Archive | New RSS feed for this section

THE VERDICT: APC JUST LOST THE EKITI GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION

12 Jul

 

Politics is a game for the wise and the foolish, but who eventually wins is the one with the smarts. For months now, the intrigues of parties participating in the Ekiti gubernatorial election have dominated the nation’s news cycle. It’s normal because the election is happening at a time no other election is scheduled. It’s come down to Governor Ayodele Fayose putting forward his deputy, Professor Kolapo Olusola for the position and strongly standing by him, while the APC and the federal forces have lined up behind Kayode Fayemi, a former governor, who lost all 16 Local Governments of the state to Fayose in 2014. In the intervening period, Fayose has been a torn in the flesh of the federal forces and a sort of battering ram for the PDP that lost the presidency.
Up to this point, the race has been too close to call. Fayemi has attempted to present himself as a new man. When he picked up his party’s ticket, he apologized to the Ekiti people for his mistakes in the past because he was seen as aloof and arrogant, something unforgivable in politics. Yet, in his march towards taking the ticket, he exhibited all the characteristics of a bully, all the arrogance and pomposity of someone who thinks stolen money and federal power will win it for him. He used these blatantly at the party primary and now, at the real election level, they’ve wheeled in all the instruments of violence, force and coercion into Ekiti. However, possibly unknown to them is the fact that the militarization of the state before the election is a signal that Fayemi’s party is desperate. Fayose has taken to playing the politics of the underdog punching above his weight and despite his many faults, he’s kept a tight ship and a consistent message, which is that the federal forces are presenting Fayemi as the Trojan Horse to conquer Ekiti state.
Then, Buhari and the APC bigwigs came calling. And now what have we got? The federal forces trying to humiliate a sitting governor by using force against him! He wants to do a rally and the police are saying they would have none of it. There is no law stopping the PDP from doing any rally today when the election is still Saturday, but they would not allow him. They barricaded Fayose and his supporters inside Ekiti Government House. Whether on the street or inside Government House, teargas was used. The earlier pictures on social media are showing Fayose sitting on the ground suffering effect of tear gas, surrounded by some seemingly frantic others. Some of his opponents are all guffawing at what they consider to be some amateurish drama. How is it that only Fayose amongst those standing with him and captured on camera is suffering this dramatic effect of tear gas? How is it he’s the only one being reported to have been taken to hospital?Image result for ekiti election
Okay, I have made inquiries with people on the ground in Ekiti and they are all saying it really happened and that Fayose was not the only one affected by the tear gas, but that he was the one people not affected ran to when it happened and all that. Some sent me other pictures of people they said were affected and all. But in all honesty, I was not about to determine the validity of all these since they were all still shots and not videos, but now videos are circulating showing it’s worse than we thought. At any rate, whatever anyone thinks, the only unquestioned part of the whole story, even from known APC supporters I spoke to is that there was in fact teargasing. Indeed, the case of the APC supporters who claim to be on the ground is that it was not such a heavy teargasing that could have affected Fayose the way he’s making out. Amidst guffaws, one of the fellows told me Fayose was rehearsing for his post-governorship career in Nollywood.
