Connect with us

Nigeria

ANALYSIS: Soludo’s Transition Team Speaks to His Political Agenda

Published

on

Obviously, the appointment of members of opposition political parties is not an oversight or an error. It is a deliberate effort that makes a bold statement to the effect of giving a hint of the incoming governor’s ambitious political roadmap.

AWKA — A careful consideration of the just-released Transition Team of Anambra State Governor-Elect, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo reveals, among other things, his scope of interest in state, regional and national politics. Soludo who rode on the back of the All Progressives Grand Alliance –APGA, a party considered by many as the political vehicle of the Southeast region, appears to have made a bold statement on where he stands with the future of APGA and Southeast, moving forward.

The Transition Team chaired by Dr. Oby Ezekwesili who although has never been part of Anambra State politics or governance before, even as she has a reputation of forthrightness; has members drawn from diverse political backgrounds. For instance, the Director-General of the People’s Democratic Party –PDP governorship campaign in the November 2021 governorship election, Dr. Alex Obiogbolu, is a member of the team. Although Dr. Obiogbolu had resigned his membership of the PDP only days ago. Chief Osita Chidoka is a known quantity and one of the most influential figures in his age bracket in Anambra State. Chidoka is a member of the PDP and as of today, he is still a PDP member and a critical stakeholder of his party in Anambra and at the national level. There are other members of other political parties whose names are in the transition team which Prof. Soludo himself put together. So it is clear that the choice of members of opposition political parties in the transition team is a pointer to an agenda.

Obviously, the appointment of members of opposition political parties is not an oversight or an error. It is a deliberate effort that makes a bold statement to the effect of giving a hint of the incoming governor’s ambitious political roadmap. Although, understandably, Governor-Elect Prof. Soludo is of APGA but no longer of APGA alone because he is to govern Anambra state, not a political party. Viewed from this prism, it may altogether appear all innocent that certain names found their way into the transition team, but that is far from the truth. Politics by nature is divisive although this division cannot always be toxic, there is always a clear line of distinction which says ‘we don’t belong together. No matter how developed our politics eventually becomes, there will continue to be this clear distinction and it will always be there except we become a one-party state, or for the sake of regional political consensus in which members of the opposition have to align to build a strong regional political force.

The decision of who becomes a member of the Transition Team is one that was taken by the meticulous Prof. Soludo and for each member of that team; there is a purpose for which he or she was selected. In practical terms, what this says is that Prof. Soludo has the interest to rebuild APGA so that it will be a reflection of its true identity. What he has done is to send out an open invitation to politicians who have something to offer but are currently scattered in different political parties, that there is a chance for them in APGA. But if we consider the flip side, the message might be a little different. Perhaps, sending the message that Anambra is bigger than partisan politics or that he is creating a new political frontier that is party-blind.

Whatever this may be exactly, in the end, a political party will still be needed to drive home this agenda and in which instance it is either APGA or another party. But we do know that as presently constituted, APGA cannot push such an agenda without a major shift which will naturally involve an open invitation to formidable political characters in other parties for a joint political force.

From the list, it can be seen that some of the members are drawn from different Southeast states of Abia, Imo, among others. Why is it important to have people from other Southeast states in the Transition Team? Here again, it is clear what Prof. Soludo intends to do upon assumption of office. Apparently, Soludo wants to work towards making APGA a regional political party with which to negotiate at the centre. This has always been the vision behind APGA but for sixteen years, former governor Peter Obi and governor Willie Obiano could not articulate this vision clearly much less move towards its realization.

In the last election cycle, Imo state came very close to being picked by APGA but the bizarre political brigandage that characterized the entire process in which party people who were aspiring to public offices were brazenly ripped off, marred APGA’s chances. Without sounding overly excited or affirmative on the basis of a mere idea, the truth of the matter however is that Prof. Soludo will very unlikely entertain such opprobrium that marred APGA’s chances in Imo and all over in 2019.

Looking at how the transition team is constituted, it is perceptible that Soludo’s political agenda hinges on a stronger APGA in Anambra state. But even beyond Anambra state, the incoming governor appears determined to position APGA as a key regional player which has always been the idea behind the argument for an ‘Igbo party’ which APGA has come to fully represent.

Lifestyle

In memory of my brother, Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru —Archbishop Emeka Agwu

Published

on

In Loving Memorial Of Late COAS, Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru, Chief Of Army Staff, Nigerian Army

Life itself is futile in several respects, but made plausible by the rectitude exercised by veritable men, such as you were among us. Today, we recount your attributes with gleeful hearts; yet, with sincere pain in our hearts we thank God profusely because a conqueror is reckoned amongst us, one that overcame the oddities of this life and triumphed over its inordinate allurements to the realm above.

Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru, a friend, but a brother, my wife and I went through enormous grief when we received the news of your sudden departure, especially after we learnt the circumstance that orchestrated your painful exit. The light of joy we had always experienced in our relationship with you was extinguished, just like a candle in the wind; and we went into pensive mood, recalling with nostalgia the times we spent together, and the unforgettable moments of communal fraternity.

We would not forget your resourcefulness and resilience, and your unalloyed pursuit for peace, mutual respectability, love, and enduring tenderness towards the people. We were witnesses to your profound humility, eschewing bitterness in circumstances that mean men would vent their anger, given their place and status such as you occupied variously in your lifetime. For this, we revere you.

