calls this the “new mediocre” and is vocal about her concern that slow growth has become the “new reality.” How is the IMF helping? By viewing emerging markets as unique locals rather than a single entity and warning central bankers ? the U.S. Federal Reserve especially ? to be wary of the potential negative effects of differing monetary policy across the globe. Under Lagarde the IMF has supported efforts to increase female labor force participation as way to reduce poverty and inequality.

Dilma Rousseff

REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

Calls for President Dilma Rousseff’s resignation were chanted through the streets of Brazil at the start of this year, just months into her second term. Rousseff, who ran on campaign promises to harness oil and boost the economy, is now battling a bribery scandal that involves the national oil company Petrobras. As Brazil’s first female president, she was elected in 2010 and was on track to end poverty in the world’s seventh-largest economy. But the hopes of her supporters have fallen flat in recent months as her approval ratings have dropped to 13%. Additionally, the economy of the country with a GDP of $2.19 trillion could shrink for the second consecutive year.

Sheryl Sandberg

AP Photo/Richard Drew

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg knows how to command attention. Her 2013 bestseller, “Lean In,” won famous fans including Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and Beyonce, spawned thousands of Lean In Circle support groups, inspired a spin-off, “Lean In for Graduates,” published in 2014, and a Sony Pictures movie deal. The mother of two is a former Google executive, wooed in 2007 to Facebook by billionaire founder Mark Zuckerberg to the fledgling startup run by college dropouts. Before Google, the Harvard MBA worked as chief of staff to then-Treasury Secretary Larry Summers. She is a significant shareholder and oversees sales, marketing, business development, human resources and communications at the social media giant. Under Sandberg’s leadership, Facebook has improved its earnings performance and revamped its mobile strategy. She recently joined The Giving Pledge, promising to give away at least half of her net worth to charitable causes. Her husband, SurveyMonkey CEO Dave Goldberg, died unexpectedly of head trauma after a fall on a treadmill in early May. He was just 47 years old.

Susan Wojcicki

REUTERS/Stephen Lam/Files

Memes may come and go, but Wojcicki’s new job is to make certain YouTube profits from every one of them. Google employee No. 16 — the company started in her Menlo Park garage — now heads up the Internet’s central hub for all things video. In February 2014, Wojcicki moved from her post as consigliore for Google’s ads and commerce (some 90% of revenue) to become CEO of the world’s largest video platform. It was a long time coming: In 2006, Wojcicki championed the $1.65 billion acquisition now valued at some $20 billion with revenues projected to be $5.6 billion last year, up about 51% from the past year. With more than 1 billion UVs per month and more eyeballs among adults 18 – 34, the former ad chief is quickly focusing on new ad formats, campaigns and market share. Calling YouTube complementary to television, Wojcicki is working to support YouTube’s celebrities and help media companies make the most of the video platform.

Michelle Obama


Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

While her husband may sit in the Oval Office, First Lady Michelle Obama has her own power seat in the White House. At the start of the year, she traveled to Southeast Asia to push an initiative that aims to get more girls educated and therefore improve the well-being and financial stability of young women. In the summer of 2014, she spoke of the administration’s effort to end homelessness among military veterans in the U.S. — cities like Phoenix and Salt Lake City have been successful — and pushed back against measures that would allow some schools to opt out of the federal dietary standards for school lunches. Obama gained attention after opting not to cover her head during a visit with the president to Saudi Arabia.


Nigeria Slashes 2015 Fuel Subsidy By 90% Following Oil Price Slide

Nigeria will slash petrol subsidies by 90 percent this year because government revenues have been hit by the slump in oil prices.

The government had said it would gradually phase out fuel subsidies which are a significant burden on public finances, but cutting subsidies risks aggravating a fuel crisis in the country.

Major cities are experiencing a crippling gasoline shortage as oil importers feel the pinch from unpaid government subsidies, a plummeting local currency and tighter credit lines triggered by lower crude prices, oil traders and local industry sources say.

While Nigeria is Africa’s biggest oil producer, a neglected refining system means it is almost wholly reliant on imports for the 40 million litres per day of gasoline it consumes.

Parliament approved the reduction in subsidies to 100 billion naira ($505 million) for 2015, Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said late on Tuesday. The cuts were accounted for in last week’s 4.49 trillion naira budget for 2015, but the breakdown was not announced until Tuesday.

Read Morereuters

The 2015 Elections And The Rouse Of Ethnic Militias In Nigeria By Orukotan Ayomikun Samuel

Nigeria is a pluralistic society moving towards quite another matter. In former times, national leaders had rallied their political forces with the exhortation that unity in diversity must not be compromised for political differences or social inequality. It is so disheartening these days that Nigeria is slowly but surely dividing along ethnic climes, religious sentiments and tribal life by its so-called flesh and blood. This strategy of conquest by disparagement employed by our kith and kin will continue to weaken our fragile democratic institution, diverse cultural values and relic continental relevance.
It is clear as day that tribe is mafia and that ethnic cleansing is a form of genocide. This is why the percipient role played by all these unlawful and vetoed ethnic champions like the Odua Peoples’ Congress (OPC), Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Ex-militants of the Niger Delta et.al in our already intense political space is anti-democratic and suspicious.
Our pledge of allegiance as patriotic Nigerians is to sustain the tenet of peace and unity even if bullies attack us and our buddies. In view of this, patriotism frustrates any knavish political trick that could undermine the greatest good to the greatest number. Patriotism entails building national strength through solidarity even in the face of a common enemy. Hence, it becomes obvious that, I become unpatriotic the very day i start romancing with ethnic militias impregnated with vices. Yes, I become unpatriotic for I too am a Nigerian. In fact, you become more unpatriotic the day you start refusing to strengthen our weak democratic institutions because you too are Nigerians.
Ethnic militias and their sponsors are great evils to our developing society but yet ethnic militias keep striving in countless leaps and in bounds, some keep hoisting flags as proof of territorial dominance while the native land that gave birth to us all is dicing with danger of infertility and malnutrition. Sometimes, I extremely wonder, why the children of our native land will keep devising to plunge us all into anarchy. Why would they result to disrupting societal peace, inciting violence, making derogatory remarks and singing proverbial and war songs? Why would they suddenly become guerrillas fighting for toadies forgetting the whole Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) system could become rubbles within an eye’s twinkle?
On March 8th 2014, the Biafra Zionist federation (BZF) rekindled their hope of reclaiming Biafra’s independence when its sturdy clan overwhelmed the sophisticated military personnel and intelligence by operating for hours successfully at the safest building in Enugu state (Enugu Government House). They hoisted their flag that same day and even boastfully promised to do same in the entire government house exposing the lives and properties of the Ndigbo’s to danger. In another development, they warned the Boko-Haram dynasty in the Northern region never to cross their boundaries to wreak havoc in any South-eastern state. Ever since that warning, they have sincerely adhered to a fault.
Boko-Haram is still a threat today no matter the successes recorded recently by those playing active roles (patriots) in fighting those beasts that have killed, destroyed, stolen, maimed and are still engrossed in these various unpatriotic and nefarious act.
In a nutshell, the main region in Nigeria (Southern and Northern regions) boasts of ethnic militias in its complicated armoury. There is the OPC in the South-western part of Nigeria, Boko-Haram in the Northern part of Nigeria. MASSOB in the South- eastern part of Nigeria, and the Niger-Delta militants in the South-South. Our history book is prime evidence that they exist and that they have clear-cut plans to implement. Most importantly, as the Election Day draws very near, they have higher mandates- it is either to make or to mar the electoral architecture. If the way these ethnic militias have conducted themselves in the school of morality and equally gone about their sponsored protests against good electoral reforms is anything to go by, then it is apparent that the simple task is to secure your region for “my party” come the 28th of March 2015 (Election Day) and get “these” as recompense.
Why would it be at this time that a Nigerian will be awarding a contract (pipeline security) to an ethnic militia? Why not this time? Don’t you know it will provide almost 15,000 jobs for Yoruba Youths? If the national coordinator of OPC, Gani Adams is still living in the figment of his imagination, let him continue but as for me and many discerning Nigerians, it is another sorry case of bringing sweets to bribe us. Too late!
What can these megalomaniacs not do to get power? What is the big deal to sycophants making grave promises? Do these power seekers really count the cost before striking a pact with sons of perfidy? Have they forgotten that many innocent Nigerians had died all because sheriff signed a pact with Mohammed Yusuf in a bid to get power back then in Borno state?
In good conscience, any nation that keeps energizing ethnic militias, funding their wicked act and keeps providing cover ups for their public sin will continue to slide into atrophic economic growth. Yes, any nation that keeps celebrating ethnic militias, religious bigots and mediocre at the full expense of flag-wavers will continue to languish in untold torments and celebrated slavery. Unfortunately, the nation even has more nationals against it than nationals for it in recent times. These nationals against the nation have started collaborating with the enemies within once again; giving them the strong accord to sabotage the collective will of the people. Deeds of partnership have already preceded this alliance, terms and conditions have equally been reached. Indubitably, the imminent of post-election violence is no longer a prophecy. However, according to Ben Franklin, “there is no bad peace and no good war but as it stands, kingdom may rise against kingdom, principalities against principalities no matter who emerges.”
In 1999, the Timorese militia group that had vehemently opposed autonomy reacted violently to the outcome of the Indonesia election. This militia group went on rampage all over the East Timor, destroying infrastructures, murdering pro-independence supporters and forcing large numbers of East Timorese to flee their abode because East Timorese voted in favour of independence. This is why I believe that, no matter how painful the birth pangs of progress becomes, we must collectively rise against ethnic militias who are bent on destroying the land of our birth.
March 28th 2015 will go down memory lane as the determining factor that changed the destiny of Nigeria, if it truly turns out to be so. History would judge us if we refuse to rewrite our history. Then, if we do not want to face the brutal judgement of history, definitely, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Security Forces, Observers and other relevant agencies must not a bit shirk their sacred responsibilities. Let us say, the INEC has good intentions but will they pass the Ron-Seal test? Will it not be corrupt and bias all the same? Corrupt in that, “I won the elections” but “he won the count”. Will it? Will it not? Only time would tell.
As a final point, I want to urge Nigerians to raise their words and not their voice because voice votes will not count at this point of rewriting history. Fighting does not change the course of history, only a vote does. History is watching us and paying attention to details, the international community are observing proceedings even as Nigerians elect a new president. Please get it right!
Orukotan Ayomikun Samuel

