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NGF Crisis: President Jonathan’s Costly Mistake.

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The Nigeria Governor’s Forum (NGF) has grown over the years to become a most potent pressure group comprising democratically elected governors in Nigeria.

Decisions from the forum had always been respected and celebrated across the broad spectrum of political leanings in the country and even outside Nigeria’s shores especially with some dynamic leaderships the forum had witnessed in times past.

Then things fell apart. Some aides and confidants of President Goodluck Jonathan impressed it upon him that Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi was not loyal to the President. That Rotimi was interested in becoming the Vice President on a joint ticket with Suleman Lamido of Jigawa State. That Amaechi has been disrespectful to the First Lady and so on……That the President must do something about Governor Rotimi Amaechi and the NGF that he was leading before both turned out to be the President’s albatross in the year 2015.

Many things were done and attempted to be done against Oluwarotimi. His Rivers State aircraft was grounded, attempted (real or imagined) were made to get him impeached. Governor Akpabio was brought in to head a newly created PDP Governor’s Forum and eventually Governor Rotimi Amaechi was suspended from the political party PDP where he was also a member of the National Working Committee.

Nevertheless, the NGF election was held; then Oluwarotimi scored 19 votes to beat sleeping Jonah Jacobite’s group who had 16 votes. Next was the unfortunate declaration by Jonah Jang that he won the election, his faction opened a new NGF office and visited Jonathan who received Jang and other Governors who had failed to impose Jang, the generally unacceptable leader of the NGF.

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The NGF election was instructive in some many respects. It was conducted under a President who covertly was interested in the outcome. It was done by governors in Nigeria who have the electoral mandates and to a very large extent, the electoral minds of their people. The process, though democratic, the result was annulled, 20 years after M.K.O Abiola suffered the same fate.

Many Nigerian leaders are bad students of Nigeria’s Political History. President Jonathan shot himself in the leg and wounded the North more. Before the election, the leader of the Northern Governor’s Forum, Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu said emphatically that, Amaechi was their choice and that Jonathan agreed to a single term tenure with the North.

Predictably, what was the result of the 2015 Presidential Election, when Jonathan in PDP forced himself to contest? Obviously, it was 19 States against Jonathan’s 16 States, even if the APC, has not succeeded to gain more States and sitting Governors then. The question then was who are the people fooling the President? What and who will he use for re-election as President? Is it performance on power, security, the country’s corruption index, level of unemployment, Asari Dokunbo or Anenih who cannot win elections in their own States.

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Moreover, the man who foisted him on Nigeria has said he had found a replacement after his (Jonathan’s mentor) heart in Lamido. Majority of Tambuwwal’s progressive members in the House of Representatives worked against Jonathan in 2015. While Ibrahim Babangida, Buhari, Tinubu, Okorocha, Kwankwaso and Wamakko openly opposed his ambition.

Whoever advised Jonathan to be interested in the NGF elections or to welcome Jang Caucus in Aso Rock did great damage to the goodluck of Mr. President. Like his predecessor Musa Yaradua was doing, he could have recognized the result of that election, congratulated Amaechi and let the sleeping dog lie.

The former President of Africa’s most populous country could state manly demystify the NGF, later, effectively, if he so wishes.

If the President observed, many of his aides did not defend the visit of Jang’s caucus to the President as they did not when he welcomed Nigerians into a new year with removal of fuel subsidy few years back.

Those Nigerians who Jonathan saw during those protests against the removal of oil subsidy in 2012 waited for the elections in 2015.

Jonathan could ask Babangida that if he had opportunity again, would he annul a validly conducted election in Nigeria or Obasanjo whether he would ever toy with the idea of third term agenda with Nigerians when they say no.

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Jonathan finally got his rest after 2015 and Nigeria a change from Ebeleism. With patience, he had goodluck. If I were him then, I will start planning for rest before he was compulsorily rested. The massively angered Nigerians did not buy into the story that he “once had no shoes”.

And the resilience of Nigeria made it survive as a nation after the elections in 2015. Elections was held, it was successful in many parts of Nigeria. However, the sayings of the wise is relevant here “those who make peaceful change impossible, can make violent change inevitable”.

 

By Idowu Ayodele.

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Politics

2023 Presidency: Tinubu’s ambition gets boost, as Ooni, Ataoja okay bid to succeed Buhari

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Former governor of Lagos state and the national leader of the All Progressives Congress, (APC), Mr. Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s presidential ambition on Monday got another boost as two prominent Yoruba monarchs endorsed the aspiration.

The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi and Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Olanipekun, described the former Lagos state gaffer, Tinubu as someone who is prepared for any task.

The custodians of culture stated this  when South West Agenda, SWAGA, a pro-Tinubu for president movement visited them separately in Ile-Ife and Osogbo respectively.

According to Ooni Ogunwusi, the reported ambition of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is a good signal for the Yoruba race, adding that such lofty dream could only be realized through unity.

He counseled politicians promoting Tinubu to deploy wisdom and avoid arbitrary use of power.

“Asiwaju Tinubu is a very great descendant of Oduduwa. He’s such a unique Yoruba son and we are always proud of him. He is popular and known for uprightness.

“But first, I want to challenge all politicians here this afternoon to first go and work on yourselves, you must be United if you are indeed for the Yoruba race. It is you people that form political parties, change from one party to another among other things.

“With all that said, I want you to know that many will rise with similar interest and it is allowed. I implore you and your principal to deploy wisdom not power so that we will all be on the same page.

“We Yorubas are Omoluabis and I want you all to know that everything is not politics. With these in mind, it shall be well with us and we are good to go,” Ooni advised.

Earlier, Oba Olanipekun lauded Tinubu for his ability to empower people who are around him, saying that it was time for Asiwaju to contest.

The monarch said, “Asiwaju has assisted a lot of people to their destination. It is now time for him. No doubt, he has the capacity. He listens and that, for me, is a plus. I am closer to him than you think. But since 2019 when he came here for campaign, I have neither gone near Lagos nor visit him.”

SWAGA chairman, Senator Dayo Adeyeye, while speaking at the palaces, informed that the visit was to seek the spiritual blessings of the monarchs.

“Kabiyesi, this is the highest throne in Yorubaland and Ile-Ife is the town that gave birth to all the entire Yoruba race. We have come here today seek your blessings and support towards the actualization of having a Yoruba man as the next president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2023. In this quest, we have found Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu worthy and that is why we have embarked on this assignment even without being sent.

“We Yorubas must unite ourselves to realize this and not make ourselves tools in the hands of those who might be willing to divide us against ourselves. SWAGA is well known to almost everyone in the country including those from other parts who have declared support for the movement.”

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Oyo APC women stakeholders mobilise for party’s membership registration

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Women stakeholders in the Oyo state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have resolved to mobilize all existing and prospective members to participate in Party’s forthcoming nationwide membership registration and revalidation exercise billed for January 25, 2021.

Rising from a stakeholders meeting held at the Oke-Ado, Ibadan State Secretariat of the APC on Monday and attended by women executive committee members, party chieftains, serving and former elected lawmakers, former political appointees and faithful, Oyo APC women expressed their readiness to support the exercise which, according to them, would send the signal to the world that APC remained the party to  beat in the state come 2023.

In her welcome address, the Oyo APC Caretaker Woman Leader, Mrs Mabel Williams, charged those in attendance to do all that was necessary to encourage old members of the party to revalidate their membership as required and also mobilize all residents across the state to register as new members with a view to accommodating all willing patriots wishing to contribute their quota to the cause of democracy and nation building.

“Women have always been at the forefront when it comes to mobilization of people, electioneering campaigns and promotion of the ideals within the Progressive fold. This time, we would do more to maximize the gains for our great party and also give hope to the people of the state who are currently suffering in the hands of the current PDP administration. We shall take the gospel to all the nooks and crannies of the state to ensure that Oyo APC’s membership population rise to, at least, 2.5 million”,  Mrs Williams said.

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In her remarks, the former Head of Service and a stalwart of the party in the state, Mrs Hannah Olawumi Ogunesan, observed that it was time for all leaders and members of Oyo APC to sheathe their sword and give a room for genuine reconciliation among themselves.

“We must all bury the hatchet and embrace one another as members of the same Progressive family. As women, we are agents of peace and tranquillity. So, we must spare no efforts to preach peace and harmony at all times”.

A serving member of the State House of Assembly representing Ogbomoso North Constituency, Hon. Wumi Oladeji, in her own address at the meeting, also charged those in attendance to go all out and encourage people at the grassroots to keep faith with the party as doing so “would guarantee the quick realisation of the dream to make the Pacesetter state great again”.

Notable party faithful at the meeting are the representatives of former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Folake Olunloyo-Oshinowo and a former Senatorial candidate in Oyo South, Chief (Mrs) Olanrewaju Otiti. Others include; Mrs Toyin Ajibade (deputy state woman leader), Taiwo Moteleola (Oyo South Senatorial woman leader), Mrs Juliannah Ajuwon (Oyo North Senatorial woman leader) as well as all the Woman Leaders in the 33 local government areas of the state.

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2023: Ex -Osun governor, Akande promises to consult Yoruba leaders over Tinubu’s presidency

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A former governor of Osun state, Chief Bisi Akande has promised to consult with the Yoruba leaders over the presidential ambition of Mr. Bola Tinubu.

Akande, who receives in courtesy visit delegation of South West Agenda for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (SWAGA) led by Senator Dayo Adeyeye on Sunday lauded the effort of the group.

He promised to  deliver SWAGA’s message calling on Tinubu to throw his hat into the ring for the 2023 presidency to all the Yoruba leaders in the region.

According to the elder statesman, it is the turn of South to succeed  President Muhammadu Buhari, declaring that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu from the South-west, is the best man for the job .

The group later visited Alhaji Adegboyega Oyetola, the Osun state governor.

Coordinators from Lagos, Oyo, Osun, Ekiti, Ogun, Ondo states were  also part of the entourage.

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