You adorned your dispositions with utmost gentleness, such that people who knew you too well were encouraged that in our time, one still lived that was as harmless as a dove. You were indeed meek beyond measure, and such is one of the salient identities of astutely disciplined minds. Your quiet mien, reconciliatory approach to vexed issues, diligence, sensitivity to the wellbeing of others, disinterestedness in earthly acclaim, and continual quest for oneness and unity of purpose are some of the salient attributes you possessed, for which you were known, and for which you would always be remembered. You wore integrity as a garment, kindness radiated from your heart like the rising early morning sun. For these and many more, we thank God immensely for granting among us, such a rare gem as you were. You would be remembered always, especially within the military circle of the Nigerian army, but more so amongst people who knew you too well.

Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru, you were called to duty as Chief of Army Staff. You nursed in your heart the necessity to reposition the Nigerian Army. You had the revered purpose of entrenching professionalism in the Nigerian army. You were poised to foster integrity as a culture within the ranks and file. Again, it was utmost in your agenda to scuttle insurgency and create again a peaceful Nigerian State where everyone would be safe. You yearned for a detribalised Nigerian nation where everyone is welcome everywhere, and accommodated warmly, irrespective of tribe, ethnicity, or any other untoward inclination.

In some of our conversations, you were worried about the future of the Nigerian child, and the economic imbalances that have grossly derailed the wholesomeness of the family unit. You looked up to a time when the womenfolk would be suitably empowered in diverse ways to function appropriately in their God-given role as home makers and builders in no little dimensions, and by extension, help in remodelling the Nigerian society. Furthermore, you craved for such a time when we would have a beautiful Nigeria to which Nigerians in diaspora would return, as their motherland and be glad that they have a country they could call home.

You were charitable in several respects; and those who came to you went away rejoicing often times. You did not know how to send them away empty-handed. It was not in your character. People who knew you with this attribute will always adore you still.

You detested nepotism, sectionalism of all sorts, and you decried religious intolerance. It was your unalloyed wish that Nigerians should love and care for one another in oneness of heart and spirit.

Beloved, we are pained in our hearts still; and probably, this wound would be hard to heal. However, what can one say or now, especially when all ill is done. The ill-fated plane crash of May 21, 2021 took all our calm away. Now we are distraught, and only God can heal the wound in our hearts.

We pray God to grant my beloved one! Continues Rest in perfect peace.

Archbishop (Dr) Emeka Agwu is the general overseer of Houston-based Voice of Evangelism International

Continue Reading

Nigeria

Winning A Delegate Election in Nigeria—A Critical Look

Published

on

Those who have won delegate elections in Nigeria over the last 2 decades fall into the following categories:

  1. Those backed by an incumbent government at national or state levels.
  2. In the absence of a incumbent FG; those who are supported by a majority of “Super Stakeholders”. These include sitting state governors, fmr governors & leaders in states where no sitting governors exist.
  3. Aspirants who are able to dispense stupendous financial resources.

In the absence of an incumbent FG, a very rich aspirant can prevail against scenario “2 above.

*Delegate elections are devoid of conscience, rational thinking, patriotism or the principle of right or wrong.*

From my many years of experience, 70 to 80% of delegates vote along with the dictates of their leaders. It has nothing to do most often with their personal convictions.

WHY IS THIS SO?

It is so because at the end of the convention everyone returns to his state. If at the convention you refused to toe the line, most assuredly you are likely to pay for it and certainly you will not be a delegate in the next election …and so will many perks and privileges elude you in your state.

This is not restricted to ordinary delegates alone. Even if you were a former minister or senator or whatever, once you fail to align with party directives, be ready for sanctions from the powers that be within the party in your state.

INFLUENCE OF MONEY

This is a very interesting and intricate matter.

*Money in some cases may be the ultimate deciding factor. And in other situations where group or regional interest is crucial and compelling, it may be of little consequence.*

*But without money or with an offer considerably much lower than the leading contender financially, the poorer aspirant irrespective of pedigree, competence or suitability, may have no chance of winning at all.*

Mischievously, and quite treacherously, the new trend is that each state delegation collects monies from all the aspirants and thereafter do one of to things.

  1. They still vote for the aspirant they had decided on from home based on several considerations, or
  2. Divide their votes pro rata in accordance to how the aspirants have faired financially.

In the last PDP convention in Port Harcourt in 2019, most delegates went home with between $8000 & $10,000.

This year, the figures are bound to be higher. The big spenders are prepared to go as far as $10,000 per delegate.

As I write this piece, a delegate election to elect the state assembly member for my local government is underway. Information reaching me from the venue is that one of the two contestant is offering N200,000 per delegate while the other has offered N150,000.

We have 10 wards and 3 delegates per ward. That is, each aspirant will today dispense N6m for this delegate election!!!

Let no one fool you. This is what goes on nationwide and in all parties. Only the stakes differ. This practice is not sustainable and is inconsistent with a progressive democratic developmental growth.

♦ Doyin Okupe was senior special assistant on public affairs to Goodluck Jonathan

 

Continue Reading

News

Breaking: Nigerian Jubilate as President Buhari signs amended electoral act

Published

on

Signature provide a place in the law for statutory delegates of political parties to vote during their congresses and conventions

Nigerians familiar with thee political trends surrounding an upcoming general elections are excited as the president, Muhammadu Buhari signed a much awaited  amendment to the electoral act. This mark of approval is coming just as the party conventions are less than two weeks away.

The amended electoral act which has been a bone of contention for a while now as the House of Representatives, Senate and other politicians has been urging the president to sign it in order to avert crisis was signed noon day today, the 21st of May.

The amendment was swiftly done to legally provide a place in the law for statutory delegates of political parties to vote during their congresses and conventions will indeed do a lot of good for the upcoming general elections.

Continue Reading

Trending

%d bloggers like this: