Afe Babalola: Nigerians must reject moneybags this time – Obi
For the umpteenth times, Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), on Thursday, urged the Nigerian people to reject moneybag politicians in the February 25 election, saying: “Moneybags have played a lot of roles but they brought us to poverty.”
Channels Television, quotes the former Governor of Anambra State, who was in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, on his presidential campaign, was reacting to comments by legal luminary, Afe Babalola who said the election would go to the highest bidder and not the best among the candidates.
Obi, however said: “It is time to reject them (moneybags). I am pleading for Nigerians to reject them because they cannot continue. If they continue, we are going to be impoverished, urging Nigerians to shun ethnic and religious sentiments in voting during the forthcoming presidential election.
Stating that he remained the most qualified of the 18 candidates jostling for the top Aso Rock job and promised to provide jobs for youths, he said Nigerians must brace up to take back their country from the old order that had impoverished them.
Obi’s, whose quest for the nation’s number one job, had gotten a boost from the likes of former President Olusegun Obasanjo; leader of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Edwin Clark; as well as nonagenarian leader of pan Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, Ayo Adebanjo, who all endorsed him for the position, had also been put ahead of other candidates in many pre-election polls of late, is popularly amongst youths who yearn for genuine national change but only time will tell the winner of the February 25 election.
INEC, Yakubu should be recognised for breaking world record with 2023 election – Okonkwo
Kenthe Okonkwo, spokesperson of the Labour Party (LP) and Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Council (ODPCC), in the 2023 election has given a new title to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of the worst electoral body in the world.
Okonkwo a renowned actor and lawyer, currently in the legal team of Obi and the LP, at the Court of Appeal Abuja, presently sitting as the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT), hearing petitions against the declaration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu as winner of the February 25 presidential election, came to the conclusion against the backdrop of the outcomes of the proceedings in court.
He was particularly scandalised that INEC is attempting deny documents it was said to have issued to Obi and LP, one of the three petitioners challenging Tinubu’s victory, even as he has since been inaugurated as the 16th President of Nigeria and already working in the capacity of Nigerian first citizen.
Using his known Twitter handle, Okonkwo, who regularly gives update on the proceedings in court, wrote: “We are back today again at the Presidential Election Petition Court (COA) for the continuation of our Petition. “I can confidently say that INEC, under Prof Yakubu Mahmood, has broken the Guinness world record as the worst electoral commission on planet earth. How can INEC stand up in court to say, “Mi Lord, I object to the tendering of INEC’S certified true copies of the election results.
“This institution is becoming an international embarrassment to Nigeria. I have never seen where an organisation, which by law ought to be neutral, is shamelessly objecting to its own documents, just to please some quarters. Well, God is in control and we put our trust in Him.”
Now that Labour has been defeated!
The little hope Nigerians had about any form of respite from the vice grip of a merciless cabal operating in the country as a government, has finally evaporated. Early in the evening of Monday, June 5, 2023, news filtered in that the strike action called by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the concomitant protests thereof to challenge the sudden hike in the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol, had been called off.
By later that night, the news was confirmed by Femi Gbajabiamila, Chief of Staff (CoS) to President Bola Tinubu, who went on to reveal, what he said was a set of agreements entered into by the NLC, which was joined by the Trade Union Congress (TUC), which was previously absent, but had to rush in later that evening.
In fact, there was a kind of uncanny drama that followed the entire sequence to Monday’s meeting. On Sunday, June 4, the TUC was at the same meeting at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, with the NLC vehemently denouncing the parley. In fact at the time the Sunday meeting was going on, Joe Ajaero, NLC President, was on Arise Television, swearing before his host that the main workers’ union would not return to the table for talks with anybody on the subsidy matter until the old prices were reverted to.
Then, on Monday, it was the turn of the TUC to be absent. Nobody knew why. Festus Osifo, the President, had told reporters after the Sunday meeting as leader of his team that the union for the senior staff in the public service, had also handed down a set of demands to the government, among which was a reversion to the old price and to be followed by a proposal for increase in the wages of workers.
It would take some keen, discerning observer to see something strange in the behaviour of the labour leaders or at least suspect that much. But the meaning might not register quickly for the uninitiated or a non-follower of the activities of labour unions in the recent past. An smart follower, would have discover the pattern long before the drama got on the way proper.
What is more, a casual glance would expose labour more as an accomplice in the handing of Nigerians the short end of the stick, over the decades, since the end of the era of the genuine leaders actually fought with their full chest out for the welfare of workers and the ordinary man in the Nigerian street.
As much as 1993, during the June 12 struggle, Nigerians who had relied on the same labour to retrieve their mandate, which was handed to the late Moshood Kashimawo Olawale (MKO), Abiola, suddenly discovered that they were clutching on mere straws when the NLC under the late Paschal Bafyau, dumped the agitation and practically went into bed with the military government at that time, including Sani Abacha, arguably the most despotic leader ever witnessed in Nigeria.
