RingTrue Yemi Adebowale
For about three years, I was projecting Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State as one of the few politicians around that could help Nigeria disable those of the old order that turned this country into a big mess. Prior to the All Progressives Congress’ presidential primary election, whenever I ran into him, I would ask the Ekiti governor, “Do you still have your eye on the presidency?” He would tactically accept the challenge. By my calculations, the young, vibrant, suave, Fayemi was capable of giving the old brigade a good run for their money in the APC presidential primary. Like most young Nigerians, I desperately wanted a change. I wanted an end to the dominance of the old politicians holding Nigeria by the jugular and Fayemi was looking like a breath of fresh air.
Regrettably, all my projections and expectations came crashing on D-Day of the APC presidential primary. The Ekiti State governor disappointed big time. Fayemi, the man I was privately selling to people as being competent and capable of turning the tides against the old brigade stepped down for Bola Tinubu, a key member of the old order. His pathetic announcement on the floor of the national convention of the party on June 7 shattered many young Nigerians.
On D-Day, Fayemi declared: “It is only in unity and cohesion that we can meet our destiny. I am stepping down for Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Give me the honour to step down for my leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. He is a democrat that I worked with. I am not doing this for any prize.” What nonsense! This Ekiti State governor, who spent N100 million for the presidential form and went round several states lobbying delegates and party leaders, in order to get the ticket, suddenly realised on the day of the primary election that Tinubu is his leader and should not be competing with him. Fayemi should tell it to the marines.
Few days later, Fayemi was tweeting that Tinubu was one person he had worked with in the democratic struggles and was one of the wheels on which the engine of NADECO spun in the dark days of authoritarian rule, adding, “He is tested and has more experience to steer the ship of our country from May 2023.”
Sharing photos of their meeting on Twitter a few days after the primary, Fayemi tweeted, “It was a real delight to spend the weekend with my leader and mentor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.” So, what Fayemi is telling young Nigerians is that he had realised that Tinubu “is tested and has more experience to run Nigeria.” The Ekiti State governor did not realise this while he was running round the country and campaigning. He did not realise he was untested. Fayemi suddenly realised that at 57, he was too young to run Nigeria. What a shame.
Well, Fayemi needs to be reminded that so many young men are doing wonders as leaders of many developed countries. Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Mirella Marin is just 36. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is just 41. Jacinda became Prime Minister at just 36. Canadian Prime Minister James Trudeau is just 50. Swedish Prime Minister Eva Magdalena Andersson is 55. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is 57. Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is 59. So, what is Fayemi talking about? Nigeria must break from the old and unproductive order of using only seniors as presidents.
Another jester that regaled Nigerians with the story of Mungo Park on the day of the APC presidential primary was the former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio. He stepped down for Tinubu, saying, “I am ably qualified to be your President, but I have stepped down for Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Vote for Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. Unite Nigeria, vote for Tinubu.”
This is the same Akpabio that resigned as minister because of his conviction that he was qualified to be the President of Nigeria. This same Akpabio was going round the country lobbying party leaders and delegates to vote for him as the party’s standard bearer. Suddenly, on D-Day, he discovered that his presidency would disunite Nigeria. So, he stepped down for Asiwaju who would unite Nigeria. What a disgraceful excuse. Akpabio was evidently under the influence of something on that day. Only God knows what it was.
Senator Ibikunle Amosun also realised on D-Day that Tinubu “is the best man for the job and in the spirit of consensus building”, stepped down for him. That was after spending weeks bluffing that he was the only one qualified for Nigeria’s number one job. Amosun should please go back and read some of his newspaper campaign materials showboating about his capabilities for the office of the President of Nigeria. How does he feel now describing Tinubu as the only man for the job?
Another comic, Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State discovered on the day of the primary that Tinubu is “soldier of democracy” and realised that “this soldier of democracy, who has seen it all, will lead our great party to victory.” So, the hyped Ayade is no longer the solution to Nigeria’s problems as he claimed weeks before the primary election? The cross River State governor should bury his head in shame.
What about the Serving Overseer of the Citadel Global Community Church, Pastor Tunde Bakare, who mounted the stage on June 8, still dreaming that the Holy Ghost would make him Nigeria’s 16th president? Bakare was obviously in wonderland. He did not visit a single state to campaign. Bakare did not worry about lobbying delegates. He was just banking on the Holy Ghost to do the miracle; that he would miraculously get the ticket, run and become Nigeria’s 16th president. Bakare told his congregation that it would happen and they believed him. No doubt, religion is opium.
All these jesters that masqueraded as presidential aspirants made a mockery of the APC primary election. These people will always be remembered simply as deceitful politicians that turned the presidential primary election into a charade. They are evidently politicians without principles.
Akpabio, after his Abuja debacle, returned to Uyo, and tried to manipulate the system, in order to get a senatorial ticket. He desperately wanted something to keep him relevant in 2023. This former governor, working with leading NWC members at the APC headquarters in Abuja, organised a fraudulent fresh primary election for Akwa Ibom North-west Senatorial District on June 8. An earlier primary election held on May 27 had produced Udom Ekpoudom, a retired Deputy Inspector-General of Police. The State Chairman of the party, Stephen Ntuekpo, cited imaginary security infractions during the May 27 primary and got approval from the national headquarters to conduct a fresh one on June 8.
The conspirators are determined to push Akpabio’s name to INEC based on the con primary, but the good thing here is that both Ekpoudom and INEC have vowed not to allow Akpabio’s garbage to stand. The retired DIG rightly described the fresh primary as “a scam, unconstitutional, deceitful and legally defective,” adding, “Under no circumstance will I relinquish, withdraw or be substituted no matter the degree of pressure and inducement dangled by anyone.”
INEC has equally declared that Akpabio is not recognised as the senatorial candidate for Akwa Ibom North-west. “The re-run primary that led to the emergence of Akpabio as the APC candidate for the district is strange and unknown to law,” said the election umpire.
Akpabio’s co-jester, Umahi also returned to his state after his Abuja calamity to fraudulently pick Ebonyi South senatorial ticket. The Ebonyi governor had cunningly put his younger brother, Austin Umahi forward two weeks ago and he emerged winner of the primary election. Umahi ensured no other person picked the senatorial form. So, when he returned from Abuja, his brother notified the party that he was no longer interested in the ticket. The deception was well planned. However, I believe it’s just a temporary victory for Umahi. The people of Ebonyi South will put him in the garbage can in 2023.
ISWAP Responsible for attack on Owo Church?
Precisely 14 days after terrorists attacked St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State, killing 40 and injuring scores, not a single one of the killers has been apprehended. Ten days back, our languid National Security Council headed by President Buhari told a bewildered country that their intelligence unmasked the Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP) as being responsible for the attack on the church. This intelligence of theirs has not led them to arrest any of the attackers. It may never happen because it was just “pepper soup joint” intelligence. The next thing was for the federal government to order a full-scale investigation of the crime. That is where the whole thing will end.
Honestly, the Buhari government has a lot of questions to answer on these unending attacks by terrorists. Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State was right when he declared the federal government’s conclusion on the Owo killings as ridiculous. He said, “The statement is too hasty. I take their conclusion with a pinch of salt. ISWAP doesn’t hide their attacks. If they had done it, they would have owned up. We are yet to know their identity and our security people are still on their trail.”
Asking security agencies to fish out the terrorists that attacked Owo is a waste of time. Today, I am challenging Akeredolu to explore and utilise traditional power to ensure that the killers pay for this crime against humanity. This governor should unleash the power of Amotekun and fish out the killers. The Olowo of Owo,Oba Ajibade Ogunoye III led the way in this direction last Thursday when he joined Ogun worshipers (the god of iron) to invoke curses on the terrorists who killed worshippers at St Francis Church. They rained ancestral curses on the perpetrators with the staunch belief that in no distant time, nemesis will catch up with them.
Terrorists must be tackled in the ways of our forefathers. Akeredolu and other South-west governors should swiftly recruit the right people into Amotekun to ensure that this task is accomplished. The South-west must set an example in this regard. Enough of terrorists getting away with heinous crimes.
913 Nigerians Killed in 31 Days
ccording to fatality cases compiled by Beacon Consulting, no fewer than 913 Nigerians were killed by terrorists within the 31 days in the month of May, this year. The report revealed further that non-state actors carried out 421 attacks across the country, with 265 abductions during the month in focus. The attacks happened in 201 local government areas in 36 states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory.
This is the tragedy of a country I often write about. Terrorists are enjoying a free rein in beloved Nigeria, killing and maiming, while the Buhari government is napping. This figure of 913 is based on just reported cases. Scores of daily killings are unreported and as usual, their killers are hardly apprehended. This emboldens terrorists. When there are no consequences for killing innocent people, the killings become endless. This is the situation we have found ourselves in Nigeria. No thanks to the seven years of the Buhari government.
The Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Sokoto, Matthew Kukah, in his 2022 Easter Epistle, captures the pathetic state of Nigeria under Buhari thus: “With everything literally broken down, our country has become one big emergency national hospital with full occupancy. Our individual hearts are broken. Our family dreams are broken. Homes are broken. Churches, Mosques, and infrastructure are broken. Our educational system is broken. Our children’s lives and future are broken. Our politics is broken. Our economy is broken. Our energy system is broken. Our security system is broken. Our Roads and Rails are broken. Only corruption is alive and well.”
The Nigerian situation is indeed pathetic. Perhaps, something miraculous will happen very soon.