PAIN OF MOTHERHOOD
TEARS OF SUPPLICATION
HEART OF FORGIVENESS
MELODY OF INTEGRITY
SHOW OF RESILIENCE
QUEEN TO HER HUBBY
SILIENCE OF EFFECTUAL PRAYERS
EYES OF WISDOM
BEAUTY IN ATTITUDE
DESCRIPTION BEYOND SPEECH
IDOL TO HER SON
MODEL TO HER DAUGHTERS
MY goddess SHE IS.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ADENIKE AKINNIKE.
- She is the least read among her sibling but she gave and sacrificed all to help 2 out of 4 of her siblings to become graduates. She did this through salary she got has a house girl sleeping under the stair-case when she arrived Lagos.
- She had been a victim of love before she met my father the love of her life. She got married in court to a man who needed certificate of marriage to get a visa to travel without knowing it.
- She learned knitting in her twenties reluctantly because her grandfather told to. Knitting paid our school fees after my father died.
- She was a devoted catholic before she turned Pentecostal Apostolic. My mum has a deep love for her catholic background and became Pentecostal Apostolic because of the love and care my God father and Mother; Pastor (DR) M.F. Olumbo showed her after her purported husband escaped.
- My mum washed toilet as a service to God when she was barren. My mum has to wait 8 years after her first issue. I was told she cried because she was scorned by many for having 8 years delay. Infact, she was almost raped by an elder in church and another elder proposed extramarital affair to help her out of her challenge. She conceived after many prayers and cleaning the church toilets.
- My mum got married to my father as a celestial member but with consistent good character and attitude it took my father 14 years to get converted to Pentecostal Apostolic. No wonder the sight of incense, candle and Miss Paris was frequent in our house while I was growing up.
- My mum is a wonderful entrepreneur. She has always been a successful entrepreneur even when she was working at John Holt plc. She sold bread, made sweaters, sold pure-water, made Ice-cream and tasty-time.
- My mum had died but prayer brought her back to life. My mum after her surgical operation on hemorrhage, she died but the family gathered round her and prayed. This was the days I learned about effective and effectual prayers that change things. She woke up and she narrated her experience in the after world(mind you not heaven). This was one of the things that made faith a value to me till today. We are a family whose faith has been proven several times through dangerous events.
- My mum still miss her mother that died over 50 years ago. It amaze me and I wonder what tie exist between my mother and her mum that makes her emotional about her mother when she talks about her mother 50 years plus after she died.
- My MUM’S best hymn is:
It pays to serve Jesus, I speak from my heart,
He’ll always be with us if we do our part,
There’s naught in this wide world can pleasure afford,
There’s peace and contentment in serving the Lord.
I’ll love him far better than in days of yore
I’ll serve him more truly than ever before
I’ll do as he bids me whatever the cost
I’ll be a true soldier; I’ll die at my post.
Mother I love you so much, thank you for was forgiving and giving. Thank you for showing me God. Thank you for teaching values. Thank you for nor always wanting nothing but always giving all of you. You are MY goddess. I love Adenike, the wife of Akinnike, you are my inspiration, you are a queen now the king’s mother. My goddess, happy 65th birthday.
In Nigeria, the biggest and most constant headache that confronts the legal adviser of any political party in Nigeria is the non-observance of internal democracy by the party hierarchy. In the Nigerian political landscape, until recently, internal democracy is a mere tag that only existed in the imagination of politicians. In this vein, any electoral position within the structure of a political party is a subject of conferment without any consideration of the electability of the beneficiaries of the conferment. In other words, only those that the political kingmakers consider worthy are conferred with the “honour” of being the party’s candidates; the process of engaging a method that includes the members of the party in the decision making generally and nomination of the flag bearers of the party is considered alien by both the party oligarchy and their suitors. Without mincing words, minority will have both their way and say. The few occasions where the majority get to have their say (when purported primary elections are held), the minority still retain the ultimate power of having their way by superimposing their decisions on the outcome of such internal elections. Internal democracy is slaughtered on the altar of imposition.
By my calling as a legal practitioner, i have the hallowed responsibility of ensuring the observance of rule of law and the tenets of democracy. My duty here extends to political institutions, particularly, with regard to compliance with the applicable laws and the rules of the game. This easily brings to mind the sacred words of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice W. S. N. Onnoghen, GCON at the Call to Bar Ceremonies held on July 13, 2017. His Lordship, in his speech, admonished thus:
“As legal practitioners, you cannot close your eyes to the social, political and economic problems of our time, therefore you have a duty to help rescue our society from pervasive lawlessness, corruption and anti-social activities.”
It is, therefore, not in doubt that it is immoral for a legal practitioner to close his eyes to political parties’ lawlessness. Rescuing internal democracy from the hands of political oppressors and the jaws of imposition falls with the ministerial function of every legal practitioner.
At this juncture, it must be noted that internal democracy transcends the internal affairs of a political party. This is because the Nigerian legal framework duly recognizes it and commands compliance with it. In this regard, section 228(a) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as altered) confers on the National Assembly the power to make laws providing for:
“…guidelines and rules to ensure internal democracy, within political parties, including making laws for the conduct of party primaries, party congresses and party convention….”