Views expressed are solely that of author and has no association with www.omojuwa.com nor its associates

#StillOnTheMatter: We Need to Change the Way we Conduct Elections in Nigeria

In 2011, a total of =N= 130 billion was spent by the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct the elections. On the December 20, 2014, sums in excess of 21 billion Naira, was raised for the president’s re-election bid. But to what end? We ask ourselves.

On the 27th July 2006, Funsho Williams, was murdered in his Ikoyi home. Williams was the likely candidate to pick up the PDP gubernatorial ticket for Lagos state as the 2007 election loomed. Dr Ayo Daramola, a former World Bank consultant and aspirant for the Ekiti State governorship was also murdered in that same year. Otunba Dipo Dina was murdered in January, 2010 in Ota. He was to partake in the 2011 election.

After the 2011 elections, over 11 members of the national youth service scheme where brutally murdered in Bauchi state. The election violence that swept the country caused over 1000 lives and left thousands displaced. To some people this was surprising because the 2011 elections was said to be generally free and fair, unlike the preceding elections, but still that did not stop a violent uprising.

During every election the Nigerian Money Markets suffers dearly. With the kind of political instability Nigerian elections bring with it, there is always a drought on investment in the Nigerian economy during these period. As a result of the political instability created by the 2014/2015 electioneering, and the anxiety of what the outcome would eventually be, foreign investors pulled over 846 billion Naira from the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 2014.

Yet, after all these, the Nigerian people still emerge with the most mediocre leaders, who conduct affairs of state in the most grotesque manner, even Mugabe would be embarrassed.

It has become clear that the present way of conducting elections is dangerously divisive, expensive and utterly ludicrous. And for the sake of the continued existence of the Nigerian State this must be changed. We do not doubt that most of our problems in this country can be traced to elections. In a Nation-State comprised of 250 ethnic groups an election process left to the discretion of certain individuals, like the INEC chairman, is highly dangerous. To mitigate this problem, a market based balloting system must be adopted.

Instead of all the platitudes written and re-written in the form of electoral reforms, here are practical machinations for the implementation of a market based electoral balloting system that the Nigerian state should adopt.

First the federal and state parliamentary, local government, and ward councillors would be done. Anybody who desires to fill any of these positions, once they meet certain requirements could put them names in the ballot systems for selection. No matter the party you belong to, if you want to become a member of the senate, the House of Representatives, a local government chairman or a ward councillor, you are required to put your name in the election ballot system – once you meet the requirements. These requirements could include an age range, minimum education qualification, etc. Then on Election Day, the balloting is done, electronically, for every position, in all the constituencies, local governments’ areas and wards involved. The first name that emerges, for every balloting round, for the position in question, irrespective 0f the political party becomes the winner of  that position. This way the election is determined to be free and fair. And when people feel there was no foul play, they would generally accept the result.

Now, it is the winners of the parliamentary elections, through the balloting system, at the federal and state levels, that elect the president and governor respectively. In this way the extremely expensive and ludicrously divisive electioneering process can be done away with. Through this process those aspiring to be governor or president would not need to marshal billions of naira for their campaigns, or siphoned state funds for electioneering and election violence in Nigeria would be eliminated or mitigated to negligible levels.

By Tam Alex

Views Expressed Are Solely Author’s…

Elections: No Guarantee on Election Date

Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, has said he can not guarantee the 2015 general elections will hold on the rescheduled dates in March and April.

Jega, who was before the Senate on Wednesday to explain the level of INEC’s preparedness for the elections, said only the service chiefs could guarantee the sanctity of the rescheduled polls in view of the security challenges facing the country.

Jega, who was grilled for about four hours by the Senate, said the security forces would be in a better position to answer the question on whether the elections would hold as re-scheduled or not. He said he could only give assurance on issues under his jurisdiction.

Read More: Punch

Rivers 2015: Between Dakuku Peterside And Nyesom Wike By Uche Igwe

It is now more than six weeks since political parties in Rivers State chose their gubernatorial candidates. I did not bother to comment because I took it for granted that a majority of Rivers people know the direction to go if they expect more progress in the state.  No one who has followed events in the state in the past seven years will think about anything less than what will sustain, consolidate and improve what has been achieved so far. Both those who admire the personality of Governor Rotimi Amaechi and those who do not,  agree to the huge improvements recorded under him in many key sectors like education, health, agriculture, infrastructure etc.  Even in implementing vital policy reforms in public procurement, revenue generation and public-private partnership.
Let us momentarily focus on phenomenal achievements on roads within the state. Many remember the rapid transformation, from the previous sore state, of the Olu-Obasanjo Road, Old Aba Road, Trans Amadi-Oginiba-Mini-Okoro Road, G.U. Ake (Airforce-Eliozu) Road and Flyover, Amadi-Ama/ Abuloma Road, Peter Odili Road/Slaughter Road, Education/Ikwerre Road, Omagwa/Elele/Owerri Federal Road and the AGIP Junction Flyover, the Rufus Ada George Road/Mgbuoba/Choba Road and Obiri-Ikwerre ultra modern interchange project, the internal roads and infrastructure projects of major residential areas like D/Line, Elekahia Housing estate, AGIP Estate, just to mention but a few.If you drive around the state you cannot but notice all of these excellent transformation. Yet, the State Government has broken tradition with that negativity of all projects coming to a halt about a year or so to any general election, clear evidence of the diversion of resources meant for State development to electoral campaigns. If you drive around the State you would still mistake it for amassive construction site even with the elections barely a month away. The Trans Amadi/Garrison Junction  Road,The Rumuloumeni/Iwofe Road, the Trans Kalabari Road, the Trans Amadi Woji Road, just to mention another feware all still actively under construction. Let us talk about the schools and the health centres that have become signature projects of the current administration. Regardless of the speed, energy, resources and enthusiasm that the Ubima born politician has deployed in trying to complete his many projects, there are few things that may still remain undone. The natural thing for anyone who loves Rivers state to think is for a leader who will consolidate the gains of the Amaechi administration and improve on it.  With the prospect of electing such a candidate,  one can only begin to imagine what Rivers State will look like in the next eight years.
When one looks at the array of candidates for the forthcoming gubernatorial elections, it is clear who fits into that description.  A majority will settle for Dr.Dakuku Peterside, the flag bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC). Apart from being Governor Amaechi’s preferred candidate and someone who passed through his tutelage, Dr.Peterside’s quiet and calculated mien suggests that he is someone who is rigorously prepared for public service. If you try to engage him on any issue concerning the state, you will be blown away.  The job of a governor in a state as diverse as Rivers state requires someone who is broadminded with a record of performance. It is not for rascals. Since Dr.Peterside started his state-wide campaign, he has concentrated on the issues that will make life better for everyone who lives in Rivers State and resisted being dragged to provocative utterances unlike his pugnacious opponent in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) who has been hauling abuses and insults at anyone in sight.
Although it is clear that Dakuku is the frontline candidate who is miles away from all his opponents including Nyesom Wike, I do not envy the Opobo born politician. He has a lot of work ahead of him. The shoes that will be left behind for him will be quite big and I am sure he knows it. That may be why he has prepared a comprehensive manifesto titled Our Roadmap to Prosperity.  I was handed a copy at the Port Harcourt International Airport and I was pleased by the comprehensive nature of document. Everyone who reads the 126 page document will have no doubt that Dr.Peterside is prepared for the business of governance.  The four pillars of the roadmap which include rapid improvement in infrastructure, peace and security, sustained investment and economic growth and human capital and social development reflect the realities and diversity of the state.
His emphasis on stable policies like job creation, inclusiveness, efficiency, public accountability and institutional reforms indicates that his administration will be innovative and people oriented. The most creative aspect of the manifesto is the promise to expand the economy of the state despite oil through public-private partnerships that will boost revenue earnings without necessarily increasing taxes. Dakuku’s pledge to lean on private sector efficiency in procurement methods and better service delivery, even if borne out of the necessity of the current economic realities of our time, must be commended as it portrays him as a pragmatic leader with a connect to reality and the people.
On the side of Wike, till date he is yet to tell Rivers people what he plans to do as governor. He has allegedly been threatening non-indigenes in the state which signposts that he is going to make the state environment hostile to them, and inevitably to private sector and foreign investors. Residents and businesses in the State are already bracing themselves for an era reminiscent of Wike’s years as Chairman of Obio-Akpor Local Government Area, during which the Obio-Akpor revenue thugs reigned as supreme extortionists of the people under the guise of revenue collection.
This was the era of multiple revenue stickers and taxation in the State which the current government has managed to reduce and the Dakuku Government has pledged to permanently eradicate with consolidation of the tax harmonisation process.  His relationship with notorious ex-militants also shows that if he is ever elected, he will unleash terror at his opponents at the slightest provocation. This adds a frightening dimension to the entire revenue collection scenario as it is believed that, as pay back, these ex-militants will be procured as revenue agents for a Wike-led government following the same federal model under which Tompolo’s service was procured by the Jonathan-led government to extort revenue from the NLNG.And as if in reinforcement of this perception, a few days ago, Chief Nyesom Wike led a squad of thugs to forcefully break into the just concluded Adokiye Amiesemaka stadium built after the state government declined to release it for President Jonathan’s political rally. Such level of lawlessness and impunity have been widely condemned by observers who insist that such behaviour akin to political terrorism is unbecoming of someone who is seeking the exalted seat of a governor.
Furthermore, while I will not pre-empt the investigation report of violent events like the targeted killing of APC members in Omoku, the bombing of their rallies and properties in Okrika and other parts of the State, one could decipher possible directions from where the attacks might have been unleashed.
As the elections approach, it is clear that they are faced with a choice between a man who has an articulate road map for the prosperity of the people and another who has a history of accumulating state resources for himself and his cronies; Between a man who is law abiding and another man who takes laws into his hands;Between a man who wants to institute policies that will allow small businesses to grow and another one who is preparing to impose illegal taxes on strangers and harass young entrepreneurs with militant revenue collectors;Between someone committed to policy consolidation and another one spoiling to show vendetta through indiscriminate policy reversal; And, finally,between a man who is humble and disposed to inclusiveness and another man who has venom in his tongues and who simply wants power for the sake of having power! Surely, this should not be a choice too difficult to make for the people and residents of the State.

What the INEC numbers are telling us  – by Ayisha Osori

In the last couple of weeks, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has led the news. About everything from undistributed, stolen and rescued permanent voters cards (PVCs) to well meaning encouragement for INEC to bare its fangs at election related hate speech. And then there are the kites zigzagging everywhere: postponing the elections because INEC is not prepared and not using the PVCs and card readers – never mind that some politicians have allegedly invested in fake PVCs.

However, INEC should be in the news for other reasons as well but few seem to be paying attention. The first is the INEC voter register for the 2015 general election published January 14 2015. We now know that we have sixty eight million (68,833,941) registered voters, fifty four million (54,341,610) PVCs ordered and thirty eight million PVCs collected. What we do not know is why or how INEC decided to make only 54 million PVCs when we have 68 million registered voters. It is also curious that while INEC admits that there are 16M (16,927,045) registered voters yet to be provided their PVCs it is not clear if these 16M are part of the 54million ordered or entirely separate. If you add the 16M to the number who have collected (38M), we get 55M – which is 1M higher than the number INEC says it ordered. Or is this 16M the balance of what has not been ordered out of the original 68M? No. Because when you deduct 54M from 68M you get 14M – 2M less than the number of registered voters INEC says have not been provided PVCs. The numbers are do not provide a complete picture.

The FCT has 881,472 registered voters but only 850,360 cards were ordered. Adamawa has 1,559,012 registered voters but only 1,529,636 cards ordered, Delta 2,275,264 registered and 1,909,291 ordered. Every state had numbers shaved off. Yet, for those who thrive on mystery, conspiracy theories and the improbability of coincidence, when we compare the 2015 register with the 2011 one, we find that the NE, NW and NC, lost 3M voters while the SS, SW and SE gained 1.6M.

INEC’s voter register also tells us that the NSA, Sambo Dasuki is wrong about 30M uncollected PVCs because INEC’s register indicates that 71% of the 54M ordered have been collected, which
leaves 15.5M as of January 14. Logically and hopefully this number is much reduced since then.

The second reason we should be talking about INEC is the House of Representatives and Senate candidates’ list. 90% of the attention is on a few presidential candidates, 9% on some of gubernatorial candidates – while thousands of candidates are escaping scrutiny and we are loosing the chance to examine the impact of electing them in February. We are also ignoring the opportunity to engage the candidates who claim to be running on certain demographic issues.

The top contenders for the presidency have had a few political ads talking about gender inclusivity, with one candidate admittedly with more of a track record than the other. However, INEC’s lists do not support their words. For over 1600 candidates for the House of Representatives, PDP have only 19 female candidates, APC has 26 and Labour, 15. The party with the highest number of female candidates for the House is the Mega People Political Party (MPPP). The numbers are worse for the Senate. Out of a total of 747 Nigerians vying to get in PDP, APC and Labour out did themselves and fielded 7 each. MPPP led again with 16. In summary, women did not do well in any of the major political parties.

When it comes to age, youth fare no better. The Senate is still the retirement home of old generals, ex governors and ex any government position. The youngest candidate for the Senate is 25 – but this could be 52 written backwards considering the minimum age in the Constitution is 35 while the oldest is 74 with a lot 60+ candidates.

There is a lot more the numbers are telling us – including about the States but our ears are filled with defamatory words and our eyes blinkered with derogatory cartoons and tasteless newspaper ads. We stubbornly refuse to see the big picture about democracy and what it is supposed to mean, not just for participatory representation but also for the delivery of good governance and fulfilling the contract between citizens and government.

Until those of us with PVCs press ink stained thumbs on the ballot papers next month, there is still time to absorb the information we have and do the right thing: to think right and vote right.

2015 Election: Opinions of Naija Celebrities

Some artistes in Nigeria on Thursday appealed to politicians and Nigerians to guard their utterances and not heat up the polity ahead of the Feb. 14 general elections.

They made the appeal in separate interviews with Newsmen on Thursday in Lagos. They are of the view that heating up the polity would put tension on the populace which might not augur well for the electorate.

Joseph Okougbo, the leader, Infinity Musical Group, popularly known “Olori Oko’’, said that politics should be about telling and selling ideas through their manifestos. “They are to enlighten the masses on what they want to do and bring up personalities that can deliver on those ideals to the populace.

“It is disheartening that politics today does not reflect these paradigms. Politicians and their campaign teams should focus on promotion of how they would better the lot of the people.’’

Okougbo said that political parties should stay focused in scrutinising candidates based on their eligibility, ability and track record. He said such candidates must be sincerie, have sense of purpose and true commitment to serving the people. “That way, after elections, such individuals will be committed to doing the right thing for the nation. We need to be conscious, the big picture is not just food in our tummies; it is Nigeria becoming better,’’Okougbo said.

A professional photographer, Jesse Akerele-Omoghene, told pressmen that people no longer believe in any politicians because of their failures to fulfill old promises. “If politicians fulfill the promises in their manifestoes, things will work out well,’’ he said. He added that Nigerians were wiser and their desire was to see things run smoothly. “The masses should vote for who they want. We can only do our part by voting and leave the rest to God,” Akerele-Omoghene said.

Emmanuel Afemikhe, popularly known as Emizon, said the politicians should do things right, they should think outside the box and make good their promises to the common man. He advised the masses to vote because “we have the right to vote for whoever we feel can deliver.


2015: Nigeria Will not Disintegrate- Mark

Senate President, David Mark has asked Nigerians to stop the blame game and support the Armed Forces to defeat the Boko Haram insurgents in the North East, and rescue the Chibok girls, saying that “blasts are non-partisan in their destructive nature.’’

Mark, who spoke while welcoming his colleagues back from the Yuletide break as the Senate resumed yesterday, said every Nigerian irrespective of tribe, religion or political divide must support security agencies in their task of defeating Boko Haram for the nation to progress.

Mark specifically asked both the Federal Government and the Armed Forces to intensify efforts to rescue the Chibok girls abducted from their school in Borno State, months ago. “Government must do all it can to end this insurgency. This is a war that we must win and we will win. The tendency is to blame government for this sore state of affairs. Every Nigerian, irrespective of partisanship, must demonstrate patriotism to our country. We must support our Armed Forces and other security operatives to stop this evil. Insecurity plagues all of us and must be tackled holistically,’’ he said.

Credit: vanguardngr.com

Okorocha will be President 2015- Prophet Williams Onuoha

A prophecy concerning who will govern Nigeria come 2015 claims that Imo State governor,  Owelle Rochas Okorocha, will become the President of Nigeria.

Read what the General Overseer of Galilee Christian Center in Lagos, Prophet Williams, said during an interview with Daily Sun;

In 2011, I saw in a vision that the present governor of Imo State Owelle Rochas Okoro­cha will be president in 2015. And in one of the national dailies recently, the governor said he would be president in 2015 and that it had been prophesied. True. I had seen this vision, but there are things that needs to be done before this prophecy can come to pass and one of them is that only a running mate from the South West region can give him the presidency.

“I have never met the governor before. When he said last week in the papers that he would become president in 2015 and that it had been prophesied, I was not surprised. What I saw in 2011, the governor said in 2014. God is truly wonderful.



Open Letter To General Buhari [Rtd] On 2015 Presidential Election By Dr Deborah Nelson

1. Majority of politicians who encourage you to re-contest in 2015 do not share in your vision. Most of them, especially Hausa Fulani politicians, want to ride on your popularity to victory politically. Today, even Mallam El Rufai who insulted you and described you as a ‘perpetually unelectable’ politician in 2010 is now singing your praises. So, what has changed between then and now other than El Rufai’s selfish desire to use you to achieve his political ambition? Just take a look at his campaign posters in Kaduna and judge for yourself. This was the same reason that led to massive influx of politicians, mostly Hausa Fulani politicians into CPC in 2011. They know that without you, they are politically dead, hence, they will continue to flatter you, insult your perceived political opponents and pretend to support you in order to ensure your continuous participation in partisan politics for their selfish interests.
2. Most Nigerian politicians are thieves, including members of your party, APC. Currently, all lawmakers in NASS, irrespective of party affiliation, are cooperating amongst themselves to steal public funds. If any of them or any Nigerian politician believes that you will fight corruption if elected into office as Nigerian president, he or she will not vote for you. Do not be deceived because they are into politics primarily to steal public funds and protect their ill gotten wealth as long as they live. In addition, there are thousands of very corrupt and influential Nigerians such as ex-presidents, ex-governors, contractors, etc who had already corruptly enriched themselves. As long as these thieves are alive, they will go to any length to ensure that your path to Aso Rock Villa is strewn with impassable obstacles.
3. You supported introduction of Sharia Laws in the north in 2000 and advised Muslims to vote only for politicians who would protect Islam. When ex-Governor Yerima was criticized for amputating a Muslim’s hand for stealing, you supported it and asked’ what is wrong if, according to Sharia Laws, Muslims cut off another Muslim’s hand for stealing?’ You said that Boko Haram terrorists were fighting for their rights like Niger Delta militants did. You also called on Federal Government to grant them amnesty and stop dropping bombs on ‘innocent northerners’. In recognition of your support, Boko Haram terrorists nominated you to lead their delegation for negotiation with Federal Government. A member of European Parliament, Mr Franz Obermayr accused you of sponsoring Boko Haram terrorists, but up till date you have not reacted to this weighty allegation. Also, you have not even for once condemned the on going widespread destruction of lives and properties of northern minorities by Fulani herdsmen in the north. Because of these amongst others, you are the most popular living politician amongst Hausa Fulani Muslims, especially Islamic fundamentalists who believe that you are the ‘Amir’ who will surely implement Sharia Laws in Nigeria. For the same reasons Sir, non-Hausa Fulani/Kanuri Nigerians fear and detest you with a passion, especially northern minorities who are being butchered daily by Fulani herdsmen and Boko Haram terrorists.
4. You won a total of 12,214,853 votes during the presidential election in 2011. Out of these, you got 10,078,356 votes [82.5% of the votes]from Hausa Fulani and Kanuri dominated states in North West Geopolitical Zone [NWGZ] and North East Geopolitical Zone [NEGZ]. From your geopolitical zone alone, NWGZ, you secured 53% [ 6,453,437 votes] of the total votes, [12,214,853 votes]. However, you did not secure the mandatory 25% of votes cast in any state in the south. Though you did not even campaign in those states, you expected Nigerians in those states to vote for you, Sir, what do you take them for? As expected, you said the elections were rigged in those states which you did not win, but free, fair and credible in those states which you won. The fact is that whether you campaign or not, you will always win elections in those Hausa Fulani and Kanuri dominated states. But Sir, the opinions held by a high percentage of the rest Nigerians about you are just too negative. Some of your praise singers are collaborating with Sahara Reporter Newspaper to produce bogus online opinion polls in your favour. Sir, you may wish to hold political rallies outside Hausa Fulani/Kanuri dominated towns to see things for yourself.
5. Sir, your real supporters are product of Almajiri System of Islamic Education whose upbringing does not permit independent and logical analysis of any situation. They are programmed to accept whatever their leaders tell them without reasoning. They consider the use of violence to settle any dispute as a norm and they rarely travel out of their immediate environments. They believe that implementation of Sharia Laws will transform Nigeria into a paradise and they strongly believe that you are the only trustworthy politician who will guarantee Sharia Laws in Nigeria. They believe that Hausa Fulani Muslims constitute 80% of Nigerian population and because of this mindset, they conclude that you must win in any election even if nobody votes for you in other parts of the country. Unfortunately Sir, you also believe that you are so popular that no Nigerian politician can defeat you in a free and fair election, hence, your penchant to condemn any election as being rigged whenever you do not win. Sir, the truth is, most non-Hausa Fulani/Kanuri Nigerians do not want you as their leader for whatever reason.
6. Judging from your antecedent Sir, election is only free, fair and credible when you win. You emerged as a presidential candidate in 2003, 2007 and 2011 through consensus arrangement. You want APC’s presidential candidate, preferably you, to emerge through consensus. Now, Hausa Fulani pressure groups such as ACF and NEF have sprung into action to cause Tambuwal, Atiku and Kwankwaso to step down for you. As for Sam Nda-Isaiah, since he is not a Hausa Fulani Muslim, ACF and NEF do not consider it worthy to even approach him to step down for you. Sir, if you are as popular as you believe, please go through indirect primary election with the rest presidential aspirants, stop begging Senator Tinubu to anoint you APC’s presidential candidate and withdraw your ‘attack dogs’ from further intimidating other presidential aspirants to step down for you.
7. Sir, you are reputed to be an incorruptible retired General with impeccable integrity. These two qualities had been your unique selling points amongst politicians, but two decisions you took of recent have cast doubt on them. In 2011 you promised that you would never contest for elective office again and sealed it with a rich dose of tears. Last month in Abuja, you dishonored that promise because according to you, many Nigerians begged you to come and ‘rescue the nation’. You said a delegation from Niger state and another one from Kano state came to beg you. Sir, can you also mention any delegation that begged you from any non-Hausa Fulani state, none for sure. Recently, you said Mallam El Rufai was the one who prevailed on you to change your mind. You described him as ‘ a kind of person that will respect you if you respect yourself and if you don’t respect yourself, he will help you go down the drain.’ Sir. when he insulted you and described you as a ‘perpetually unelectable ‘ person in 2010, was it because you did not respect yourself? Sir, it seems you have embraced doublespeak as a tool in your political career, so, under what circumstance will it be advisable for Nigerians to believe anything you say again?
8. Sir, as if the self-mutilation of your much trumpeted ‘impeccable integrity’ was not enough, you told Nigerians how you got a loan of N27.5 million on a ‘man know man basis’ from a Bank in Kaduna by telephone call in less than 12 hours without a collateral to buy APC nomination forms. Sir, these are your words ‘ N27.5 million is a big sum, thankfully I have a personal relationship with the manager of my bank in Kaduna and early this morning, I put an early call, I told him that very soon the forms are coming so, whether I am on red or green or even black, please honour it, otherwise I may lose the nomination’. Sir, please, ignore your ‘praise singers and attack dogs’ but enlist the services of lawyers who will be sincere and bold enough to explain the full weight of this transaction to you. Every aspect of this transaction is corruption personified. If you are this poor, whether you win or not, how do you intend to repay the loan? How will you fund your campaigns? Is it the right thing for a poor person to borrow N27.5 million from a bank without collateral and invest the whole money in gambling [politics]? Sir, a lot of questions begging for answers. In a society where politicians respect themselves and do not see election as a do or die issue, the least you ought to have done since, is to return people’s money [N27.5m] to the owners [the Bank], apologize to Nigerians and withdraw from partisan politics. But here in Nigeria, anything goes, especially when one’s ability to reason objectively is irretrievably impaired by ‘born-to-rule’ syndrome and chronic desperation.
9. Sir, no person or delegation prevailed on you to change your mind and re-contest in 2015 but the following reasons. The first is the massive movement of Hausa Fulani Muslims to southern Nigeria to register and vote for you in 2015. With this, you hope to secure the mandatory 25% of total votes cast in each of the 17 states in southern Nigeria. The current widespread confusion associated with PVCs distribution and registration of new voters in southern Nigeria is purposely engineered by INEC to accommodate this plan. The second is the plan by Professor Attahiru Jega to create 21,615 Polling Units for the north as against only 8,412 Polling Units for the south. Though Professor Jega had reluctantly suspended this plan which he designed to give you undeserved 10,807,500 votes, he had opted for Plan ‘B’ which is to replace commissioners in the south with those in the north in order to manipulate 2015 presidential elections in your favour. The third is Senator Tinubu’s promise to deliver Yoruba votes to APC in 2015. You believe this because Senator Tinubu had already demonstrated his willingness to repeat the mistake of Aare Ona Kakanfo Afonja of Oyo Empire who collaborated with itinerant Fulani charm maker, Alimi in 19th century to ‘donate’ Ilorin to itinerant Fulani herdsmen. Because of above reasons, you concluded that your chance to emerge victorious in any presidential election had never been so bright, hence, you prevailed on yourself to dishonor your promise and re-contest in 2015.
10. Sir, you are one of a few Nigerians who had been blessed by Allah/God, even to a fault. You have been a General Officer Commanding, Military Governor, Federal Commissioner of NNPC, Head of State and C-in-C of Federal Republic of Nigeria and Chairman of PTF just to mention a few. At a ripe age of 72, what do you want again from Allah/God? In 2011, ten [10] youth coppers were among hundreds of innocent non-Hausa Fulani/Kanuri Nigerians slaughtered by your supporters in northern Nigeria even before INEC announced the results of the presidential election. As if that is not bloody and despicable enough, you have promised to soak non-Hausa Fulani/Kanuri Nigerians whom you prefer to call ‘dogs and baboons’ in blood if you lose presidential election in 2015. If one may ask, after butchering these Nigerians you call ‘dogs and baboons’ in 2015, what next? Sir, you may be ‘untouchable’ with millions of human robots [almajiri supporters] at your command to do whatever you like here on earth, but note that one day, you will stand before your creator [Allah/God] alone for judgement.
11. People of Niger Delta believe that you are amongst core north politicians who sponsor Boko Haram terrorists and Fulani herdsmen to destabilize Jonathan’s administration. Consequently, if you win in 2015, they will also make your government ungovernable by disrupting oil and gas production throughout the period of your government. Due to non availability of funds, it will be difficult for governments at all levels to function. Funding for security forces will be considerably reduced thereby weakening their capacity and commitment to fight Boko Haram terrorists, Fulani herdsmen and militants in the creeks of Niger Delta. The environment so created will be conducive for Boko Haram terrorists to easily achieve their aim of establishing a Caliphate at least in north eastern states. The center will be too weak to enforce laws and order thereby encouraging ‘self help’ and gradual but sustained disintegration of the nation. Sir, with the same zeal that galvanizes you to continuously re-contest, please do use it to arrange for alternative sources of revenue because it will never be business as usual as far as oil and gas revenue is concerned, or else be prepared to go down in history as a Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachov of Nigeria.
12. And if you lose the presidential election in 2015, there will be serious problems also but unlike in 2011, you now have a reliable partner, Senator Tinubu in SWGZ. While you pledged to soak ‘dogs and baboons’ in blood in the north if you lose next year’s presidential election, your partner, Senator Tinubu equally promised to roast Nigerians alive in the south if APC does not win next year. Since both of you had never accepted defeat in any election however credible it may be, the country is most likely to go up in flames if you lose the presidential election. However, both of you have nothing to lose if that happens because each of you is above 60 years old. Secondly, while Tinubu can easily flee with his family in his private jet to ‘Toronto’, you also can evacuate your family to Sudan in your bullet proof jeeps. But Sir, as you orchestrate destruction of lives and properties of non-Hausa Fulani/Kanuri Nigerians in Hausa Fulani controlled parts of northern Nigeria, note that there are millions of innocent, hardworking, peace loving Hausa Fulani/Kanuri Nigerians living in the rest parts of Nigeria, because this time around, there may be disproportionate and uncontrolled reprisal attacks.
13. Sir, whether you win or not, your participation as a presidential candidate in 2015 will unleash unprecedented disaster on this nation. Please step aside for the sake of unity and survival of Nigeria. Anoint and give your total support to any northerner of your choice for the job. But Sir, if you decide to listen to the El Rufais whose primary aim is to use your popularity to achieve their political ambitions, you will definitely dismiss this suggestion and even the advise earlier given to you by the revered Sheik Gumi as arrant nonsense. May Allah/God grant our leaders the grace to conduct themselves as leaders.
Dr Deborah Nelson
Sobi, Ilorin, Kwara State

Articles on www.omojuwa.com are solely authors opinion

Forget Winning Edo state, Oshiomhole Tells Jonathan

Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has said that President Goodluck Jonathan will not get up to 5 percent of votes in the state at the 2015 presidential election because he has not justified the over 95 percent he got in 2011.

The Comrade Governor spoke with journalists in Benin City, the Edo State capital as part of activities marking the 6th year anniversary of his inauguration as governor.

He said the people of the state will resist every move to capture the state as the people are wiser this time around. He noted that, while Jonathan had released over N2 billion to the states controlled by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the Ecological Fund, but refused to give anything to the All Progressives Congress (APC) states.

He said he had gone to the president on several occasions on the devastating effects of erosion in the state without the president doing anything about it.

He said: “In 2011, 95 per cent of the people in Edo State voted for the president, this coming election, he will not get five per cent because he has nothing to show for the votes that we gave him.

“When he gave N2 billon to PDP states from the National Ecological Fund, which is provided for under the constitution, funds that should be used for ecology whether soil erosion, wind erosion, desertification, among others, he gave to the PDP states where he lost the election in 2011, in Edo State where he won 95 per cent, he did not give us a dime.

“Yet we have written to the federal government under PDP, over and over to draw the attention to erosion problem in parts of the state, which has destroyed schools, homes, farmlands and others.

Source – Daily Post

The President Nigerians Need in 2015 By Omano Edigheji, PhD

In the 2015 elections, Nigerians would have to make hard choices about the next president because their future and that of the country depend on it.

As we approach the elections, especially the presidential election, some members of the political elite wants to make religion the dominant issue instead of focusing on the governance and development challenges facing the country. In their myopia and diversionary tactics, they have focused on the religious backgrounds of some of the president aspirants. They erroneously proclaim that there will be Armageddon if certain candidates are victorious at the poll. In their efforts to stop such candidates, their religion and the part of the country they come from are being demonized. They have consequently introduced the religious backgrounds of the presidential tickets of the two main political parties, the PDP and APC, as an issue. This has manifested in the discourse of a Muslim-Muslim or a Christian-Christian ticket. While they argue for a balance of the two dominant religions in the presidential tickets, they are silent on the need for gender balance in the tickets. These campaigns further divide rather than unite our people.
Since independence the political class has exploited religion and ethnicity to further their interests – those that have private jets and stolen our oil money do not belong to one religion.
None of the two dominant religions has a monopoly of political leaders who are bad or good. Since independence in 1960, both Christianity and Islam have had their share of their adherents who were bad or good Heads of State. They raped and presided over the collapse of the country. Heads of States who professed either of these religions are culpable for the underdevelopment, pervasive corruption and criminality that characterized the Nigerian state. Nigerians, both muslims and christians from North and South, have been impoverished because of the mismanagement and looting of our commonwealth.
The little progress in the country is equally attributable to Heads of States/Presidents who happened to be either Christians or Muslims. But they did not do so in furtherance of their religion but in line with their oaths of office to work for Nigeria’s progress and prosperity. Chief Obafemi Awolowo, a Christian, was generally acknowledged as a good leader. One of his legacies was the free education system he introduced in the old Western region. The beneficiaries of these were not only Christians or Yorubas- all residents of that region, including the areas that became the Midwest region, had free education based on the free education policy of the Action Group government. Similarly, General Murtala Mohammad was acknowledged as a good leader. In his short reign, he laid a good foundation for Nigeria’s development, which unfortunately was squandered by subsequent regimes. Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos, a muslim, has transformed Lagos. The benefits of this accrue to all Lagosians, muslim and christian alike.
The point is that religion or ethnicity does not determine good leadership – a presidential ticket with people with the same or different religions can be good or bad leaders. Therefore in the 2015, the religious background of a presidential candidate and the running mate should not be the basis of how people should vote.
While the secularity and unity of Nigeria matter, the religious and ethnic backgrounds of a presidential candidate and his running mate do not matter. In next year’s election, Nigerians do not need a Christian or Muslim president, neither a Southern nor Northern president. Nigerians do not need an Igbo, Ijaw, Tiv, or Yoruba, Hausa, Fulani or any other ethnic president. They do not need a religious and ethnic president, but Nigerians need a president and vice president who are patriots and nationalistic; and who will rise above ethnic, religious and regional interests. Nigerians need a president and vice president who are incorruptible and those who will lead the fight against corruption. In the next election, Nigerians does not need a “religious and tribal” president but one that is godly, humane, competent, honest and incorruptible. Our people, need a president that will be fair to all Nigerians irrespective of his/her religious background. Nigerians need a president that will be able to protect their lives and property; a president that will put the welfare of our people first. Our people need a president that will not abdicate his responsible but one that will stand with them in critical moments. These are the issues that should determine how we vote in the next election, not religion or ethnicity. We must all care about the competency and patriotism of the next president and vice president, not their religious and ethnic backgrounds! As the Dalai Lama reminds us, “irrespective of doctrinal and other differences, all major world religions are concerned with helping individuals become good human beings”. We cannot therefore disqualify any Nigerian from being a president and vice president because of their religion. And as the Dalai Lama rightly pointed out, religion is something we can do without but we cannot do without the basic spiritual qualities of compassion, kindness, affection, honesty, truth and justice for all.
In the 2015 elections, the electorate should vote for a presidential ticket that will improve our healthcare system; our education sector – one that will invest in quality education at primary, secondary and tertiary level and would work vigorously to end the perennial strikes that have paralyzed our universities. As citizens, our votes would determine our future – don’t vote your fear, vote for your dreams, hope and future, irrespective of the religious and ethnic background of the presidential candidate and his running mate. Nigerians have to vote for a presidential ticket, who as president and vice president will unite rather than divide the country on the basis of ethnicity and religion. How the next president and vice president worship God should not influence your vote. Your vote is not for a religion but for better governance and the development of the country.
Good leadership is imperative now more than ever if the country is to progress; to transform the economy, to create jobs for its teeming youth, establish a strong manufacturing base, process and export finished products; reduce poverty, inequality and unemployment; improve and establish quality health and education systems; improve our infrastructure – roads, water and electricity. Improving power supply and addressing the insecurity, kidnapping and terrorism require good leadership. These are the issues that should determine who you vote for in the next election. No one religion has a monopoly of people with good leadership attributes to tackle these challenges. There are Muslims and Christians, and even atheists that have the ability to address these issues. To demonize one religion or ethnic group is a disservice to the country and its people. The 2015 presidential elections demand that the electorate rise above ethnicity and religion and vote for the best candidate and ticket.
Nigerians must reject and ignore those who want to make the elections an ethnic or religious affair, instead of focusing on the governance and development challenges facing the country. This is diversionary. Each and every Nigerian has to make informed choices and reject this divisiveness and ember of disunity that is being fostered by some among us. Consider the following: imagine that you are critically ill and required an organ transplant to survive and the only organ donor that matches you is from a different religion, will you reject the organ? Will you stop a doctor and her team from saving your life because they are not from the same religion as you?. The next presidential election is about life-saving – your life, your family’s, your friends’, the country’s! Vote for a presidential candidate and ticket that will best protect and promote the future of your children!
We should focus on our common humanity and citizenship rather than religion and ethnicity. The collapse of our healthcare system affects most Nigerians, except the rich, equally, irrespective of religion and ethnicity. The effective response to Ebola virus is beneficial to all Nigerians; and the teams at both federal and state levels comprised of officials and medical personnel from different ethnic and religious backgrounds. What this shows is that citizens benefit equally once you have a competent team. To illustrate the point further, thousands of people die yearly from fatal accidents on our roads. The poor state of the roads is largely due to poor leadership and governance at all levels – faithfuls of both religions and from different ethnic groups that have held leadership positions are culpable for the poor state of our roads. The fatalities caused by bad roads are not based on religion and ethnicity. Similarly, the poor management of the aviation sector has resulted in plane disasters, including the most recent Dana airlines crash which claimed the lives of our compatriots from different ethnic and religious backgrounds. The development impacts of good or poor leadership are non-discriminatory. Everyone benefits from good leadership, just as most citizens suffer from poor leadership. A competent and patriotic president and vice president are what the country need now more than ever. This should determine how we vote in the next election and Nigerians must support the presidential ticket that will present competent leadership.
The 2015 election should be about about good governance and development, not religion and ethnicity. Nigerians must therefore support a presidential candidate or presidential ticket that will provide competent leadership, irrespective of their religious and ethnic affiliations, to improve their life and unite the country. The election is about the future of the country. Let’s make a rational choice for competence, let us shun sentiments and the fear and prejudice that drive it.

Dr. Edigheji, a development and political consultant based in Abuja, uses the twitter handle @omanoe

Articles on www.omojuwa.com are solely authors opinion

Jonathan’s $1bn Loan Request May Be Cornered For Elections – Falana

Ace lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, has said that the $1bn loan demanded by the Federal Government to tackle insurgency in the country, may be cornered for the 2015 elections.

Falana raised this alarm on Saturday during a national symposium to commemorate the first memorial anniversary of late Pro-National Conference co-founder, Baba Omojola.

Falana said the Nigerian military was handicapped by massive corruption and internal fraud within the system that saw trillions of naira meant for procurement of arms freighted away for lack of accountability.

He said, “The money that has been voted for defence of our dear country in the last five years is N4tn. This year alone, it is N968bn. The president has come back for a loan of $1bn which is about N177bn added to N968bn in one year. That is over a trillion naira. At the end of the day, our soldiers are being sent to the war front having no weapon to fight.

“As of yesterday, the $1bn has not been processed, so if we are not careful the money is going to be diverted to fund the forthcoming general elections.

Source- Daily Post

2015: History Beckons On Buhari To Step Forward

I am writing this article in my capacity as Joe Igbokwe, I am writing this piece as an Author and writer and I am writing this as a public commentator on national issues. I am not writing piece this as the spokesperson of Lagos APC. I speak strictly for myself and I crave your indulgence to give me this liberty to speak at a time like this. Nigeria is in a deep crisis and anybody who wishes this country well must speak out now or hold his peace forever.

I have said it before that when a nation is in crisis, the people must search and fish out a great president. When a nation is at crossroads, a competent and strong hand is needed to restore normalcy. When a nation’s territories are being threatened by external forces, you need a president with military background to put a stop to the insurgency. When corruption, impunity and mediocrity ravage a country, you need a disciplined man with puritanical disposition to be on the driver’s seat.

General Muhammadu Buhari(GMB) has come of age in Nigerian politics since 2003. He contested presidential elections in 2003, 2007 and again in 2011. In 2007, he was mercilessly rigged out of power and he went to court to seek redress. The case went up to the Supreme Court where the three Supreme Court judges agreed that the elections were flawed while three voted against. It took the vote of the Chief Justice of the federation to save the country from national and international embarrassment. GMB accepted the verdict. In 2011, he returned to the ring to box again. This time the electoral thieves got bolder in the South East and South South. They loaded and loaded votes until they became satisfied with the number. A friend of mine who went to vote was told to go home because they had got the required number. Again the great betrayal by members of his party and the inability of members to work together created the room for PDP to retain power again. General Buhari cried. He wept for Nigeria, he wept for the state of nation and the level of impunity and corruption ravaging the landscape and he wept for generations yet unborn. He wept because he reasoned that Nigerians do not want to fight for change. He wept because the few who were choking Nigeria work twenty four hours a day and seven days in a week while the majority and those who should know better go to sleep and pray 20 times in a day asking God to come down to do the talking for them. GMB wept because he considered that he has tried his best to help restore Nigeria. He wept because he saw no hope for this country when the evil ones are getting bolder. The rest is now history.

In the last three and half years the rapacious greedy lots in Nigeria, the corrupt, the meretricious mediocrity and the nitwits became bolder. NNPC, Immigration, Pension funds, NPA, etc became cash cows. It became a big scramble for these characters to pillage anything their hands could touch. NNPC could not remit all the money accruing from crude oil sales to CBN. When the former CBN Governor, now Emir of Kano, HRH Sanusi Lamido Sanusi raised an alarm, he was sacked with ignominy. Federal Ministers became laws unto themselves, attacking the common patrimony with reckless abandon, stealing what they do not need. The great threat to the nation’s corporate existence became the Boko Haram insurgency. Over 5000 Nigerians have been killed in the past three and half years. While the ruling party and the opposition continue to trade blames, the nation continues to go down. Mutinies reared its ugly heads in the Army of Nigeria. Junior officers started disobeying their superiors and our combatant soldiers escaping to Cameroun for fear of the rag-tagged insurgents called Boko Haram. In the midst of this, our infrastructure continues to decay. In 1999, our power generation stood a 3000 plus Mega Watts and after almost sixteen years we are now under 3000 Mega Watts after spending billions of dollars in that critical sector. Never in the history of this country has any leader played up the dangerous issues of Religion and Ethnicity as we have it today under President Jonathan. The Vice President, everybody including this writer fought so hard to make him assume his constitutional responsibility as president when President Yar Adua died in office, has put a knife on things that have held us together as one political entity. The president has systematically divided Nigeria along ethnic and religious lines, something unheard off in the history of Nigeria. Dangerously and tragically he moved from being the president of Nigeria to become the president of Ijaw nation. To make matters worse, some cowards and efulefus(nonentities) from his tribe took on other Nigerians, pouring invectives on them for asking questions.

I guess it was these errors of history that drove General Buhari to throw his hat into the ring once again to see if Nigerians can go back to history and take the right steps to right the wrongs of the past sixteen years. After giving up hope for Nigeria, GMB decided to return to take his last chance to help Nigeria out of trouble. I may not know what informed his decision to stage a comeback but I guess he knows what is wrong with this country and feels he knows what to do to reverse the trend.

I find it difficult to believe why the other equally good candidates in APC cannot step down for GMB given his antecedents, track records, history and character. No other former Head of State in Nigeria can be said to possess the discipline, honesty and integrity of General Buhari, all things considered. As a war time General, a former minister, a former Head of State, former chairman PTF and a fourth time contender in the race since 2003, I think that the man deserves all the support from all Nigerians to make it this time. Despite his dictatorial tendencies when he was the Military head of state, Buhari restored discipline and probity in Nigeria. His War Against Indiscipline (WAI) paid off handsomely and Nigeria is still reaping the fruits today. His intervention at PTF paid off too. His fight against corruption stood him out.

If today, the people at the corridors of power hate GMB, it is not because he is a bad man but the fear that some of them will end up in jail for corruption and impunity. They know that if GMB becomes the President, things may never be the same again and many of them will enter the next available flight to anywhere outside Nigeria. They know that oil subsidy looters will not go scot free. They know that GMB knows all of them. They know money does not mean anything to GMB and therefore he cannot be bribed.

Nigeria needs a tested and trusted Buhari now and this is the reason why I am pleading with all other APC presidential aspirants to step down for GMB. He is the most prepared for this office at a time like this. The little we saw of him in the 80s tells us that his wisdom, courage, discipline, strong character, fearlessness etc is what we need now to drive the new Nigeria of our dream. We must seize the moment. We must grab it with both hands or history will leave us behind.

Make no mistake about it, if we make the mistake of allowing President Jonathan to continue in office beyond 2015 we would have sowed the seed for this great country to go down. With all due respect, and without sounding immodest, President Jonathan has nothing to offer Nigeria. His emergence in 2010 was a big mistake. It was an error of history. It was something that could never have happened if we had known his innermost disposition, his training, his background, his philosophy, his ideology and his character. He cannot fight the insurgents, he cannot fight impunity, he cannot fight corruption, he cannot fight mediocrity, he cannot hold the country together and he simply cannot get it. The age of his ideas worries me to the marrows.

Let us help to get President GEJ out of the China’s shop to forestall further colossal damage. HE has tried his best and has made history for himself and his people but his best is not good enough for the country. This country is far bigger than the ambition of one man and therefore President Jonathan should be prepared to go because he will be roundly and mercilessly defeated in 2015.

Joe Igbokwe


First published on http://www.nigeriavillagesquare.com/

Articles on www.omojuwa.com are solely authors opinion

Buhari Will Pick A Southern Christian As Running Mate – Fashakin

A former National Publicity Secretary of the now rested Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, Rotimi Fashakin, has ruled out the possiblity of a Muslim becoming the running mate of Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), who is a presidential aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress.

He said Buhari would rather choose a southern Christian as his running mate.

Fashakin, who is a strong force in Buhari’s campaign organisation, said Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, a fellow Muslim, would not emerge as Buhari’s running mate

Read more at http://dailypost.ng/2014/11/17/2015-buhari-will-pick-southern-christian-running-mate-fashakin/

PDP Dividing Nigeria with Religion, says APC

National Chairman of All Progressive Congress, APC, Mr. John Oyegun on Wednesday said, the PDP is using religion to divide the people of Nigeria.

Speaking at the extra-ordinary non elective national convention of the party held at the Old Parade Ground, Abuja, Oyegun said, “In particular, the use of religion to divide our people portends great danger. No nation has ever developed using religion as a divisive or campaign tool. And ours will not be different. The problems we face, be it insecurity, corruption, poverty, lack of infrastructure or economic growth without development, will not be solved by a religionist but by patriotic and competent leadership. What our long-suffering people want to know is who will provide them with security, improved welfare, uninterrupted power supply, jobs, modern health care, world class education and modern infrastructure, just to name a few.”

He further stated that, “Now, the only reason the PDP has resorted to dangerous, divisive politics is because they have nothing to showcase to Nigerians to convince them to return the PDP to power at the centre come next year.”

The convention graced the presence of  Speaker of House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, former Head of State and presidential aspirant, Gen. Mohammdu Buhari, Governor Rabiu Kwamkwaso of Kano State, as well as APC stalwarts from across the country.


Jonathan to Pick Nomination Form Wednesday

Sources reveal that President Jonathan is expected to present to Peoples Democratic Party, PDP,  a bank draft of N22m as payment for the nomination form, implying that President Goodluck Jonathan will on Wednesday pick his presidential nomination form at the Peoples Democratic Party national secretariat, Abuja.

The National Executive Committee of the party and other caucuses of the party had endorsed the President as the sole candidate of the party for the 2015 presidential election.


Edo Government Insists Oshiomhole In APC presidential Race Despite Governor’s Silence

The government of Edo State has insisted that Governor Adams Oshiomhole is still in the race for the All Progressives Congress, APC, presidential ticket.

Commissioner for information and orientation in the state, Mr Louis Odion yesterday said that his boss “is in the race to rescue Nigeria”.

Odion, who spoke in Benin, Edo State capital said that Oshiomhole was better equipped to lead the nation with his pan-Nigeria perspective, asserting that he had better credentials than other APC presidential aspirants to pick the party’s ticket.

His words: “It is not a rumour, it is a fact, Oshiomhole is in the race. But if you expect the kind of jamboree that is currently taking place, where people embark on road show, promising heaven and earth, Oshiomole is not going to do that.

“I can tell you he is in the race. And it is in response to the yearnings of well-meaning Nigerians that our country need somebody of his pedigree at this point in our history to move Nigeria forward.

“You will even recall early this year when Governor Fashola said the nation needs somebody like Oshiomhole as president to change Nigeria.

Breaking : Maku, Onyebuchi, Five Other Ministers Quit

The minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku and his health counterpart, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, alongside five other Ministers have resigned their membership of the president Goodluck Jonathan’s cabinet.

we posted  a report that Maku and others may be attending their last Federal Executive Council {FEC} meeting today because of the president’s directive that members of the cabinet and other appointees nursing political ambition should resign on or before the 20th of October.

Others who resigned include Trade and Industry, Samuel Ortom; State for Education, Nyesom Wike; and State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro.

Others are Ministers of Labour, Emeka Wogu, State for Niger Delta, Dairus Ishaku.

PDP Governors To Meet With Jonathan Over Cancellation Of Endorsement

The state Governors in Nigeria elected under the umbrella of the PDP will today have a meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan to discuss and show how displeased they are over the nullification of their agreement to endorse their own candidate ahead of the 2015 general election by the National Working Committee, NWC.

The said meeting is slated for today at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa in Abuja the Federal Capital Territory.

Vanguard reports that the PDP governors will first meet with the National Chairman, Alhaji Adamu Muazu at 3pm, at his residence in Asokoro.

The agenda of the meeting is the proposed primary elections for aspirants of the party as well as to inform the National Chairman that they were displeased with the decision of the NWC to nullify their endorsements.

