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OPINION

As Sen Attai Aidoko woos Kogi East elders with cash gifts, SDG contracts

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By Ibrahim Isah

 

After the court verdict of October 24, 2018 which seemingly asked Senator Attai Aidoko to vacate the Senate for Air Marshall Isaac Alfa, the embattled Aidoko has gone all out to pacify stakeholders, especially elders, in Kogi East. He is said to be on a visiting and spending spree with Greek gifts ranging from cash to promises of SDG contracts.

Aidoko who has fallen out of favor with his constituents on account of his dismal performance the past sixteen years he has been at the National Assembly, greed and high-handed mannerisms is desperate to return to the Senate with the hope of becoming the next Senate president which is the bait he is selling to his constituency in seeking their support.

While some of the Kogi East elders are notorious for selling-out and compromises and going back on their words, it is clear that the dynamics havs changed extensively against them as the well-honed elite class have become major stakeholder in the ensuing conversations. Groups like the ICDA, Ukomu, IYLA, ISA, Masses Assembly, NUT, and a large rainbow of interest groups have become very vociferous and most of them have openly spoken against Aidoko’s misrepresentation and desperation. Everything considered, Aidoko’s bait may not achieve much as according to a lady who spoke anonymously, “if the elders like, let them collect one plane each from Attai Aidoko. We are waiting for them. This time, we won’t allow them to destroy our children’s future after destroying our own. We are waiting and watching”.

But, one must agree that Aidoko is one hell of a politically smart Alec. He is said to have reached out to Atiku through the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki to let impress on Atiku the need to call all Kogi East elders who are bent on throwing him out to order. In his estimation, that will ultimately affect Atiku’s chances in Kogi East. Aidoko seem to forget that, what the Kogi Easterners have said in unequivocal terms is “anyone but Attai Aidoko”. Evidently, Jibrin Isah, Amade Edime, Yahaya Okai, Alhaji Wahab or anyone under any other platform will defeat Attai Aidoko squarely and roundly.

Senator Aidoko is banking on the PDP platform and the Atiku candidacy to saunter himself Into the Senate once more but the constituents have had enough of him and “would vote along personality lines this time”. Come to think of it how many of his “party members have benefited from his years in the National Assembly not to talk of the entire Kogi East? We hear he has kept a lot of his SDG cars, motorbikes, Keke NAPEP and money to influence votes this time around. Well, we are waiting” someone said.

In the end, we await the outcome of the Senator’s selective visitations to those he considers the most important to railroad him to the Senate once more.

In the last count, Sen. Aidoko has either met or sent emissaries to Alhaji Ibrahim Idris, Captain Idris Wada, Senator Nicholas Ugbane, Chief John Odawn and his former godfather, Dr. Amodu Ali. One common fear the stakeholders harbor is that, even in the unlikely event he is supported and wins, the victory will be truncated in court. This will the akin to the way through which he got one of his many court victories.

 

-Ibrahim Isah wrote from Idah, Kogi State

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OPINION

Hammed Olamijuwon to youths: Vote wisely, shun violence and don’t sell your vote

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Young and dynamic, Hammed Solomon Olamijuwon has urged youths across the country to vote massively for young and vibrant candidates into respective position that would represent their interest in different level of government in the forthcoming general elections.

Olamijuwon in a statement issued at the weekend, implored Nigerian youths to be an active participants in the February 16 and March 2 elections.

His words: “In few days to this time, we shall be taking a major decision concerning our nation by electing leaders that will steer the affairs of this country. Our decision in the next few days will determine our next four years. The people we decide to elect to the position of power will determine a lot concerning you and I.

“I argue youths to go out and vote during the general election. If we all sit in our homes claiming that our votes won’t count, remember that some persons go out on that day and vote. If they vote-in the wrong people; we will have no choice than to be bound by their decisions over this nation for the next few years to come.

“If you have your PVC, kindly makes sure you go out to vote. Vote wisely. Vote credible and responsible candidates. Do not sell your vote. We must ensure that the right people are elected this time.”

Olamijuwon, a Real Estate developer and Managing Director of HSO Global Limited, while stressing the need for Nigerian youths to play active roles in the forthcoming elections, said the youth votes has the potential to be extremely influential in Nigeria.

“I believe the youth vote has the potential to be extremely influential in this country. Young voters notoriously neglect the importance of voting, but their voice is an important one on both sides of the aisle. Key issues in every election increasingly relate to the concerns of students and professionals between the ages of 18 and 35, making it essential for members within that age group to educate themselves on political issues and take to the polls,” he said.

On his political ambition; the Ijesha man who hail from Ilesa East Local Government Area of Osun State and founder of a Non-Governmental Organisation, HSO Foundation whose youthful political pedigree has endeared him to young and old in the town especially those in the grassroots, disclosed that: “I am taking my time and consulting political stakeholders across the country and my state to know the next step regarding my ambition of serving my people. By 2023 I believe the youth is taken over full time and I can assure my people I am ready to serve them.”

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OPINION

This is what next level means, By Tunde Ajose

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When the news hit the media that the former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, gave a press release, calling the attention of the federal government to his fears towards the 2019 presidential election and beyond, it is not surprising that the media took a mere advice out of proportion.

Right to free speech is a fundamental human right and well recognised by the Nigerian constitution.

In the release, OBJ as he’s popularly called while stating his desire for a change of government, insisted that Nigerians must vote in his preferred candidate to replace the incumbent, President Mohammadu Buhari, and send the country back to the dark days better forgotten.

The question that one would have expected to be asked should have been whether this was because he loved Nigeria or there was a selfish motive behind it all. Why?

It is not coincidental that his preferred candidate happens to be the same person he once ruled the country with. This same preferred candidate is the one same OBJ had rubbished severally in the media as unreliable and even went to the extent of writing a book; dedicating substantial pages to why Alhaji Atiku Abubakar must never be allowed to smell power again.

I could remember an interview Chief Obasanjo gave a long time ago, when he was also faced with cries of non performance. He was asked why it was taking like forever to fix Nigeria based on his promise. Obasanjo answered, “As a farmer, I know where I can hit a storey building with a caterpillar and it would all collapse within few minutes. But it takes months to build the same without changing its specification.”

Obasanjo believed that many years of military misrule can’t just be undone with few years of democracy as it would take time.

This is the same belief of the Buhari led government. That 16years of the Peoples Democratic Party’s rule, where money meant for national projects were shared by the privileged few. The insurgency caused by Boko Haram which has been greatly decimated by our gallant men of armed forces would have been a thing of the past if PDP 16 year rule has not diverted the fund meant for standard arm procurement into few pockets.

President Mohammadu Buhari came into power with the believe that even though the corrupt elements had already done havoc to the national treasury, he could not comprehend extent of rot he eventually met.

So with the believe that you can’t build a solid house on a rotten foundation, Buhari, despite enormous expectations placed on him, decided to start rebuilding the foundation into a stronger institution for the country in his first term and hope to consolidate and erect a befitting edifice, where corrupt elements, insurgency, unemployment and many social vices would be things of the past.

And this is the next level.

 

– Ajose, wrote from Lagos, Nigeria.

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OPINION

Atiku’s US Trip: So much ado about nothing, By Tunde Ajose

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For good watchers of the Nigerian politics, one thing has come to stay in our political experiment at getting it right in this country and that is the ability for smart politicians to easily sway the electorates with mundane issues.

The campaigns are no longer issue based but media sensationalism.

Latest of such was the sudden appearance of the former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in the United States of America! Then one begins to wonder why the opposition would think such is the needed magic wand to win the election.

And the euphoria may not be unconnected with the report that Atiku was barred from entering the States because of his fraudulent nature but the question is, why would any serious opposition believes such action would immediately translate into winning the Aso Rock.

One would have wondered why Atiku has chosen to travel with the current senate president, Dr. Bukola Saraki? Could it be that he actually traveled under the diplomatic immunity of Saraki’s official delegation?

Diplomatic immunity is a form of legal immunity that ensures diplomats are given safe passage and are considered not susceptible to lawsuit or prosecution under the host country’s laws, but they can still be expelled.

We need to be circumspect as we move forward as a nation and be more discerning. The current government of Nigeria is focused more than before in ensuring that Nigerians, regardless of the class or status has a befitting country they could fall back to and call a home.

It is quite obvious that while the opposition are playing to the gallery, the presidential campaign organisation of president Mohammad Buhari is busy rolling up its sleeves and getting down to fields where the real electorates are and connecting with them.

This past week especially has been full of activities for the president despite his age. Within a spate of two weeks, Buhari had sat down to two interviews in-between journeying from the length and breadth of the country in getting the message of hope down to the people.

The president does not rely on his privilege as an incumbent, but insisted on talking to his people and ensuring that Nigerians are united as they go to polls come February.

No one is in doubt that his message also resonates well with the citizens as they troop out en masse to welcome and listen to what he has to say. With the multitude of crowd recorded today as he presented the gubernatorial flagbearer of the party to the good people of Delta State and the ovation that greeted it, there is no doubt that Buhari is truly loved.

As we count down to the elections, Nigerians need to bear it in mind that the 2019 election is about building on a new foundation which the present government has been able to achieve in the first four years and giving the solid foundation out to the marauders to destroy along with the better forgotten 16years in power.

If Atiku is in the United States today, there is no way the intelligence agencies of the federal government of Nigeria would not know about it.

 

Tunde Ajose, a political commentator, writes from Lagos.

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