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
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
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
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