But, they miss the point. Whether Fayose is acting up or not is not the issue. The issue is that the federal forces ostensibly put on the ground to ensure a secure, free and fair election have showed their hands and it is not a good show. There was no reason to barricade the Government House; there was no reason to be lured into a Fayose trap, if indeed it was a trap. There was no reason to dispense teargas anywhere around there or near anywhere the governor was! It’s never happened in the history of our country! Whenever high-handedness had been applied against a governor who disagrees with Abuja, they’ve used the mechanism of the law, even when totally mangled to effect their aim; it’s never come to physical force against the governor or around him. A governor is not a slave of the president or federal forces. He is the executive head of a federating unit of the federation with all powers therein. There is a reason the Constitution grants the governor immunity; he’s protected by our laws against anything like this. This should not happen to him or around him, especially when perpetrators can be proved to be persons or security officials acting at the behest of Abuja.
Now, does anyone at the federal level fighting this Ekiti election on behalf of Fayemi think this will win them any vote? Do they think any genuine Ekiti person seeing their governor and their state humiliated like this would be clapping and hailing them for a job well done? Well, except for those who’ve taken partisanship beyond common sense, I do not see many supporting them. They have just lost this election because no matter how they frame this, it is out there that the Buhari presidency is treating Ekiti like a conquered territory and as far as people still have their PVCs, they will fight back. Why, because the national political atmosphere does not favour the APC amidst the hardship and all the killings going on in the nation under their watch and with the president unable to hide his bias for the killers. Whatever anyone thinks of Fayose, majority of the Ekiti people see him as their protector against the rampaging herdsmen via his anti-open grazing law and his proactive actions against elements who want to flout it. The last thing you would expect is for people accused of being thieves to be found with the blood of the stolen meat dripping from their mouths. APC just nailed it’s own coffin. What we see here is enough to send them back to the wilderness in Ekiti. And no, it may not be because they ordered it or want it; it would be because they allowed themselves to come out on the wrong side of the optics.
Image result for ekiti election
Yes, optics matter in politics and they’ve just given Fayose the opportunity to not only create it, but to also define the immediate post-election narrative on his terms, while putting the APC off their game. That’s a huge unforced error, a terrible giveaway by APC! For instance, whether in support or against, this would be the talk in Ekiti before the election. Not every voter is on social media or savvy enough to look at things beyond what they are told. Most would buy the more dramatic versions and spread them far and near. What most rural voters would be hearing is that Buhari attempted to kill their governor when he sent in his goons to attack him and bomb him at Government House. They will hear that their governor escaped an assassination attempt and is now in hospital. Meanwhile, I’m hearing there are processions going to the Ewi of Ado-Ekiti palace to protest this. In the midst of this drama, the APC message will never be heard. They will not add one single vote to their tally, but the PDP might be winning the sympathy vote and some via the propagandization of this matter. In a close election, these little margins matter.
In my view, the APC has scored an own goal and the referee is waiting to blow the final whistle after this tight game where no one had seemed capable of making any headway. For Ekiti people, this is no longer about Fayemi; it’s about sending a message to Buhari and his goons that they are not a conquered people. No matter the machinations of the APC, including any attempt at rigging, this is already a lost cause. I, Kennedy Emetulu, a Nigerian, have called the election for the governorship of Ekiti State for the PDP candidate, Professor Kolapo Olusola. You heard it here first. Thank me later.
NB: There’s a caveat. There are things I know APC can do right now to turn this around or limit the damage significantly, but, unfortunately for them, I do not support the APC in this election, even though I’m not exactly a PDP supporter as well. So, no, I wont give the suggestion here for free. They should go and think and try to save their hide (I’m guessing anything they think up on their own will be tantamount to them digging themselves deeper). As things are, this election has been won and lost already.
Advertisements

Udom Emmanuel Still The Puppet Master

30 Jun
By Clayton Udoh
Dear Essien Ndueso,
                          A lot of people went through what I wrote . The fact of the matter is that I have received a lot of very positive reviews from people based on this. In the past I would become highly agitated by your failure to understand. However, we are familiar with you and we know how you interpret stuff. Those who got the point did. If you didn’t that’s just too bad. In your attempts to lash out you need to really review how you use words. Castigate?
You may be in denial but we know, minus greed,what the state of affair is for so many people out there. It is beyond you or me or big words like “Castigate”.
Not everybody is a big shot like you ” Personal Assistant to the King in Media” . A lot of us are hardworking people with a clear view of the condition in which the masses exist in.  

Clayton Udoh.

My friend, my views are not something we need to argue about . I am entitled to them . 
Just like your argument that the SSG is so qualified that there should be no elections and he should just be given the office of the Governor of Akwa Abasi Ibom State ,so do I also bring forward my ridiculous statement (in your opinion), that Albert Bassey suffered to get clean running water like the rest of us and others do, till this day in the state . I wrote stupid stuff like he understands how unemployment can be like, especially in times when there was no Internet to use and praise your way into a job (if you know what I mean) . I understand how ridiculous it is when I say that Udom cannot connect with the people like Albert Bassey. I understand how my admiration of Albert Bassey is ridiculous to you . I wrote stupid stuff like he didn’t have a generator once like most of you do to augment the failure of Ibom Power Plant to ever supply electric power to the masses . I also understand your argument that  anybody who is sane should follow “My Leader” and the SSG blindly. 
However ,Essien Ndueso in my ridiculous state of mind,there is a love for Akwa Abasi Ibom state that I have that transcends all possible scenarios you will ever imagine and that includes my distaste for the “leader” installing a Puppetmaster/Stooge for the benefits of the likes of you. 
I am rather interested in a clean democratic process being established that is devoid of any kind of dynasty like we see in highly retrogressive societies. The people of Akwa Ibom State in my opinion are greater than you and the SSG and “The Leader” combined and in my opinion their silence does not mean they are living to their full potential . 
Udom Emmanuel may be busy pushing forward the ” Machineries of government” but the masses will determine if that’s the truth or not  and not a man like you who lives in a bubble of praise and worship. 
Let’s get one thing right ,as an Akwa Ibom son (which you gladly identified me as) my primary duty is to ensure that all candidates will be vetted completely and that Udom Emmanuel will be thoroughly scrutinized before he is allowed to dance into the Hilltop mansion. This is very essential in this day and age,in which your friends (Godswill Akpabio) have assassinated,imprisoned and driven into exile all the people who would have something tangible to say about this candidate and the main populace cowers in fear of of following their conscience. That you identify such scrutiny and true analysis of this individual as bringing him down is regrettable.
We have enough time to bring more information about Albert Bassey,as you in subsequent days will have time to go after every person that will question the candidature of Udom Emmanuel. 
In the mean time remain blessed.
Cheers 
 
Clayton Udoh 
Mesa,AZ

2015: Nobody Can Impose Governor On Akwa Ibom – Amb Assam Assam.

17 Feb

Ambassador Assam E. Assam.

Ambassador Assam E. Assam.

Chief Assam Ekanem Assam (SAN) is Nigeria’s Ambassador to Russia and the Republic of Belarus. Before his diplomatic job, he was Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Akwa Ibom State. Assam, now eyeing the governorship seat in 2015, in this interview with BASSEY ANTHONY, speaks on diverse state, national and international issues including the politics of 2015. He insists that nobody, not even the incumbent Governor Godswill Akpabio or President Goodluck Jonathan can impose or install a governor in the state come 2015. Excerpts:

The Nigerian Embassy in Russia, under your administration, last November organised a trade and investment forum in conjunction with the Russian trade and investment community to boost the investment relationship between the two countries. So far, what can you say have been the benefits of that forum to Nigeria in particular?

We are looking forward to the benefits. And it is most likely we are going to have more of such fora. Nigeria has never really had a serious trading relationship with Russia. So, to commence the process of a serious engagement with the Russian trading and investment community both parties have to cultivate it and that is what we are trying to do – to bring both parties to the table and discuss and know each other, not on Facebook or the internet. And we have started seeing a lot of results.

Never in the history of our relationship has there been so much human and investment traffic into the two countries like now and this is as a result of that event.

I know that despite your appointment as Nigeria’s envoy in Russia, you are still much in touch with the unfolding political activities in the country as they have to do with 2015. What is your take on the defection of five Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors and scores of lawmakers to the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC)? Do you think it could scuttle PDP’s victory at the polls?

Well, I don’t know whether they (defections) will work against the interest of the PDP or not. That is not for me to say because that is in the future. What I know is that the new national chairman of the PDP is working hard to reconcile various diverse groups and he is also trying to encourage those who defected from the party to return.

The APC has criticised the election timetable recently released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), alleging it was deliberately structured to give the PDP an advantage and that the presidential election should not come before others. What is your opinion?