It was in the exercise of this power that the National Assembly enacted section 87 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended). It clearly set out the guidelines, rules and steps that a political party must follow in the nomination of its candidates for elections. Here, section 87(1) of the Act is instructive, clear and unambiguous. It provides thus:
“A political party seeking to nominate candidates for election under this Act shall hold primaries for aspirants to all elective positions” [Emphasis mine]
Section 87 of the Act is so elaborate that it states the types of primaries that a political party may adopt (direct or indirect) and the procedural steps a political party must follow where it adopts either of the two types of primary election in case of each election mentioned therein. Emphasising the purpose of section 87 of the Act, in PDP v. Sylvia  13 NWLR (part 1316) 85 at 148, paras. A-B, Chukwuma-Eneh, JSC opined thus:
“The clear object the provisions of section 87 is intended to achieve besides the inculcation of internal democracy in the affairs of political parties in this country moreso in the conduct of their party primaries includes thus making them transparent and providing level playing ground for their contestants in party primaries….”
Equally important is the fact that the constitution of political parties contains the procedure for the nomination of candidates and voting at congresses and party conventions. In this respect, the constitution of the political party sets out how the party’s primary elections are to be conducted in a manner that institutionalises internal democracy. An example that easily comes to mind is Article 20 of the Constitution of the All Progressives Congress (as amended), the political party in which I am the legal adviser. A look at the provisions of the said Article 20 makes it clear that candidates of the party can only emerge through a democratic path. In case of indirect primaries, the delegates that will vote at the primary election must have been democratically elected by members of the party from the various wards contained in particular constituency at congress. Even where an aspirant is unopposed, democratic principles still have to be followed to ensure that the unopposed aspirant is not a product of imposition. Without a doubt, the party constitution has entrenched internal democracy and eschewed imposition of candidates by the “powerful” minority.
Based on the foregoing, it would be reasonable to assume that when it comes to nomination of candidates for elections, the legal adviser of a political party could go to sleep knowing that the legal framework would hold sway. However, it is common knowledge that this is rarely the case. The fact is that any legal adviser that urges compliance with the legal framework and adherence to internal democracy easily finds himself to be a lone voice. He is considered a rebel that is deserving of being ostracized from the decision-making and deliberation within the party structure.
Despite the foregoing, it gladdens my heart to say that the Supreme Court, under the leadership of the current Chief Justice of Nigeria, the Hon. chief Justice Onnoghen, has taken the courageous step of ensuring that the political oligarchy do not succeed in casting internal democracy into the refuse bin. Now, political parties are faced with the fact that the erosion of internal democracy will not go unpunished. A case worthy of consideration is the very recent and yet to be reported decision of the Supreme Court in Mato v. Hembe & 2 Ors. SC.733/2016 (delivered on 23rd day of June, 2017), amongst others.
Before delving into the recent landmark decisions of the Supreme Court on this issue, it is necessary to note that the Supreme Court has always made pronouncements on the importance of internal democracy and the need for political parties to obey its own constitution as well as the jurisdiction of the courts to intervene in this regard. In the case of Shinkafi v. Yari  1 SC (Part II) 1 at 31, line 13 to line 23, the Supreme Court held thus:
“… it is now trite that where a political party conducts its primary and a dissatisfied contestant at the primary election complains about its conduct of the primaries, the Courts have jurisdiction by virtue of the provision of Section 87(9) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) to examine if the conduct of the primary was in accordance with the party’s Constitution and Guidelines. The reason is that in the conduct of its primaries, the Courts will never allow a political party to act arbitrarily or as it likes. A political party must obey its Constitution.”
The Supreme Court made a similar stance in Tarzoor v. Ioraer  3 NWLR (part 1500) 463 at 529, para. G. In the leading judgment of Rhodes-Vivour, JSC in PDP v. Sylvia (supra) at 125, paras. D-E, the Supreme Court held thus:
“…where the political party conducts its primary and a dissatisfied contestant at the primary complains about the conduct of the primaries the courts have jurisdiction by virtue of the provisions of section 87 (9) of the Electoral Act to examine if the conduct of the primary elections was conducted in accordance with the parties constitution and Guidelines. This is so because in the conduct of its primaries the courts will never allow a political party to act arbitrarily or as it likes. A political party must obey its own constitution.”
Also, pertinent is the hallowed warning of Supreme Court in the case of C.P.C. v. Ombugadu  18 NWLR (part 1385) 66 at 129 to 130, paras. F-E where Ngwuta, JSC held thus:
“An army is greater than the numerical strength of its soldiers. In the same Vein, a political party is greater than the numerical strength of its membership just like a country, for instance, Nigeria, is greater than the totality of its citizens. It follows that in the case of a political party, such as the 1st appellant herein, the interest of an individual member or a group of members or a group of members within the party, irrespective of the place of such member or a group in the hierarchy of the party, must yield place to the interest of the party. It is the greed, borne of inordinate ambition to own, control and manipulate their own political parties by individuals and groups therein and the expected reaction by other party members that result to the internal wrangling and want of internal democracy that constitute the bane of political parties in Nigeria.
…It is apparent that a few powerful elements therein hijack the parties and arrogated to themselves right to sell elective and appointive positions to the party member who can afford same….
There is a popular saying that politics is a dirty game. I do not share this view. It is the players who are dirty and they inflict their filth on their members and, by implication on the society. Politicians must learn to play the game of politics in strict compliance with its rules of organised society.” [Emphasis ours]
It is now trite to give due consideration to the impactful decision of the Supreme Court in Mato v. Hembe (supra). In that case, Onnoghen, CJN held that holding a primary election in a manner contrary to the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) and the constitution of the political party will render such primary election null and void. At page 37 to 40 of His Lordship’s judgment, His Lordship held thus:
“The facts deposed to in paragraphs 3 and 4 of the affidavit in support of the Originating Summons show that the said primary election was held at HAF HAVEN HOTEL, MAKURDI quite outside the headquarters of the Federal Constituency. So, apart from the irregularities catalogued in exhibits 4 and 2 reproduced above, the holding of the primary was contrary to the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and the constitution of the 2nd defendant.
Section 87(4) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) provides:-
‘A Political Party that adopts the system of indirect primaries for the choice of its candidate shall adopt the procedure outlined below-
(c) in the case of nomination to the position of senatorial candidate, House of Representatives and Head of Assembly, a political party shall, where they intend to sponsor candidates-
(i) hold special congress in the Senatorial District, Federal Constituency and State Assembly respectively, with delegates voting for each of the aspirants in designated centres in specified dates’
As a corollary to the above provision, article 14.11 of the 2nd defendant’s Constitution provides that every member shall assemble at their respective Federal Constituency Headquarters and voting shall be by secrete ballot. A combined reading of these two provisions reveals that it is mandatory for the political parties to hold their congresses for the purpose of selecting their candidates in the headquarters of the Constituency. As was pointed out by the learned counsel for appellant in their written address, the Electoral Act and the 2nd respondent’s constitution make detailed provisions for the way and manner by which primary elections are to be conducted. This is to ensure a level playing field for all aspirants. Any contravention of the Act and the Constitution of the Party in this regard would be regarded as a ploy to negate the principle of due process of law enshrined therein.
It is trite that where a statute provides for a means of doing a thing, no other means or manner shall be permitted. Both the Electoral Act and the Constitution of the 2nd defendant make it mandatory that primaries be conducted in the headquarters of the Constituency. The failure to comply with these provisions makes the entire exercise null and void…
The truth must be told and that is, that the 1st and 2nd defendants did not respect the provisions of the Electoral Act and the constitution of the 2nd defendant in the conduct of the primaries. This court has decided in quite a number of cases that political parties must obey their own constitutions as the court will not allow them to act arbitrarily or as they like….
From all I have endeavoured to say above, it is crystal clear that the primaries which produced the 1st defendant was frought (sic) with manifold irregularities aside the fact that he was not even qualified to contest same.” [Emphasis mine]
Beyond doubt, by this singular pronouncement, His Lordship seeks to enthrone internal democracy in the affairs of political parties. In the same vein, Kekere-Ekun, JSC asserted that where political parties appear to violate the principles of internal democracy, the courts will not hesitate to whip them into line by wielding the big stick. In Mato v. Hembe (supra) at page 2-3 of His Lordship’s judgment, Kekere-Ekun, JSC held thus:
“This case, in my view is a clear example of the mischief sought to be tackled by section 87(9) of the Electoral Act, 2010 as amended. While it is true that the courts will not interfere in the internal affairs of a political party nor its choice of candidate, Section 87(9) of the Electoral Act ensures that in making their choice of candidates for elective office political parties do not stray beyond the confines of the Electoral Act or their own electoral guidelines. The section seeks to curb the impunity with which political parties hitherto acted without regard to the democratic norms they profess to practice. As stated by my learned brother in the lead judgment, this court in a plethora of cases has asserted the fact that political parties must obey their own constitutions and guidelines and where necessary (as provided by law) the courts will intervene and wield the big stick to prevent arbitrariness. The only way our democratic dispensation can work effectively is where every aspirant for political office, who is qualified to contest an election, is given an even playing field. The failure of internal democracy within our political parties right from the grassroots level eventually leads to instability in the entire political system. The failure of internal democracy is one of the reason why the courts’ dockets are congested with pre-election disputes. In Ugwu vs. Ararume (2007) 12 NWLR (Pt. 1048) 376 @ 514 D-E, this court per Mahmud Mohammed, JSC (as he then was) admonished:
‘My lords if we want to instill sanity into our human affairs, if we want to entrench unpolluted democracy in our body polity, the naked truth must permeate through the blood, nerve and brain of each and everyone of us. Although credit may not always have its rightful place in politics, we should try to blend the two so as to attain a fair, just and egalitarian society where no one is oppressed. Let us call a spade a spade!’
I am in entire agreement with my learned brother, that in the circumstances of this case it was crystal clear that not only were there irregularities in the primary election that produced the 1st respondent, the 2nd respondent failed to follow its own guidelines in the selection of its candidate. I agree that in the eyes of the law the plaintiff/appellant was the only candidate of the 2nd defendant/2nd respondent as found by the report of the 2nd defendant’s Appeals Committee.”
At page 4 of Eko, JSC’s judgment in Mato v. Hembe, His Lordship did not mince words in calling the 1st Respondent an impostor.
Another very recent decision of the Supreme Court is between Alhaji Shuaibu Isa Lau v. Sen. Sani Abubakar Danladi regarding the Taraba North Senatorial District (delivered on June 23, 2017). The Punch Newspaper, under the caption: Harsh verdicts await unqualified candidates, S’Court tells political parties, quoted, Augie JSC thus:
“This is a hard and very bitter lesson for political parties to learn. They may have chosen candidates or eminent personalities they want to present as candidates to INEC, but they have to play by the rules.
“The chosen candidates must comply with requirements of the law; they must abide by the provisions of the Electoral Act, which creates a level playing field for all aspirants who seek to contest elections.
“So, the political parties and their candidates must obey the rules.”
I need not say more. Ordinarily, this ought to sound a death knell on the untoward practice of imposition of candidates contrary to the provisions of the applicable laws and the party’s constitution. However, it appears that party oligarchy appear to enjoy turning a deaf ear.
In the recent decision of the High Court of Lagos State (per Okuwobi, J.) in Suit No. ID/1838/GCM/2017: Hakkem Abolaji Saka v. All Progressives Congress & Anor. (delivered on July 7, 2017), the court did not hesitate to nullify the nomination of candidate without the conduct of primary election in accordance with the stipulation of the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission Law and the Constitution of All Progressives Congress. Consequently, the Court, inter alia, made and order restraining the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission from recognising, relying on or using any list of chairmanship candidates submitted by All Progressives Congress for the forthcoming Local Government elections in Odi-Olowo Local Council Development Area.
Without a doubt, the foregoing is commendable as it shows that parties do not have to get to the Supreme Court before the judiciary wields the figurative big stick where a political party jettisons internal democracy in the conduct of its affairs. This is, particularly, instructive because the elements behind imposition always rely on the fact that it would take years before the matter would be decided by the Supreme Court in the course of which their imposed candidate would have enjoyed a substantial portion of the tenure of office. The good news however now is that, not only are pre-election cases on fast track now, impostors are now sanctioned by both removal and restitution of illegally gotten dues. With the proactive pronouncement of High Court of Lagos State, the erosion of internal democracy will be nipped in the bud and good things will not suffer irreparable injury before salvation comes.
Good governance is the desire of every sane society. In order for any society to have good governance, there must be good leadership. For there to be good leadership in a democratic setting, internal democracy must be effectively and effectually practised. One can only hope that political parties see the writing on the wall and behave accordingly.
In conclusion, I believe the role of Courts in contemporary times in the strengthening of internal democracy is not only commendable but proactive. It is only hoped that more of our courts will see the wisdom in this approach and political parties learn the art of respect for the rule of law.
What is the essence of power? What has power got to do with sustainable businesses? Why should the power sector be fixed? If the power sector is paralyzed, what is the effect? Why are we in darkness? These are rhetorical questions have been asking and continue to ask myself.
In Nigeria over 75 million people are yet to be connected to National grid, with Nigeria’s power capacity between 4,500MW and 7200MW but can only supply between 2,500MW and 4,000MW per time it is glaring that Nigeria has shortage of power. Recent statistics show that Nigerians spend over #700 Billion (Seven hundred Billion Naira) on fueling generators without maintenance and utility. This is sure big loss and wastage in the economy; it is expedient and purely sensible for government to quickly fix the power sector to boost the economy and foster prosperity.
It is clear that with well over 75 million people yet to be connected to the national grid and many still do not have up to 20 hours of power every week, it is clear that Nigeria needs to expand her power capacity with investment in clean and sustainable energy to cushion climate change.
Nigeria’s main sources of power are mainly Hydro and Natural gas. During dry season there is always a drop in power because of reduction in water pressure from the hydro power station. Hydro power has its limitations if we cannot control the water pressure to be constant all year round. Hydro power is really safe but sustainability is yet to be achieved in Nigeria. When the dry season is heavy, sometimes Nigeria power capacity drops to 1,900MW. As one of the fastest growing economy in Africa, we could double our growth if we invest effectively in power.
The unpatriotic and destructive attitude of greedy citizens and militants across the water coast where there are gas pipeline is sabotage on access to power. Nigeria is a gas and crude oil producing nation, gas is a very good alternative to providing power, many houses now use gas cooker to make their food, iron their clothes and recently new innovations like gas generator are becoming more acceptable in Nigerian household. The continuous vandalism of gas pipeline by militants has been a great jab on every little progress the power sector tries to make in providing clean and sustainable power. Vanguard newspaper reported that in 2015 NNPC said Nigeria lost #51.3 billion to vandals.
In the global community, connection is important, without power on our phones, laptops and gadgets, this connection will never be possible. Power is important to our business life. It is the soul of productivity in government, entertainment and agriculture.
In Mowe, ogun state a small community of about 5000 houses, Mowe is on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, the main expressway that connect the north, east and south of Nigeria together. Mowe is a strategic location because it is a small town between Lagos (the commercial hub of Nigeria) and Ogun(the border state to Benin Republic) Many religious organization have their headquarters on this expressway, yet it is really sad to know that nobody in mowe has up to 20 hours power. The community has been forgotten by the government, no good road, no water, non-functional health centre and the worse is that the town is in darkness.
In Mowe, many are connected to the national grid but have less than 20 hours power and they pay between #2000 and #5000 monthly without constant power supply. Many houses have a running generator, rechargeable lamp, kerosene lamp to lighting their homes at night.
Many have been in and out of hospital because of adulterated kerosene by criminals. A resident of Mowe that want to remain anonymous said, “The inability of government to provide electricity made me almost lost my eye while refueling the kerosene lamp for my son who was preparing for exams”.
The owner of Adonai ventures also recount her loss to fueling her generator everyday with petrol. She said, “It is really annoying to spend #30,000 monthly on generator, do we have a government at all?” She asked rhetorically.
Doctor Oyin says, “Hospital bills can be reduced by 20% if there is constant, stable, and affordable power supply. We run generator 24 hours in our hospital because we deal with lives, we cannot afford to take chances on our patients. We know there are a lot of people who need to access cheap health care but the cost of running the hospital especially power is a big challenge to accessing low cost health care. It is a pity that the government health Centre that are supposed to cushion this effect are not also working. Who suffers? The lowest cadre of the society that the government was elected to serve”.
From 2005-2008 when I was in high school I read with a kerosene lamp or rechargeable lamp which has affected my eye sight. I have seen the doctor and a correcting eye glass was recommended but I have refused to use it. The doctor said, “You have over stressed and strained your eye to read in the time past, you eat good food that is why your eye sight is still sharp, but to stop the tears and itching in your eyes you need a correcting glasses”. Lack of power has different adverse effect on our health, business, education and others. I did lost some reading days in school because of no power supply which had its own negative effect sometimes on my education.
Rape, robbery, and kidnapping on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway at night is becoming worrisome, yet the reason crime flourish is there is no street light, responsive and reliable security operative on the road at night.
What exactly should we be doing? Is there a solution? Sure there is. I am no expert at power but I will try my best as an active participant. Corruption is a huge monster on the way to sufficient power supply; a whooping #30 billion was spent between 1999 and 2007 to revamp the power sector without result. No one has been punished or sentenced by EFCC or ICPC for public fund misuse. This is still a tragedy.
Privatization of the power sector is a great move in the right direction. Reduction in bureaucracy and bottleneck in getting license for a power company like ENEL will be a major move to lighting every house in Nigeria. A close monitoring of all gas pipe using technology will further make power capacity in Nigeria stable. Nigeria government must be willing to finally bring corruption to a hurt in the public sector for citizens to access power.
Exploring clean and safe energy like solar, wind, and so on will further help expand the national grid. Currently, the federal government is the only one that has the legal power to generate power, this is a big challenge, and therefore government must allow private company, state, local government and investors to generate power in states, communities and regions.
Government must create the free and fair environment for investors to profit while also protecting the citizens from greedy investors. Government must be a fair umpire between power companies and customers through legal frameworks, policy, and sanctions.
Citizens must begin to protect power infrastructure if they want constant power supply. We all have a responsibility to light up Africa. Africa is rich but we need visionary leaders to lift Africa out of the mess we find ourselves.
Why are we in darkness?
Culled from Punchng.com
The National Legal Adviser of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Dr. Muiz Banire, in this interview with TUNDE AJAJA, speaks on the issues of lack of internal democracy in the party, the performance of the incumbent government so far and why he seems to hold a different view from the majority in the party
Your party made a mockery of internal democracy at the recently held local government primary election in Lagos State, by trying to impose candidates. Was that the decision at the national level or the electoral committee and the state chapter acted alone?
As far as I’m concerned, there was no primary election, because the election didn’t take place at all. That is my own position, from my vantage position, from my observation and from the point of law. There was no primary, so nothing happened on that day.
But the drama at the Teslim Balogun Stadium that day was as a result of your primary election that was to hold.
That must have just been an assemblage of human beings, the purpose of which I wouldn’t know, but certainly not for primaries. My own view is clear, which is nothing personal. Our constitution is very clear on the way to go about it. If you look at Article 20 of our (APC) constitution, it says a lot about the procedure for nomination of candidates at all levels, from councillorship to the President and that is what must be followed. That has been my own position from time immemorial. If you recall the run-up to the primaries for the governorship election in 2014, that was the same posture I maintained, and all over the nation up till today, I maintain the same posture. The good news is that the Supreme Court in Nigeria has consistently been telling us its position that people must comply with the party’s constitution. That is why I always counsel to avoid this pitfall, and it is not peculiar to Lagos alone. So, for me, it’s nothing personal and what the constitution requires is not optional.
We have reports that high-ranking members of your party who should know what the law requires are guilty of that attempt to impose candidates on the people. For example, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was said to have reeled out those names even before the election. Is that the kind of practice APC wants to be known for?
Let me tell you my understanding. People said to me that Asiwaju had earlier announced some 18 candidates for chairmen. Even at that, I said he must have been misquoted because there is a difference between endorsement and nomination. They are two different things. I reserve the right to endorse anybody, but when it comes to elections, then I don’t have the right of imposition. So, I told them clearly that they must have been misquoting him because he (Asiwaju) certainly has a right to preference.
He wouldn’t have been misquoted because it was the names that were mentioned that were eventually announced as the candidates.
I heard he said 18, but what happened covered the entire state. Then, you yourself must have seen that the process was hijacked.
Can we say it was hijacked, when members of the party waiting to vote simply resisted imposition?
Let me tell you, there are so many godfathers, for selfish reasons, all about bread and butter and it is not in APC alone. It’s in all political parties and that is the essence of having a constitution because the tendency of every human being is to be domineering. It’s innate in us and that is why we agree as members of the same club to say we must have rules and regulations that would bind us and regulate our affairs. And having subscribed to it, then, you are bound by it. The APC is a bigger party, unlike AD, AC, ACN, etc. It’s a conglomeration of several interests and that is why for you not to have an implosion, you must consistently be bound by the rules and regulations.
But there is currently an implosion because some of the aspirants described the Lagos APC as undemocratic and fraudulent. Are those not clear signals?
They are signals. Personally, I think I owe it as a duty as the custodian of the APC constitution to ensure it does not happen. That is why I kept on saying and warning every day that don’t do this thing, do the right and proper thing. If we all agree that all these people are our party members, why discriminate against them. Allow all of them a level-playing ground. Whoever emerges is an APC candidate; simple and straightforward. Are the governor, the President and many others not proud that they went through the primaries before the 2015 election? In fact, part of what put our party on global map today was the presidential primary election we had; that everybody saw and witnessed it. We will not give up because we know it’s not easy for people to change.
One would expect that, as the National Legal Adviser, you would have advised them against that decision, because the imposition was already a matter of discourse before the day of the primary?
Yes, you’re right. That wasn’t our consensus when I attended their meeting. The meeting we had with all the local government officials, the stakeholders and the state executive, I was there and I advised them. They were very happy, they all subscribed to everything in the constitution. In fact, I was very proud of them that day, just for them to somersault suddenly because we had some scavengers who were able to profit from the venture; because people were just selling the party ticket all over the whole place. That was the problem. So, in order for me not to be guilty of standing by, that was why I even had to write them to say I heard something, please do not allow it to happen, follow the constitution.
Those who masterminded the charade are senior party men, like the party chairman in the state, Chief Henry Ajomale and Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi, who have tried to defend their action.
Well, I do not even see Afikuyomi as a senior party man; he’s just like any other party member in Lagos. He doesn’t hold any position in the party, and being the chairman of the electoral committee was only a transient thing. Several of them we appoint every day. Some mess themselves up and some will perform creditably and commendably.
In that duty, has he performed creditably?
As far as I’m concerned, he has not even done it or discharged the responsibility.
But he read the pre-selected names, which is part of his responsibility as the chairman of the electoral committee.
He announced names of people he felt that he wanted. As a person, did you witness any primary? Nomination presupposes voting, and was there any voting? Up till now, there was no voting and there must be. If any other person who succeeds me decides to introduce anarchy, so be it, but while I’m still there, I will ensure that the proper thing is done.
It seems criminal to sell forms to aspirants and still want to impose people on them. Is the party going to refund them?
It’s not even a matter of refunding them, it’s about allowing internal democracy to prevail in the party. People tend to trivialise this issue but it’s an issue that I’ve signed into. There has been several intimidation, harassment and deprivation every day, but I’m not bothered. As far as I’m concerned, all those issues won’t work for me, because my religion preaches dying for what is just and proper. For me, I suffer it every day, from the security agents to government and people all over; that I’m their stumbling block, but I’m nobody’s stumbling block. I only believe that proper things must be done.
Will the party now hold another primary?
It’s not my role to organise primary, as the National Legal Adviser. It’s for the state to do the right thing, subject to guidelines from the national.
The national chairman of your party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has not said anything on this matter, and some would think it is because of the issue he had with Tinubu that he chose to stay off Lagos matters?
For me too, it’s a possibility. I would reckon the same way, but I don’t know the reason why a pronouncement has not been made, which is allowing court action to fester. My expectation is that the Vice Chairman, South West, Chief Pius Akinyelure, the Deputy National Chairman, South, Mr. Segun Oni, and others should have intervened. Look at cries all over and the way the thing disparaged the party all over. They should have called a meeting urgently on the issue. That’s my expectation because I’m from this state and I don’t want to push anybody. In other states, ask them at the national, I would trigger the process and force the meeting on.
But should you fold your arms in your own state?
The assumption would be that I’m biased and that’s why I’m distancing myself from it a bit. But I know that the way things are going, they themselves would wake up shortly.
Now that election is fast approaching and another date has not been announced for the primary, what if the party goes ahead with those names. What will happen?
Nothing will happen if no aspirant challenges the party. Some have challenged them, my own role is to go and defend. And I’ve told them I will not lie. I’m a very senior member of the bar. I’m a bencher and a senior advocate, so you won’t expect me to go to court and say we did primary where we did not. Of course, I will submit to judgment. It has happened before, where we submitted to judgement. In such cases, I would simply tell the court that My Lord, they did not follow our constitution. So, if anybody goes to court and the matter is to be defended, we will go to court and tell the truth. I will never lie in court to protect party and I often tell our party people not to put us in a position where they would expect us in the legal department to lie, because we won’t.
Also, governors, those under your platform inclusive, find it difficult to conduct local government election. Is it that you don’t advise them?
Well, again, I have advised them on that. That is why most of the states are doing it now. One charlatan recently placed an advert in your newspaper referring to it that I had the effrontery to ask the governor why he appointed sole administrators. It’s my duty to tell anybody. Those are the people that mislead them. In fact, one must commend the governor for saying okay let’s conduct the election. Look at Osun State, it has not conducted election for almost seven years, which is unfortunate and absurd. It’s an impeachable offence. The constitution says no local government must be run by any less than democratically elected leaders. The Supreme Court has pronounced it in Imo and Ekiti states condemning it and I’m sure the apex court would be excited dealing with such issues now because they have made several pronouncements condemning that practice. No governor can substitute his own opinion of what true federalism is for the position of the law, which is clear. My expectation is that people themselves should wake up. Nigerians should wake up.
If refusal to conduct that election is an impeachable offence, and given the quietness across the board, would you say Nigerians are docile?
Extremely docile. I’ve never seen this kind of people in my life. I must confess to you, ha! I get frustrated. At times, when some people decide and say let me take their battle on, what do you find out? The people would even be the first set of people to persecute that person, they would ask him which one is his own? Is he the only one? I start wondering that me I’m okay, it’s because of you that I’m doing this. So, they are just too docile. Ha! It’s too much.
Given the prominent role the party plays in our type of democracy, why has the party not been able to call people elected on its platform to order?
Well, our democracy is still developing. My personal opinion is that it’s because of the financial status of most parties. They tend to rely heavily on these offices rather than on membership dues.
But that itself is wrong; using state funds to run parties.
That is what we are aggressively trying to correct in APC now. The moment we are able to get everybody to be paying their membership dues, the party would be able to flow on its own financially, have a life and be able to take position on issues.
Given your stand on several issues and many of such you have had to deal with over time, are you sometimes embarrassed by some actions of the big men in your party?
Yes, a lot. Honestly. I get embarrassed and that is why I’m even anxious to quickly finish the tenure. Let me tell you something, which is another point that needs to be made clearly to a lot of people. We are sacrificing for the party. We are not paid officials. I’m not being paid anything. I go to Abuja practically every week with my money, I pay for my hotel, maybe occasionally when we have NWC meeting, they used to pay N100,000 now N120,000. My ticket alone is almost N140,000, my hotel is not less than N60,000 per night, apart from the internal transportation and other things. But it’s all about sacrifice. We don’t derive any pecuniary gain from it but we are happy doing it for now, and that is why I maintain that don’t rubbish me over what I’m even doing gratuitously. We just believe that some of us must be able to add value to the system and at least set the template that will outlive us and that is my ambition every day, and that is why when people continuously fight me, particularly in Lagos here, I just laugh. All these things are not personal. I’m not fighting anybody; everybody is my friend. But when it comes to the rule of law, I apologise, I can’t compromise it. It’s as simple as that. I’m unable to compromise it. That’s all I’m living for, that’s all I’m about.
But the big men in your party do these things and get away with it?
Again, that is another thing I normally have issues with. I don’t believe there are strong men in any political party. For me, party is party. Apart from the officers of the party, all members are equal. Once I pay my dues, I’m entitled to the same powers and privileges in the party. The moment we continuously discriminate against some people, that is the source of our woes. That is my own position. That is why given what happened in Lagos, everything I do, I direct to the state chairman. I don’t recognise any other person as the person controlling the party machinery in Lagos. It’s the state chairman that bears responsibility under the constitution for whatever happens. What happens behind, under, beneath, I don’t know about it. By the time you are talking about people that are not officially responsible, you are descending into their arena which is not your business. I don’t have a problem with anyone pulling so much weight, but my problem is where there is no compliance with the rules.
Are you saying you don’t recognise the position of the National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who lives in Lagos?
Officially, the only person I can interact with officially are the party officials. That is what I mean.
People see him as the godfather of APC in Lagos…
(Cuts…) Let me tell you, I do not even see Asiwaju as a godfather, because he is not the person directly involved in that charade. He once drew my attention to it, that Muiz, are you saying I don’t have a right to endorse a candidate, and I told him, sir, I concede. Asiwaju wasn’t the one that came to the field to destabilise the process. Blame the party structure in the state.
People believe he did it underground.
I can equally do anything underground but you can’t hold me for it. How do you prove that?
But some have pointed out that it seems you don’t agree with him on certain things and that you don’t let him have his way sometimes.
It’s not true, let me tell you, it’s people that are hungry that are saying so. I, personally, am telling you I have no problem with Asiwaju at all. Asiwaju is my boss any day but the responsibility on my shoulder makes me not to see him regularly like before. Those people always want to create problem. If you don’t go and poison his mind or misdirect him, there is no problem. When has he himself come to say all of you must vote for a particular person? Some people only do name-dropping for their personal reasons. Same way they said the President told them to pick Yahaya Bello as the candidate for Kogi election at that time. At times, most of these people are innocent, people are only using their name to perpetrate evil.
Are you saying you have a cordial relationship with him?
As of this time I’m talking to you, there is no enmity between us. Let me even tell you, there is nothing I’m doing that I didn’t learn from him. Look at his antecedents. He is the greatest rebel of our time. He taught us how to be rebellious. He’s a very courageous man and he taught us courage. He taught us to hold our views and be tenacious. In fact, he enjoys me facing and disagreeing with him.
Would you then get in touch with the APC chairman in Lagos to do the right thing as regards the imposition issue?
I have written; I don’t talk to them by mouth because they would deny it. I have written to them, I mean several letters. I keep on writing our people to do the right thing, even beyond Lagos. What does it cost people to stand by the truth? Even if they would sack you tomorrow, let them sack you and you go to your house. The problem is that majority of the people that are in politics today, especially at elective level or appointed level, are people without alternative contact address. They have no other job in their lives, so, they can kill or do anything, because they are always desperate to remain in the corridor of power. That is the problem.
There have been several calls for restructuring of Nigeria, and fortunately the first item on your manifesto is that you would restructure the country. Now that people are calling for it, your party that promised it has gone silent. Is that fair?
Again, that is an issue I want to bring up at our next meeting. Personally, I subscribe to it. My only area of conflict is the perception of the restructuring itself, because from what I’ve seen, restructuring means different things to different people. Some would say fiscal, national, complete, organisational restructuring and so on.
Perhaps that is what you get when you leave people to speculate and you maintain silence at the wrong time.