Since then, others after that era in upping the ante, established a certain pattern, which became emblematic of the Adams Oshiomhole era. It took a dimension in hoodwinking Nigerians to believe that the solidarity songs, the street protests and the sit-at-homes initiated were for them, when indeed, they were actually some well-choreographed activities to ride on their backs to feather their own nests.
Figure out the Oshimhole of those days and the one who now lives in a mansion said to be one of the wonders of Nigeria – built on a vast acreage of land with with artificial lake and swimming pool on the rooftop, to understand your true standing with those who have since taken over where he stopped.
It is even instructive that we’ve started hearing about strikes again in the period of Ajaero and Tinubu. During the eight-year period of President Muhammadu Buhari, when Ayuba Wabba, was in charge, the word seemed to have disappeared. That was why the government got away from blue murder with the way it related to Nigerians.
For all it is worth the said meeting said it agreed to establish a joint committee to review the proposal for “any wage increase or award and establish a framework and timeline for implementation,” and for the federal government, the TUC and the NLC to review the World Bank-financed cash transfer scheme and propose the inclusion of low-income earners in the programme.
It was also agreed that the federal government and organised labour would revive the Condensed Natural Gas (CNG) conversion programme earlier agreed with Labor centres in 2021 and work out detailed implementation and timing and to review issues hindering effective delivery in the education sector and propose solutions for implementation as well as look into and establish the framework for completion of the rehabilitation of the nation’s refineries, as well as for the federal government to provide a framework for the maintenance of roads and the expansion of rail networks across the country.
Now try and make sense out of it if you could. But even an imbecile knows that this is clearly an obvious joke. For all you know the same people who came out with the funny document they call agreement, would be on the issue of a new minimum wage for the next two years at the end of which they may come out with an addition of a paltry N10,000 extra to up it from the current N30,000.
They could not even push to reduce the PMS price by a kobo as the Oshiomholes used to do, when they would sneak in at night to fix the price with the government, come out in the morning to shout, then return in the afternoon to “negotiate” and in the evening, announce the actual figure they had already known all along.
No, even that drama that served as some kind of elixir and a balm to soothe the wounds of Nigerians, has also become a sort of luxury. What about the talk about local refineries? That demand too, which the NLC and TUC insisted as a sine qua non, and condition precedent for the removal of the so-called subsidy, has obviously died a natural death.
But wait for it. In the next few weeks when the appointments would start in earnest, check what the lucky ones would go home with. Of course by now, orders must have been placed for the latest makes of brand new vehicles that would roll out of factories in Japan or Europe – the real guzzlers of the nation’s resources.
Watch as each of the would-be ministers are escorted home with at least five of such vehicles, fuelled, of course at the expenses of the same government that has no money. Watch the sudden transformation that would come to them and their family members.
Watch as the other appointees and those close to the corridors of power spend money as if it is going out of fashion. Nobody would remember subsidy then. Nobody would tell you that government is broke.
That is when you realise that the Nigeria they envisage is not for you. If by now you have not realised what ‘state capture’ is all about, watch what would happen in the coming months and years. Nigeria is permanently cornered in such a way that citizens have nowhere to run.
You’ve seen how the judiciary has been used to stop the proposed strike even before it took off. Do you go to the street for protest? The same police and army, who have been complaining more than you about the hardship in the land, would all be too glad to shoot you, because that is the only means of letting off some pent-up anger or assuage the feeling of self-importance.
The media? Deadend as well. The last few days, would have shown that that road has been sealed as well, because either by default or deliberately, or for obvious reason, that road seems closed. The same media that are supposed to ask critical questions seem sold on the single story. If all you hear now even from such a critical sector that ought to be the last hope of the common man is that subsidy is a taboo, where else would you go?
So, in the end, it is what it is. Millions of Nigerians will suffer, millions more will die – of hunger, of disease, of suicide. Tragedy.
BREAKING: Tinubu names Akume, former Benue Governor, SGF, confirms Gbajabiamila, Chief of Staff
President Bola Tinubu, on Friday, unveiled George Akuke, as the new Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), replacing Boss Mustapha, the last in that office in the government of Muhammadu Buhari.
The new development, was revealed in a statement on Friday by State House Director of Information, Abiodun Oladunjoye, who also informed that the President, also named Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House of Representatives, as Chief of Staff and former Deputy Governor of Jigawa, Ibrahim Hadejia, as Deputy Chief of Staff, respectively.
“President Bola Ahmed Tinubu Friday in Abuja announced the appointment of Speaker of House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila as Chief of Staff, and Sen. Ibrahim Hassan Hadejia, a former Deputy Governor of Jigawa State, as Deputy Chief of Staff.
Akume, who was former Governor of Benue State, later went to the Senate and later served as Minister of Special Duties, in Buhari’s government, before his new portfolio, which was announced shortly after Tinubu’s meeting with governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Prior to the announcement of the three new appointments, Ambassador Victor Adelek had been appointed the State Chief of Protocol (SCoP) and has since assumed office.
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