My take on it is that even if INEC had put the House of Assembly election first, the APC will still complain. They will say that the presidential election should have come first. There is nothing you can do about the opposition. The essence of the opposition is to oppose and that is what it is doing; so don’t worry about it. Everybody is going to contest the election. You have a presidential candidate that is going to contest against my presidential candidate. You have to choose yours and I too will choose mine; everything is even. So, my take on the matter is that I do not want to do the job of INEC. I don’t know what informed its decision and I am not ready to criticise on the basis of emotions and sentiments. INEC has the statutory duty of conducting elections and it has said it is going to conduct the presidential election on a particular day, so be it. All of us should go and get ready for it. It is like students wanting the examiner to set exams for them on a preferred day, contrary to the day the examiner wants the exams taken. It does not make sense.

Governor Godswill Akpabio recently led a delegation of PDP bigwigs in the state to the new national chairman of the PDP where he was quoted to have advised the PDP national chairman, Adamu Mu’azu to disregard some Abuja-based politicians from Akwa Ibom State who claimed they could deliver the state to the PDP. Do you too believe we have Abuja and home-based members of the party or factions of that sort?

If you want to know if we still have Abuja front and Akwa Ibom front, it is better you go and ask the governor who truly said there are metropolitan politicians. I don’t know where the governor got his information because I am not in the country. I am in Moscow. I don’t know who is living in Abuja now or who is living at home. But each

time I come into the country, I look for the governor and they tell me he is in Abuja. So, I don’t know who is living more in Abuja than the governor himself. If there are metropolitan politicians, I think the governor is part of that group because he is not living at home; that I can tell you.

Recently, at a well attended thanksgiving service organised by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Governor Akpabio spoke glowingly about the SSG, thereby confirming rumours that he may be his successor in 2015. Do subscribe to the politics of imposition?

But you know my view on this. I have told everybody again and again that nobody will impose a candidate on the people of Akwa Ibom State. We are too republican for that kind of nonsense. Nobody, not the governor, not even the President will impose any candidate on our people. The people of state will choose their candidate when the time comes. That is why we are saying whether you are metropolitan, village or local politician, let the governor give everybody a level-playing field so that we can determine whether, indeed, there are metropolitan or local politicians. Let the governor not campaign for a candidate because he is not contesting the election. But if he wants to contest let him come out and contest because he cannot be pretending that he is giving everybody a level-playing field when he campaigns for a candidate, and according to you, his body language means the endorsement of a particular aspirant. We should, however, not worry because that is how he has always spoke glowingly about people he has kicked out already.

The governorship seat has been zoned to the Eket Senatorial District for the 2015 election; but there is internal wrangling in the district over which constituency should produce the governor (cuts in…)

The governorship seat has not been zoned to the Eket Senatorial District. The governorship seat has simply rotated to that district. Nobody zoned the governorship seat to that district. There is no internal wrangling. You people are creating artificial politics when there is none. The senatorial district exists; the politics of that senatorial district also exists. If you have a senatorial district that also has its own internal politics then if you say the governorship has rotated to Eket, then the Eket senatorial district has a right now to present candidates for the election. It is not only the Eket senatorial district that will determine who the governor will be. The whole state will vote for the governor. So, what internal wrangling do you think exists?

But, I spoke with a prominent politician from Oron federal constituency who said if Oron does not produce the governor in 2015, he would prefer the governorship seat to go back to the Uyo senatorial district instead of Eket or Ikot Abasi in the Eket senatorial district. What is your opinion on this?

When you spoke with the politician from Oron federal constituency, did you expect him to say somebody from Eket must become governor? Where did they do that plebiscite? When did the Oron people meet to mandate that man you spoke to, whoever he is, to declare that rather than Oron people voting for anybody from the Eket senatorial district they should vote for somebody from Uyo? Where did they meet to say that? Did the man tell you he held the mandate of Oron people to say that? You see, the Eket senatorial district is going to produce the next governor. There are people within the district who have taken native oaths with some people outside the district. They will support those people whether you like it or not. The question is not whether the man in Oron is saying the same as the man in Eket or Ikot Abasi, the issue is, it depends on the political interest. What interest do you have? Do you think that an Eket, Ikot Abasi man whose sister is married to a governorship aspirant in Uyo will not support that aspirant? No, he will. I know the so-called prominent people from the various constituencies in Eket Senatorial District, including my own who are supporting the governorship aspirants from Uyo, But do those people speak for the senatorial district? That is the question. So when they say instead of Oron it should be Uyo, I mean that does not make sense.

What is your economic blueprint for Akwa Ibom State if elected as governor in 2015?

When I launch my campaign I will publish my manifesto to show the approach of the government I will lead in the areas of industry, agriculture, education, health and all that. So, taking one bit of it at this moment will not make much impact because as against what obtains now, I am not likely to come to government with the anger Governor Akpabio came with.

I am likely to come very well prepared and more organised with a proper programme for implementation so that if I build a road that road will achieve a particular purpose – not for the purpose of self-aggrandisement. My programme will be well explained in the manifesto. But I want to say that the trade and investment forum in Moscow is not a one-stop shop. It is a well planned thing. We are undertaking another one in June this year. I may not be there but it is all planned out that every year we must have an investment forum until we are able to actualise a marginal response to the entreaties of Nigeria to Russian investments. So, it is not going to be a thing that will be done one time and it is finished. We are doing it regularly in Moscow.

There is this impression that since you relocated to Russia as an ambassador, you have lost touch with your people and that you don’t relate with the grassroots. Won’t this affect your governorship ambition?

Well, I don’t know what losing touch means. That was the thought and essence of recommending me for ambassadorial appointment by the governor – that I should go there so that I could lose touch with the grassroots. But, unfortunately for him, I have not lost touch with the grassroots. I am rather closer to the grassroots. This insinuation frightens the people who thought I would lose touch. You are talking to me now in Nigeria, not in Moscow. I am here. And I do come home once in a while when it is necessary for the purpose of my job. And when I come to Nigeria I have the opportunity of visiting my home and I do meet with politicians. I am in touch with them. And when I can’t meet with them I ask them to come to Moscow and they come and listen to me and I talk to them. So, I am in touch. I read literally all the 85 newspapers published in Akwa Ibom State and I know what is happening. I do also contribute my thoughts on the state and nation issues. I recently granted an interview which was quite well read according to the sources I have spoken to. So I am in touch with the grassroots. I am a politician who is interested in contesting the

governorship election. So, I won’t tell you everything I do.

There is also the belief in many quarters that you are not youth-friendly and that the youths will not be accommodated in your administration if you become governor. How true is this?

Well, it depends on what youth-friendliness means. I have looked at the dictionary and I have not seen a phrase called ‘youth-friendly.’ So, I don’t know what they mean by it. But I have met some of the people who made the statement and they said what they mean is that I do not patronise secret cults and that I am not a member of the secret cults. Well, at my age I don’t need to be a member of a secret cult and I would not be a member of a secret cult and I will not patronise cultism.

Whoever is making that allegation is doing me a favour. But, if it is been friendly with young people, I can say I am very friendly with young people. I married at when I was 24 years old, and I had my first daughter when I was 25 years old. So, when I was 50 my daughter was already 25. And, I have been growing up with them. I am not like some people who married at 40 and they have a 10-year old first child at 50. I have grown up with my children and their friends. Anybody who knows me knows that my house is always filled up with young people at any particular time because of my children. So, if being ‘youth-friendly’ means cultism, they may be right because I don’t patronise cultism and I will never patronise it.

But if they mean being friendly with young people, then I can say I am very friendly with young people. The accusation that I am not youth-friendly came from my governor. He said the reason he couldn’t support me is because I am not youth-friendly. The question I will like to ask my governor is: Is he youth-friendly? How can the governor be youth-friendly and the youths are not employed? How can the governor be youth-friendly when literally 10 per cent of our youths are involved in crime, abducting people; armed robbery and all sorts of crime and then the governor is youth-friendly. And these children are there involved in all these crimes? How is he ensuring that these children are re-integrated into the society? So, I am not happy that anybody can make that kind of statement. If you have to make a comment about me, it is better you make a comment that sounds reasonable and intelligent.

What is your vision for a new Akwa Ibom State?

I don’t know whether there will be a new Akwa Ibom State or an old one. But I know that I have a document from which I intend to publish my views on how I would like to leave the state when I complete my tenure. Perhaps, that will be my vision. I don’t like all these catch-phrases like ‘Vision for a new Akwa Ibom.’ What is wrong with the old one? It is just a matter of telling stories to allow the system remain the same. But there are three issues that bother me. We have no health programme in Akwa Ibom State. We have no educational programme in the state, and we have no youth employment scheme. These are the things that bother me and these are the things I want to face. How do I ensure that children who have gone to school and have no employment are employed? And they must have quality education and

quality health. Our children are dying on the streets. Our women are delivering children on the vestries of churches because of lack of confidence in our medical sector. Our people are going to native doctors because there is no healthcare in the state. Not even the uncommon healthcare can solve the problem. We don’t have uncommon healthcare; uncommon education we don’t have.

But, what of the free and compulsory education programme of the Governor Akpabio’s administration?

When you have a teacher to 2,000 students? I don’t know how free and compulsory that type of education is.

What footprints do you want to leave behind as a politician?

I don’t have footprints for now.  I am still outside. When I step into the office of governor I would know the footprints I will leave behind.

-Daily Newswatch

E.X.P.O.S.ED! 2015 Election: Udom Takes Fetish Oath (Mbiam) To Protect Akpabio After Exit

15 Feb

By Usen Anietie.

Udom Emmanuel in a cult regalia ready to take a fetish oath (mbiam)

Udom Emmanuel in a cult regalia ready to take a fetish oath (mbiam)

Report has emerged that the Secretary to the Akwa Ibom State Government, Mr Udom Emmanuel was last week forced to take a local fetish oath known as mbiam to protect the Akwa Ibom State governor Chief Godswill Akpabio  from  prosecution, ranging from money laundry, political murders and abduction after his exit in May 29, 2015. The oath which was allegedly administered in Akpabio’s country home, Ukana in Essien Udom Local Government Area.

One of the witnesses who preferred anonymity said the ritual which took place in night inside Akpabio’s compound was witnessed by few members of the governor’s loyalist. “Of course, you know that the governor is hell-bent on installing someone whom he can trust and such trust must come from oath-taking. It is not a new issue. It is common with politicians not only in this state; such should not surprise you.” The witness said.

He revealed that the chief priest who administered the oath was brought from another state and his face was painted with charcoal and wore red garment may be to conceal his identity to avoid anyone to contact him thereafter.   He added that not only the SSG alone was given the oath; other five cabinet members equally took the oath with pledge of allegiance to support the SSG for gubernatorial seat. And that there was a concoction which went round for all who pledged the loyalty of working to ensure that the SSG becomes the governor. The concoction was a mixture of human blood, olive oil, raw animal parts and other things that do not worth for print.

The source maintained the main reason for administering the oath was based on the premise that Akpabio is scared of any judicial commission which might be set up to investigate the high scale of fraud, political assassination and kidnapping which Akpabio’s government has gained notoriety for. He expressed fear that the political killings and kidnapping which preceded the Akwa Ibom State general election in 2011 might be re-enacted to scare any opposing force against Akpabio wish.

“You see, the governor is concerned that after his departure, some of his for aids may turn to work against his interest. He therefore, wants to ensure that, he keeps someone whom he can trust, control and possibly gives the hands to govern the state by proxy for at least three to four years after his exit. Of course, you know he is desperate about that. That’s why he kicks out any body that he suspects might work strongly against his wish or interest. And don’t be surprised to see the resurgence of political kidnapping and killing taking place in the state again…” The informant ventured.

%d bloggers like this: