NIGERIA: STATE OF THE UNION

As we approached another election year come 2019  a lot of
permutations has been going on in the media  as to the possible
Presidential Candidates of the leading Political Parties and  ofcourse
the next President of Nigeria.
Let me start by saying that most of the criticisms some of us have
published about President Muhammadu Buhari in the last three years has
nothing to do with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)  Many of us
simply didn’t like the style of Administration of the President  but
in no way an acceptance of the PDP as an alternative.
The  PDP are only trying to be beneficiary of the criticism as they
have failed in their role as opposition Political Parties.
In 2014 prior to the 2015  General Elections I also published an
article criticizing then President Goodluck Jonathan’s  style of
leadership.  I condemned Jonathan for the poor handling of the Boko
Haram issue. He was always saying Boko Haram was not capable of
dividing the country, when they had almost divided the country at that
time.
I also condemned  the President then for not sacking his Interior
Minister ABBA Moro  under whose tenure  Marauders and Tuaregs  who ran
away from Libya entered the country unchecked.  I agree with President
Muhammadu Buhari on the point that  Terrorists from Libya were part of
the security challenges we have in the country today, but I believe he
could have also done more than he is doing now to change the situation
and call for foreign assistance.
Back to the topic of the day on the state of the Nigeria Union as of
today.  Many will recall that about three years ago a telephone
discussion  between Governor of Borno state Alhaji Shetima  and his
Ogun state counterpart  Ibikunle Amosun  went viral on the social
media. I still remember two important issues on that discussion  which
the Borno state governor raised on the conversation which are already
playing out now.
The  first was that Alhaji Shettima (referred to as THE ALHAJI  )
told the Ogun state governor (referred to as KUNLE)  that the North
will cripple Igbo Pharmaceutical (drug)  business in the North,  he
said Igbos do business in the North and control  drug business in the
North but are ungrateful to the North  by  refusing  to vote for
Buhari  whom he described as a Northern  candidate in the 2015
Presidential election.
The second point raised by the ALHAJI was that the North did not trust
Rotimi Amaechi and Rochas Okorocha as a trusted ally in the All
Progressives Congress (APC)  promising that they would be dealt with
at the appropriate time.
NOW WHAT THE ALHAJI SAID THREE YEARS AGO IS NOW HAPPENING TODAY.  On
the issue of destroying  Igbo drug business  how else  would any
sensible mind  describe the closure of EMZOR PHARMACEUTICAL BY  NAFDAG
(FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA)  owned by an Igbo woman on the
production of CODEINE  if not punishment.
CODEINE  is not a banned  drug in Nigeria it is not an illegal
substance. It is just one of the substances used in the production of
cough syrup  which is distributed across the country.  If  Northern
youths take overdose of it and it makes them high, why punish the
manufacturer. Northern leaders should have a way of Educating their
youths either in schools, Mosques, etc on the dangers of  drug abuse
instead of punishing the Manufacturer for producing a substance that
is healthy for our health system if properly used.
There are so many other things that make youths high.  Inhaling
Petrol is one of them and I have not heard Federal Government ban
production of Petrol in the country.
Cigarette  is dangerous to health. Infact in every pack of cigarette
there is an inscription that’ Cigarette smoking is dangerous to
health’  AND  another  inscription that  ‘cigarette smokers are liable
to die young’,  but  Nigeria has not banned or closed down  production
of cigarette. Infact one of the much taunted achievements of former
President  Olusegun Obasanjo  in office was the  citing of  cigarette
company  BENSON AND HEDGES in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital  despite
the danger in  cigarette smoking .
The same BBC came up with a report last month about a dangerous
substance  added to Coca-Cola in Nigeria, a substance already banned
in the United Kingdom. Up till now we have not heard of closure of
Coca Cola in Nigeria by  NAFDAC.
ON the second issue of the APC not trusting former governor of Rivers
state  Rotimi Amaechi  and  current  governor of Imo state, is already
manifesting.
Governor Rochas lost out completely in the  APC ward congress
concluded last weekend across the country. He ran to President
Muhammadu Buhari for help to cancel the congress in the state but to
no avail.  Rochas  does not know that there is a grand design by the
powers that be to disgrace him out of APC.
THE  same goes to the former Rivers state governor Chubuike Rotimi
Amaechi whom the ALHAJI said they do not trust.  Amaechi was one of
the then  NPDP  members that left PDP for the APC  in 2015, they have
now given  warning to the APC that they would leave  the party if the
current marginalization against them is not checked.
Amaechi  is currently parading himself as the Director General of
Buhari  Presidential campaign. This  was the position that was given
to him in 2015 Presidential campaign, but that was because he was the
governor of  Rivers state one of the richest states in Nigeria and
they needed the state money for campaign.  They made some promises to
him that time, which they are yet to fulfil, first they promised him
Vice President  but was beaten to it, secondly they promised him
Secretary to the  Government of the Federation  and again he lost out.
It has not occurred to him that he had been used and dumped and that
he is no longer needed.
In 2015  APC  needed  Rivers money to  fund their  campaign, which he
provided, now the party controlled  about  26 states  and the Federal
Government.  So he has no money to give to the party and he cannot
spend his private money.
He has therefore decided to use his position to intimidate and
threaten Federal Government institutions  domiciled in the Niger Delta
to raise money for him.
The  former  Coordinator of the Niger Delta Amnesty Programme and SA
to the President on Amnesty  Brig General  Paul Boroh rtd  told some
of his close associates that the  Minister of Transportation Rotimi
Amaechi  was responsible for his ordeal and sack.
If you go to NDDC office now Port Harcourt  nothing is going on there
because of Politics.  The  struggle for power and money  between
Rotimi Amaechi and Senator Magnus ABE is crippling the place. And many
others like that.
Now Mr Amaechi is going to have more problems if President Muhammadu
Buhari has his way in making former Edo state governor  Adams
Oshiomhole National Chairman of the APC. I believe  Buhari and  most
of the governor’s in the North including APC leader  Bola Ahmed Tinubu
will more likely work more with Oshiomhole than Amaechi. They will
also more likely trust him with campaign funds.
Just as I said at the beginning  the criticism of President Muhammadu
Buhari  in  office is about his leadership style which his allies
continue to deceive the public that it was an opposition against
Northern President. It’s a fraudulent claim,  because if you looked
at the possible replacement for Buhari  even from among his opponents
and critics in the South East and South South, they still tipped
people and even Fulanis  to replace him. So the attack is not against
the North or Fulani but against Buhari.
So far the most popular candidate in the South South and South East to
take over from Buhari remains  former  Vice President Atiku Abubakar
and Sokoto state governor  Alhaji  Aminu  Tambuwal.  To  some anybody
but Buhari is okay.
If I have my way I will still support Muhammadu Buhari for second
term. This is because I still believe we still have to punish the PDP
for its impunity despite the apology tendered.
What I want Buhari to do is to ensure that he complete the second
Niger bridge, complete the ongoing Enugu/Port Harcourt road,
Onitsha/Awka road, East/West road, Ogoni cleanup,  dredge Onitsha
port, Oguta port, force  all oil companies operating in the Niger
Delta to return their head office back to the Niger Delta from  Lagos,
return the Presidential Amnesty office from  Abuja to the Niger Delta.
He should also  move against some of his aides  who try to impugn
tribal and Religious coloration to his Presidency, forgive those who
didn’t vote for him in 2015. The Nation must move on.
On the security issue especially Boko Haram and the Fulani herdsmen he
must come clean and convince Nigerians that  it is not part of the
campaign to Islamise the country.  I believe he knows what to do to
make them drop their arms, those who had been involved in bombing,
killing people, killing our Military men,  turning Nigerians children
into  orphans, women into widows  must be punished.  They  don’t

Post source : VINCENT EGUNYANGA A PUBLIC AFFAIRS ANALYST WRITES FROM NIGERIA.

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