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Fellow Nigerians, I thought the ancient tradition of nailing people considered enemies of persons or the State to the cross had long gone into antiquity and extinction, but I was wrong. The most famous crucifixion in human history was that of our Lord Jesus Christ, of course other lesser mortals have been crucified including the thieves who died on either side of Jesus Christ on the Appointed Day. I have decided to borrow this imagery and metaphor to describe what is currently happening to Nigeria’s Senate President, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki (ABS), at the moment. And it is so tragic. Before I go into the meat of my epistle, please, permit me to provide some background information on what I want to call the ABS saga.

My personal admiration for, and relative closeness to, ABS was largely influenced by two friends of mine. The first was the Publisher of Thisday newspapers, Nduka Obaigbena, while the second was the then Governor of Rivers State, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi (CRA). Several times in the years of ABS as Governor of Kwara State, I had the chance of speaking with ABS on the phone, because Nduka would always ask me to speak with ABS anytime they were together. I loved his gentle mien and comportment. We also met at functions several times and he carried himself with confidence, grace and poise. He always looked like someone so meek and mild and could easily be underrated. I actually think that is his greatest strength and weapon.

ABS was a very powerful and influential Governor. He was self-assured and assertive. My good friend, Amaechi, or CRA for short, was very close to him and he actually took over from him as Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum. Their love and synergy were very infectious. I remember one afternoon I visited CRA at the Wheatbaker Hotel in Lagos. After our meeting, I asked when he would be going back to Port Harcourt and CRA told me he would have to wait for ABS to come first. I was impressed because they had a relationship that made them look like lovebirds. I also appreciated how they combined powerfully in support of Major General Muhammadu Buhari. They gave their lives, energy and resources to the Buhari cause. Of course, one cannot ignore the epic support given by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and some stupendously wealthy businessmen who donated generously to give Buhari a lifeline at the fourth time of asking!

I witnessed Saraki’s total commitment to Buhari and the Change Project on several occasions in his Ikoyi home. He mobilised a lot of his extensive network, especially in the business world, and they met as regularly as possible. I saw Aliko Dangote, Femi Otedola, CRA, Wale Tinubu, Muyiwa Bakare, and others brainstorm on not only supporting Buhari, but also their desire for a prosperous and safe Nigeria. They all wished and hoped that Buhari would step in as a father-figure to all and play the Mandela option in Nigeria, come to heal the wounds, unite Nigeria, provide enabling environment for business, banish the security problems and grow the economy. It was expected that the war against corruption would be fought differently and more professionally with more action and less noise, by identifying the culprits and going after their loot wherever they are kept and bring this back into the coffers of Nigeria. The old system of using the so-called anti-corruption war to witch-hunt perceived and imaginary enemies of government was supposed to be a thing of the past.

ABS provided a formidable base for Buhari during the APC Primaries in Lagos. He galvanised his entire staff of very young and brilliant guys to work sleeplessly and sort out Buhari’s logistical needs. I will never forget the dare-devilry of CRA and ABS. They played their last cards. I was an eye-witness.

After the primaries, CRA as Director General of the Buhari Presidential Campaign Organisation, and his friend, ABS, worked as if they were on a suicide mission. Their personal sacrifices inspired someone like me to give my little support for Buhari. I was also encouraged by the choice of Professor Yemi Osinbajo as Vice Presidential candidate, a man I expected to give the intellectual backing that was lacking in the Presidential candidate. Everything went well until individual ambitions and rumour-mongering crept in. People told Amaechi that he was betrayed by his friend Saraki who, as it went, told Buhari not to pick Amaechi as Vice President because of his tempestuous character. Unknown to both friends, some fifth columnists were out to destroy their beautiful tag-team so as to weaken their influence and indirectly weaken the new Presidency. There was also the talk that ABS wanted to be the Senate President desperately. Personally, I didn’t see what was wrong with anyone pursuing his dreams in life within the ambits of what is legal. After all, President Buhari himself did this and got lucky at the fourth attempt.

Let’s fast forward. Buhari won the election and we were all very elated. The next issue was how to select the principal officers of the National Assembly. Saraki obviously had eyed the Senate Presidency even before the elections were concluded. Tinubu’s camp that already had the Vice Presidency in its kitty but also wanted the number four slot for Femi Gbajabiamila as Speaker, Federal House of Representatives. Tinubu, it was alleged, similary wanted the number three spot of Senate President for his candidate from the North East Region. Members of the New PDP felt they were being left in the lurch. Interestingly, the President was playing elder Statesman by holding himself above the fray. He did not champion anybody from his CPC faction of APC for any of these Principal Offices. Meanwhile, CRA and ABS were no longer as chummy as before. Their combination would have been lethal, but their enemies had succeeded in driving a wedge between them and this was tearing them apart. It thus became a case of “everyone for himself and God for us all.”

I was in Abuja the day ABS was elected Senate President. I called on CRA and asked if he had congratulated his friend ABS, his answer was negative. We agreed to have breakfast the following morning at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja. I asked CRA again about ABS, he said he had called him. I could see the reticence and reluctance in his attitude. For me, it was okay that he managed to fulfil all righteousness. I went in to see ABS at home to congratulate him on his victory. I was not happy that ABS and CRA were no longer close. This was their biggest undoing. Those who separated them knew what they were doing; the alliance had to be weakened, and they both became like orphans. Meanwhile, Tinubu’s gamble and opening gambit in the new administration had failed to win his faction of the APC the number three and four positions. Tinubu was livid and he felt ABS was treacherously elected and must be punished severely.

Unknown to Tinubu, the cabal didn’t want such avuncular power for him, that would presumably enable him to control the numbers two, three and four positions in the new government. As a matter of fact, the cabal were all out for him. Before one could say Jack Robinson, they created a gulf between the President and Tinubu. The interaction between the two kept dwindling. Not content with that, they also launched a major offensive against the Senate President at the Code of Conduct Tribunal. The aim was to weaken the other two strong factions of the APC so the President’s confederates could hold sway in all the necessary areas of the executive and the legislature. I wrote copiously and warned about the demonisation of Saraki. I also granted an interview in the Vanguard newspaper in which I admonished Tinubu not to join in the attempt to annihilate Saraki. From available evidence, I knew the case against Saraki was very weak and not sustainable in the court of Law. All that would happen would be to send some gullible people on a wild goose chase by portraying Saraki as the greatest enemy of Buhari and the nation. The strategy worked wonders, momentarily. Saraki knew no peace from then. His assailants wanted him to resign or be removed, by fire, by force. The few of us that openly declared that his travails were political also came under savage and rabid attacks from fiendish quarters. For three years running, Saraki has been on the cross.

He eventually won his case at the Supreme Court of Nigeria. Just before then, as if suspecting he would win, his enemies had erected another cross ready for him to bear, when the Nigerian Police alleged that they had linked him to a most terrible, heinous and very bloody armed robbery case in Offa, Kwara State. The Police sounded like he was definitely responsible for the dastardly operation. The Police are best advised to rise above partisanship and conduct their investigations in a transparent manner. That has not been the case so far and the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, should not see this as an opportunity to exact revenge and pursue a personal vendetta that he believes may exist between him and the leadership of the Nigerian Senate. The sad thing in our country is that no one protects your innocence. You are tried and convicted summarily on the pages of newspapers, electronic and social media. There are more than enough people, who are not very busy, ready to carry out their nefarious attacks on you, whether innocent or not.

Saraki has suffered indeed. I don’t mind if I’m the only one willing to ask that he be allowed to prove his innocence instead of the mob attack in the print electronic and social media. What happened to our Christian and Muslim souls? What about the entrenched constitutional provision that a man is innocent until proven guilty. This debilitating bitterness will ultimately cripple Nigeria, not because Saraki is infallible, but because this kind of attitude and approach cannot augur well for our nascent democracy. This kill-and-go method to conflict resolution will hurt each and everyone of us at different stages. Buhari will leave power one day, if not next year, may be in 2023, which is just like the day after tomorrow in the eyes of God. Must we destroy everyone because of transient power. What shall it profit a man who wrecks an entire citizenry just to stay in power? Saraki’s latest headache seems easily traceable to his decision to join the Presidential race, which is not the birth-right of anybody. Whether he will actualise this decision by carrying on to the end is immaterial. The beauty of democracy is in allowing everyone to have a say and choice. When tomorrow comes, the seed of bitterness we sow today would be harvested by those close to us.

Before our very eyes, Yakubu Gowon, Olusegun Obasanjo, Shehu Shagari, Muhammadu Buhari, Ibrahim Babangida, late Sani Abacha, Abdulsalami Abubakar, Olusegun Obasanjo (again), Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, Goodluck Jonathan and now Buhari (also again), all ruled or governed. Minus Abacha and Yar’Adua, all these once powerful men are alive, but see how much almost all of them, bar Obasanjo, have diminished in status, stature and public reverence. No matter how long, all leaders, including Saraki, will leave the stage and end up the same way, unless they follow a path that will chart an enduring legacy. So why all the gra gra of gods with feet of clay? If we all remember tomorrow, we’ll pause for a moment and work on developing our nation instead of entrenching ourselves in power, as if that is all there is to life.

I need not say more…

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Buhari, Aisha and the Symphony of a Confusing Orchestra



By Jude Ndukwe

Just like a majority of Nigerians who have come to see the APC-led government of President Muhammadu Buhari for what it is, a weak government of ineptitude coated with stark incompetence and lacking in any leadership substance as a result of which Nigeria is now the worst of many backwardness, wife of the president, Mrs Aisha Buhari, confirmed last week that only two people were holding the Buhari government down and stopping it from performing as expected.

This is not new to Nigerians only that it is being given concrete credence by the beautiful First Lady’s outburst which must have come from frustrations owing to the incontrovertibly poor performance of her husband in office contrary to the expectations of those who believed in and voted for him at the last presidential election.

Nigerians have always known that there is a powerful cabal holding the presidency down and forming a cog in its wheel of progress, that is, if there was any will in the wheel at all. The only thing Nigerians did not know until Aisha Buhari made the disclosure last week was that they were only two individuals so powerful they hold not only the president down, they hold the entire presidency down and hold the entire nation to ransom. Although Aisha did not mention the names of these individuals but whoever they are, they must have been so powerful that Nigerians were thinking that those that make up the retrogressive cabal were in their numbers. And that is because they have inflicted serious damage not only to the image of President Muhammadu Buhari whose ratings before he became president were very impressive but also to the lofty credentials APC paraded prior to the 2015 elections but which have obviously dissipated into thin air now.

While the presidency has always insisted that there was no cabal in its fold, Nigerians have always known that there was one. Isn’t this why President Muhammadu Buhari had on several occasions claimed ignorance of weighty occurrences around the presidency even when such occurrences had a stamp of the presidency on them?

Aisha had at a time said that the president does not know 45 out of every 50 of his appointees. In other words, others make the decision for him without any input from him. She had claimed that her husband’s government had been hijacked as “Some people are sitting down in their homes folding their arms only for them to be called to come and head an agency or a ministerial position”.

When the pension fugitive Abdulrasheed Maina was recalled and promoted by presidency officials despite being on the wanted list of security agencies, there were fierce exchanges between the presidency and the civil service over who was responsible for the controversial recall and promotion. Yet, before our very eyes, when it became obvious that the bubble of Maina and his collaborators in high places had busted, he was still given a leeway to escape. The alarming thing was that some top government officials gave the impression that the president was not aware all in a bid to shield him from the mess which the saga had become.

Also, on the Benue matter, after repeated and unending attacks on the people of Benue, President Buhari had ordered the Inspector-General of Police to resume in Benue with a view to curbing the rising wave of herdsmen attacks on the people. But few weeks later, the president lamented that he was not aware that the IG did not obey his orders.

If the president were truly in charge, how could an IG of police had refused, neglected and or failed to carry out his orders as Commander-in-Chief until it became public knowledge? Does that not imply that there are people in the presidency, as Aisha publicly confirmed, who have taken charge of the government and away from President Buhari so that recalcitrant staff and aides can afford to routinely disobey him on matters of grave concern to the nation without consequences?

Does anyone still remember Babachir Lawal’s arrogant and infamous “Who is the presidency” question?

Like Aisha said on that occasion, it is quite shameful that those who are supposed to stand up for Nigeria at a time of its unimaginable obscurity caused by a rather rudderless government, those who are supposed to assist the president in saving the ship of state and rescuing it from further sinking, are the same men who go about Aso Rock, in the words of Mrs Buhari, licking the shoes of these men!

Mrs Buhari seems to have had enough. She could no longer stomach the ineffectiveness of her husband’s government and the pitiable state of the nation under him. Surely, when she was out there during the campaigns, in the trenches with her husband, doing all she could to convince the populace that her husband deserved to be president, or rather, that her husband was the best man for the job, tough enough to lead the battle against insurgents in the north, fight corruption to a standstill, and yet remain compassionate to the plight of the people, she never envisaged that her husband would become this effeminate, easily overwhelmed by the nature of the job and overpowered by overzealous aides.

Today, the nation suffers for it, and the woman cannot stand it. All attempts to confine this delectable woman to the “kitchen, the living room and the other room” has so far failed to yield its desired results as she has continued to wax strong in the defence of her husband against those who are holding him hostage.

But then time has run out on him. The damage is irredeemable. Buhari has lost enormous goodwill since he came to power. If he was the kind of leader he sold himself to be in 2015, no other candidate would have had any chance against him in 2019. But as it is today, Buhari’s support base has depleted badly. Those who worked for him in 2019 have since realized that they were sold a beautifully packaged product whose content lacked any substance or value for its users. One by one, steadily and surely, they are all leaving him and his party. Those who are left in the party are lamenting, one can no longer call them “Buharists” as it used to be. Those who are honest enough in his party are telling him the bitter truth. His children, particularly, the daughters, no longer defend their dad as they used to do. The wife has continued to sing but her voice does not seem to be in symphony with the orchestra. The choirmaster is no longer in charge of his choir. The symphony of the orchestra is confusing, the group has lost melody, and the service will soon come to an unceremonious end!

With Nigeria becoming the poverty capital of the world under Buhari, the third most terrorised nation under a man who boasted that he would fight insurgency from the front, and our soldiers who have lamented poor welfare and equipment killed at will by these same insurgents, corruption worsening under him according to Transparency International, over 7 million Nigerians becoming unemployed in just 21 months between January 2016 and September 2017 and still counting, among many other gory tales of the Buhari presidency, it is obvious that things have fallen apart in Buhari’s government and the centre can no longer hold.

A presidency that cannot manage its presidency cannot manage Nigeria! There is hunger in the land; it is so palpable that the hand can feel it. No matter how the choirmaster tries to organize his orchestra now, the symphony has gone coarse, and irrecoverably so!

It is on this note that patriotic citizens must commend the First Lady, Aisha Buhari, for taking the bull by the horn and speaking out when men who are supposed to do so are busy lining up to lick the shoes of some two retrogressive elements holding the nation to ransom.

Will Aisha Buhari likely have partners from their circle in this mission of extricating Nigeria from the shackles of strong men? Only time will tell. For now, history will surely be fair to her!

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By: Morenike Adetunji

Life, as it is generally espoused begins at 40. As such, Lagos Sate Polytechnic Aloft At Forty celebration could best be described as a new beginning for this citadel of excellence.
Looking back through the years, the institution has grown to higher heights in several areas; from acquiring a permanent site in Ikorodu to producing over 220,000 graduates, offering 67 programmes at National Diploma and Higher National Diploma Levels, and against all odds, curbing cult activities on campus.
LASPOTECH commenced classes at the temporary site, (Isolo Campus), early January 1978, and in seven years (1985), the permanent site was moved to Ikorodu. Just recently, department of Business Administration, one of the three departments outside the main campus, was moved to Ikorodu campus in a bid to have all departments domiciled in Ikorodu.
At inception, lecture started at the institution with 287 students in five departments: Accountancy and Finance, Management and Business Studies, Insurance, Secretarial Studies and Basics Studies, and over the years, more than 220,000 students had graduated from the institution.
The school has as its mission statement, “to produce skilled manpower for commerce and industry using modern facilities and competent personnel for benefit of all”, and as such has been able to produce individuals who hold high positions in various sectors of the nation.
Few of these alumni are: Immediate Past Managing Director of First Bank of Nigeria Plc (FBN), Mr. Bisi Onasanya; Ex-managing Director of Cornerstone Insurance Plc, Mrs Funmilayo Babington-Ashaye; Current Deputy Governor of Ogun State, Mrs Yetunde Onanuga, Movie Icon, Kunle Afolayan; Mr. Rotimi Edu, Chairman, Quicklink Insurance; the Late Thespian, Aishat Mohammed; Music Star, Adekunle Kosoko known as Adekunle Gold; Winner of African Movie Viewers’ Choice Award (AMVCA), Tunji Afolayan and Award Winning Investigative Reporter, Head of Crime Desk at The Nation Newspaper, Olukunle Akinrinade among others.
Omoshalewa Babalola a student of Science Laboratory Technology in 2014/2015 Academic Session graduated with a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 4.0. Also, Ejire Adedolapo Abdulazez graduated with a CGPA of 3.83 in 2015/2016 Academic Session.
The 10-day celebration saw several events put in place to commemorate LASPOTECH Aloft at forty. These include; Community Relations Programme, Novelty Match, Interdenominational service, Walk for Life, Students Marathon race, Laspotech Students’ Talent Show, LSTS, Dinner night, the anniversary grand finale and many other events.
In 40 years, several landmark achievements had positioned the polytechnic among other high ranking polytechnics in Nigeria; The institution’s department of Mass Communication was designated as Center of reference for Journalism training by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). The establishment of LASPOTECH 101.1fm as well as construction of Centre for Entrepreneurship Skills Acquisition, among many others.
With all these outstanding achievements, it is imperative that the Institution must not rest on her oars, but do more in order to remain a pathmaker for other institutions.
However, an area of concern is the fact that an institution with such status and achievement cannot boast of having a hostel accommodation for her students. The rector, Mr. Olayinka Sogunro, has however promised that before his tenure elapses, he will ensure that hostels are built for the polytechnic’s students. We, for the sake of the incoming students do hope that this promise will be fulfilled.
At 40, LASPOTECH has achieved so much and for this reason, the management indeed deserves some accolades. Looking into the future, this landmark anniversary without doubt is only a stepping stone as the institution continues to journey into greatness.

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Pendulum: Why Many Nigerians are Scared of the Year 2019




Fellow Nigerians, this is usually a festive period when most people look forward to the New Year, with high hopes and great expectations. But not anymore. I don’t know if you have noticed, wherever two or three Nigerians are gathered these days, the subject of discussion is Nigeria’s elections, especially the Presidential election, coming up next February. And many analysts talk with trepidation, out of the fear that the APC government appears desperate and may not wish to relinquish power, voluntarily, without putting up a fight. “Buhari was a military dictator, unlike Jonathan, and it would be difficult for you guys to chase him away like you did to Jonathan,” a prominent Nigerian told me recently. I then asked, “do you mean Buhari will refuse to hand over power even if he glaringly loses the election?” His response was chillingly cold-blooded “mark my word, Buhari’s people are ready for war…” he quipped.

Though the tell-tale signs are there, considering the unusual electoral malpractices in Ekiti, Osun, Kwara and other places where voters have allegedly been brazenly intimidated, disenfranchised and disillusioned. It is generally believed that the security forces, especially the Police have been largely compromised and that they are unashamedly doing the Government’s bidding, even if it means that the very tenets of democracy are being eroded with the attendant calamitous consequences that may befall our beloved country as a result. The Government has not helped matters much on this issue because people wonder why such use of humongous force can be strategically organised and positioned for elections, which should otherwise be peaceful events, when such force cannot be used against our insurgents who appear to be back with a bang and slowly, steadily and surely eroding our territory and our sovereignty. The Government’s claim that its aim in dealing with elections in this way is to protect democracy and ensure the fairness of those elections seems false given the allegations of intimidation and violence made against the security forces.

That is not all. It is being widely debated as to whether or not the government is busy throwing money around as a way of suborning the electorates under the guise of empowering the masses through its Trader Moni and Npower schemes.

The Trader Moni scheme aims to start of petty traders with small interest free loans starting from N10,000 and rising incrementally on repayment to N100,000. The Government says that the Bank of Industry co-ordinated scheme hopes to assist petty traders who would not otherwise have access to affordable bank loans to grow their businesses. Detractors question the timing of the scheme and the amount of money that beneficiaries of the scheme are being paid. It is almost as if they are being paid this initial N10,000 in order to buy their votes and this was magnified by the unfounded rumours that was circulated that PVC’s were a requirement to obtain the loan. As the Government stresses in promoting the scheme, this is an empowerment programme which is not associated with any vote-buying scheme. One thing is clear though, the petty traders who are recipients of this interest free loan are smiling all the way to the bank and appreciate the Government’s gesture. The turnout and visible smiles on the face of market women where ever the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, has visited in promotion of this scheme speaks volumes about its acceptance amongst those it intends to benefit. Whether there is an ulterior motive will soon be revealed especially when the period for the incremental increase dawns and the elections are over.

The other scheme which traducers of the Government claim is merely a vote-buying gimmick is Npower. The scheme aims at eventually providing everyday skills which can be usefully deployed by the millions of unemployed youths in the Country. Those lucky to benefit from the scheme get paid a stipend which the opposition considers is a mere bribe to secure the votes and support of the jobless, frustrated youths.

It is a mark of the times that we are in, and the impoverishment of the people, that these two schemes with the miserly amounts involved can catch the attention of the populace. Their intendment and effect have been likened to the welfare system which operates in most welfare countries, with Government protagonists calling it a form of the “dole” which operates in the United Kingdom. Those who oppose both schemes say that these are corrupted versions of the benefit system being propagated to suit a corrupt purpose by a government which corrupts everything including its so-called seminal fight against corruption.

What is also scary for neutral observers of the polity is the fact cyberbullying has been on the rise in dramatic fashion. Everywhere you turn on social media, there are rabid Buhari supporters, in particular, who treat their idol like God, such that any form of criticism attracts instant vitriolic and acerbic attack. On a WhatsApp group I was till yesterday, a querulous and garrulous young man who seems to defend every action of APC and Buhari went completely berserk saying anyone who supports Atiku Abubakar must be mentally deranged and requires urgent psychiatric attention, perhaps. Another one of them said Omoyele Sowore must be sick because of certain utterances he made recently. I couldn’t take the intolerance again and told the attacker to change his attitude “in the name of God.”

As far as these people are concerned, everyone who has any form of sympathy for PDP or its Presidential candidate is automatically a rogue and looter. Yet the same so-called “looters and rogues” are welcomed with open arms whenever a member of PDP saunters across to APC so that his sins can be forgiven instantly, and he can become a ‘saint’ in the eyes of these unreasonable and illogical fanatics. It is true that the PDP has created a long list of looters and perceived looters, but the same has always been true of APC. That is why the corruption fight has never really gotten off the ground and it is why the Government may eventually lose the war because of its concentration on this one issue while failing to realise that the people want economic and social emancipation first and foremost. For them, corruption is ultimately only at best a distraction which will be relegated to the background when the reality of the pervading hunger biting at them strikes home.

Many are wondering how some could be so brainwashed into seeing the sins of one Party and its members but are completely blind to the sins of others who are members of the ruling party. Blaming the problems of Nigeria on the 16 years of PDP is no longer ingenious now that APC is busy attracting and accepting the same demons into their fold, indiscriminately. I do not understand the audacity that makes APC feel it can continue to use those lines of calling others thieves when there have been too many instances of similar recklessness within its circle. Those with discernment recall that it is not all of the 16 PDP years that can be described as a period of profligacy and reckless plundering. In any event apart from possibly some of the antics of the Petroleum Ministry and the NNPC, few knew about the pillaging that was occurring under the Jonathan Government until the Government fell. Some argue that the same fate awaits the present administration and that people will be amazed at the level of brigandage and damage done to our collective commonwealth by a cabal within this government and a few other senior Ministers. The claim is that Dasukigate is child’s play, but that we shall only know the truth whenever the government is dethroned. I cannot personally vouch for the authenticity of these claims, but I hear the strident pleas of the First Lady, Aisha Buhari about the need to expose a cabal which is making the Presidency unable to fulfil the Change that it promised.

Also, whenever they call the PDP Presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, a corrupt man, I often wonder if Atiku was ever more than a Vice President and if he wielded more influence than the President. Moreover, the only basis for this continues to be the fact that his Boss, President Obasanjo, said so in the past, and an American Congressional investigation seemingly indicted him on some transactions as a result of which his visa application was turned down. What I fail to understand is why these two matters would continue to be an issue when the Boss, President Obasanjo has wholeheartedly embraced the candidature of Atiku, warts and all, and the American law enforcement agencies have never indicted him, and the Government of that country now appears prepared to issue him a visa. In my view, those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. A lot of respect has been accorded the President whose dignity and integrity has generally been protected by the military and political class and the fourth estate of the realm. This is understandably so, because we must not denigrate our leaders or soil their reputations if this can be avoided. Nevertheless, I think it is about time that the Administration starts trumpeting its successes in the economic and social infrastructure sector as well as security.  The government does have laudable and stellar achievements it can point to. The Government should also focus on its plans for the future. If the President allows his team to trawl the gutter in the allegations they are making against the former Vice-President of the country, a time may come when all the gloves go off and fisticuffs or roforofo fight becomes the order of the day with everybody besmeared and besmirched.

It is the unrelenting smear campaign against the PDP Presidential candidate Atiku, without any real regard to the issues which are paramount for the masses that is ultimately the biggest fear factor. If the APC has nothing good to tell us about what it proposes to do for the country if it wins, beyond saying that Nigerians must not vote for a looter, then the presumption is that they will take all steps to ensure that their rhetoric succeeds by hook and by crook. The logic is that the APC is so desperate to cling on to power even though it does not know what to do with it and accordingly, out of that desperation it will subvert the will of the electorate by foisting itself on the people with the might of the security forces at its behest and disposal. We may not need to get to this stage if APC realises that it can campaign on the issues, and change its ways, so that winning the elections is no longer in doubt. I fear however, that the ship has long since sailed in that regard and the major protagonists on the APC are hawkish warmongers who do not want to go back into the political wilderness that they had been consigned to before the all-conquering APC was birthed.

It is the hope of the generality of Nigerians that the Nigerian security forces will in the end shun partisanship and live to the true spirit of their oath to defend Nigeria and not any individual or Party. Soldier come, Soldier go! The will of the people must always be allowed to prevail and if this means another Party gaining power so be it. This has happened in the recent past and it will happen again. That is the beauty of democracy which our security forces have sworn to protect!

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