Recall that the NWC nullified the endorsement of candidates ahead of the 2015 general election by governors, zonal and state leadership, thereby bringing about disagreements between the PDP state governors and the NWC.

Report says the governors at the meeting will remind the president and Muazu of how they endorsed President Goodluck Jonathan as the sole presidential candidate of PDP ahead of the December 6 National Convention and the February, 2015 general elections, which the party’s National Caucus, Board of Trustees, BoT and the National Executive Committee, NEC thereafter agreed with and to be ratified at the party’s national convention.

We Did Not Endorse Jonathan For 2015 , Fulani Chiefs

Fulani Fulani chiefs under the aegis of Fulbe Lamibe Association of Nigeria, FLAN, have denied endorsing President Goodluck Jonathan for second term.

The group was reacting to a recent endorsement of President Jonathan by some “self-appointed Fulani leaders” for the 2015 presidential election.

FLAN, in a statement by its secretary, Hussaini Salisu Kachia, said the purported endorsement of Jonathan was not the position of Fulani nomads in Nigeria.

“We, the Fulani Council of Chiefs, totally and completely dissociate ourselves and the entire Fulani people from the statement made by some self-appointed Fulani leaders to the effect that Nigerian Fulanis have endorsed President Goodluck Jonathan for the 2015 presidential election.
“This purported endorsement is not the position of Fulani nomads in Nigeria. The impression created or given is erroneous, and at best misleading”, the statement read.

The association added: “We have total confidence in former vice president Atiku Abubakar, not President Goodluck Jonathan, who they said is not constitutionally qualified to even contest”.

2015: Atiku Picks Presidential Nomination Form For N27.5m

A former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, on Monday picked the N27.5m presidential nomination form of the All Progressives Congress.

The ex-Vice President picked the form after a short ceremony at the national secretariat of the party in Abuja.

Addressing party members during the event, Atiku called on all leaders to ensure a level-playing field for all aspirants before and during the primaries.

Atiku said, “Mr. Chairman, I need not let you know my political antecedents as far as the provision of a level-playing field for every member of this party is concerned because that is the only thing or one of the things that will make us different from the so-called ruling party.

“Anybody who believes he has a democratic right to exercise should be given that opportunity to exercise that right. It is left for the members of this party and the Nigerian public to make a decision.

“I don’t think it is the responsibility of anyone of us as an individual or group to decide for this party or its membership for the people of this country. Yes, as leaders, we have a responsibility to guide those coming behind, but the guidance should be based on this firmly rooted democratic principles.

APC In Troubled Waters As Buhari Remains Adamant, Refuses To Step Down For Younger Candidates

Former President, and one of the Presidential hopefuls under the platform of the All Progressives Congress, General Muhammadu Buhari has remained unyielding ,

Despite pressure from different angles that he should give up the 2015 election in order to give younger people the opportunity to contest in an election the party has vowed to be ‘a do-or- die’ contest.

This decision has not only manifested in Buhari’s recent comment and consultations with party stalwarts, but has been displayed even at several gatherings of the party’s caucus where he showed no sign of a politician willing to listen to the advice of others as it concerns the 2015.

Recent events showed that the former Head of State is almost getting to the finish line of his presidential ambition, as he is now working to ensure that the October 8 formal declaration turns out successful.

Buhari who undoubtedly has cult followers and loyalists across the country, especially in the North-eastern part of the country will be making a 4th attempt to govern the country.

His several attempts have however become his greatest undoing as some of the APC members are of the views that it will be regrettable if the party opt for Buhari as the daunting criticism has always been that he is advanced in age and as such cannot be supported by majority of the country’s youth.

Atiku/ Buhari Tussle over Presidential Primaries Procedure

The All Progressives Congress, APC experienced some sort of crisis following strong reservations among its major presidential candidates over the procedure for adopting the 2015 presidential candidate for the party, over the weekend.

Gen. Muhammadu Buhari and former vice-president Atiku Abubakar, being the party’s major actors were at the head of the major divisions over the adoption of a consensus or the conduct of primaries for the adoption of the presidential candidate.

Party sources disclosed that Buhari’s supporters in the party were pushing for consensus on the fact that majority of the party positions across board were filled with consensus. On the other hand, the Buhari supporters are praying that if the consensus arrangement is jettisoned for any reason that a direct primary involving all 18 million registered members of the party be held.

On the other hand, Atiku’s supporters proposed a Modified Direct Primary, which would involve about 20,000 delegates choosing the party candidate. That prospect is feared by the Buhari camp who claimed that it would offer opportunity to easily woo or take over delegates hitherto pledged to other aspirants.


On South Sudan Famine

Emergency food aid, normal rainfall and the start of the harvest have helped to stave off famine in South Sudan, the latest analysis shows, but there is a risk of mass starvation in early 2015.

Aid agencies scrambled to avert famine in South Sudan by launching the world’s largest humanitarian operation after fighting erupted in the world’s youngest country in December.

Some 10,000 people have died and 1.7 million, one seventh of the population, have been displaced since conflict broke out between President Salva Kiir’s government forces and rebels allied to his former deputy Riek Machar.

“There is no famine in South Sudan,” the agriculture, fisheries, cooperatives and rural development ministry said in a statement. “Food security across the country has begun improving and is expected to continue on a positive trend through December.”

But the World Food Programme, looking ahead, said “The outlook remains grim for early 2015, especially in conflict affected states.”

“Food security may deteriorate sharply early next year as their food stocks run out,” it said in a statement.

Aid agencies called for continued funding for the crisis in South Sudan, which has received almost $1.2 billion from donors this year.

imrsimrs“When we get distracted by language and trying to define a problem in abstract percentages we can forget that every night more people than the population of the city of Los Angeles go to sleep hungry,” WorldVision’s South Sudan Program Director Perry Mansfield said in a statement.

Malnutrition rates remain above the emergency threshold of 15 percent in most of the country, the IPC said.

The number of people in IPC phases three and four is predicted to rise to 2.5 million in January. Experts will have a clearer picture of the situation when the October harvest is in.

Forget 2015 #opesays

2015 seems to be the ultimate target and goal for politicians and Nigerians alike. The race began a long time ago. 2015 is on everyone’s lips. 2015 is the Holy Grail, it’s what’s trending. Before one or two sentences are made about the government, 2015 always comes into the picture. If one could create a year by just saying it often, 2015 would be done and dusted by now. Even GEJ, from all indications, wants to run for presidency in 2015. Opposition parties are gearing up, the countdown has begun. For 2015, it’s all or nothing. Many have even predicted riots during that period. Judging from our history with election violence, who won’t?

Now, even young Nigerians look forward to 2015. For many, it’s one of two things: when it gets worse or when it gets better. It’s a cycle shey? We vote our candidate in for 4 years (assuming the election isn’t rigged) and then he fumbles. We then begin to rant and curse, clamouring for change. We feel powerless to do anything else. Occupy Nigeria was our only exception, our ‘almost-revolution’. This pattern is bound to repeat itself starting 2015, even if we vote in the so-called better opposition. It seems Nigeria is condemned to a cycle of failed leadership. What then is the solution?

We need a mental revolution. The way some Nigerians think, you would want to believe that we deserve this crop of leaders we have. We need new stories, people to inspire us. Poverty has eaten up the conscience of most and those who are still sane, are too scared to act. To change anybody, it starts with their thinking. To change Nigeria, we have to start from our thoughts. We need the ability to let go of old thought patterns and traditional ways that have kept us back for long. Tribalism is one of these evil thought patterns. All Nigerians need a massive mental shift.

Governance starts with you and I. Government simply is what we do together, that we can’t do alone. You and I are the government. Active citizen participation is what a nation needs to move forward. We cannot always wait for these greedy, grabbing and corrupt leaders. They are obviously not the people we can rely on for a better Nigeria. Let’s not wait for 2015. What can we do, right here, right now? Our change may come in trickles, but it shall surely come. Do not underestimate your little actions, for an accumulation of these will create our tipping point. When we go over that tipping point, a new Nigeria will emerge. So what can you do today in your area, a sector or in your local government? Get to work and accomplish it. Remember, you are the government.

Emerging leaders.  Many young Nigerians still say that they will never go into politics. My question is, who then? Do want these greedy old men to rule us forever? They will if given a chance. Nigeria is left to you and I. Now is the time to start planning and strategizing. Form groups and create coalitions. Learn what true governance entails and equip yourself with leadership skills.

Knowledge. The power of knowledge should never be underestimated. Do you want to change something about Nigeria? Then get knowledge. You will need to rightly equip yourself with it’s history, it’s leadership and the right ways to go about it.

Forget 2015. The clock has started ticking. We have a huge task ahead. Let’s start now.

Opemipo Adebanjo

@opesays on Twitter

#opesays is a column published every Friday on this website.