We must fundamentally agree on the type of restructuring that we want to embark upon. Let it be clear to everybody. When it is clear, all of us will go to the next stage and I think that is where the party needs to trigger a process, towards aggregating opinions on what we even mean by restructuring. Let’s agree. When we do that, we can then draw the timetable.
But when you were preparing your manifesto, what kind of restructuring did you have in mind?
We had our own conception of it, but I’ve read several other versions. If it’s our own we are already implementing, but not in the manner people are saying now.
Could you tell us the ones you have done?
Most of the ones we are looking at is fiscal restructuring and that has started. We used to have inequality in appointment of ministers; some have two while some have one, but that has been eliminated now. A lot is also happening on the issue of local government autonomy and the judiciary. Look at the issue of appeal, not every appeal will now go to the Supreme Court and that has gone far at the National Assembly. But people want more than that and I have no problem with that.
But why has your party not taken a stand in response to the calls for it from everywhere?
Like I said to you, some of these issues, I might be the one to trigger the process, maybe because the party is overwhelmed; running from one election to another regularly and it doesn’t even have so much logistics to anchor some of these programmes.
If you have been overwhelmed with winning elections, does it mean the APC is only concerned with winning elections, not minding if the promises made earlier had been fulfilled?
Certainly, you know that for every election, there must be campaign and you campaign on the manifesto. So, we can’t run away from them. If we are not implementing, people would see them and they would have raised it. There are also issues with the one people are calling for now. It seems we are doing it in piecemeal at the moment, maybe what we need, which I agree to, is a holistic approach to it. I’m sure the party is not averse to it conceptually.
It would seem you are about the only one prompting some of these things. It seems your members go to sleep once they win election.
With due respect to most of our members, I think there is what I will call economic impairment affecting them. You know at times, you need stamina to talk. If you haven’t eaten, you probably won’t be able to talk.
A lot of people have doubted the integrity of your party because when late President Yar’ Adua was sick, your party, through Alhaji Lai Mohammed as the then spokesperson, was on his issue, maintaining that Nigerians deserved to know the state of health of their President. But now that President Muhammadu Buhari is equally ill, the same Alhaji Lai Mohammed said such is a confidential information. Aren’t you taking the people for a ride?
You know the dangers of precedence that I spoke about at that time, that when you talk, know what you are talking. I will escalate this issue to Alhaji Lai Mohammed and seek further explanations on why disclosures about the President’s health are not being made. They might know things that I don’t know. There are several human beings with different ailments. So, continue exploring the channels available to you, like the Freedom of Information.
Should we need to go that far if your party that promised change is sincere about being transparent and accountable?
The actions of some individual officers should not be equated with that of government. Look at what happened the last time when your reporter was sent out of the State House and the government decided to deny it. It happens sometimes like that in government that somebody overzealous somewhere would do something. But for me, we must never get frustrated by any system.
Your manifesto is a very beautiful document, but as a person, when you pick it, are you satisfied with how your party has fared?
Yes, I’m satisfied. The manifesto is not a document for four years. It is a document that is expected to endure for the next 50 years. We have just spent about two years.
So your target is 50 years?
It cannot be minimum. The things there are ideal situation and it can’t be implemented in one day. Those are aspirations and the things we want to see. For example, at times, when people talk and they get into government and they see what resources are available, they face reality. But before they get there, they feel all these things are possible.
Since that was what your party did, it would seem that it hoodwinked the people into believing in your promises.
No, we are saying given all factors being constant, these are the things we want to do. The situation we met was worse than what we even anticipated. Unfortunately again, several other inhibiting factors came in. So, it’s not a document that would just die in four or eight years. It will live for a long time, so give it the benefit of survival.
But shouldn’t we blame the politicians that throw money around?
Yes, that is why at times I wonder if our leaders are not wicked, as they consciously put our people in abject poverty so that they can’t reason. For me, we need a major movement in that regard. The press need to do a lot in that regard. They need to educate people and enlighten them. I have always been saying that there is need to continuously establish the nexus between the people’s lives and their votes. We must connect it to say if you take money for your vote, it’s your life you are selling. Let them see clearly how they would not see hospital, good road, good school and other things, by just mortgaging that votes. We owe it a duty to them, particularly the elite. If that is the minimum we can do.
People have always talked about expensive elections, but for local government election, is N555,000 not too much for the form, excluding N5,000 for the expression of interest?
Again, I, as a person, disagreed with it, because the question I even asked them was that what is the minimum wage? Are you saying that somebody on a minimum wage can’t contest? No. It can’t be. There are some of these things at times that people are not even challenging. That is the problem. That is where it lies. The aspirants should challenge it.
Your signature campaign programme was anticorruption fight. Given the next to nothing achievements recorded in that regard, how would you rate the government’s performance in that regard?
For me, I have a different view about that. I have always believed that little would be achieved with the way and manner we are currently fighting corruption. I want to see that document on the socio-economic diagnosis of corruption in Nigeria. Before you can fight corruption, you need to know what the attractions, the causes and what creates the opportunity, the sociologist must tell us. We underestimate the capacity of those people. We need to do the study. It is when we have the study, then you now start gradually to tackle it, like discouraging the attractions. I have always believed that if all of us wake up and every day at our various churches and mosques, we send curses after the corrupt people, I tell you corruption will reduce.
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Gun shot, carcass on the war front, the injured are lying helplessly in the hands of the medics. Desolation, arrogance, pride and hate fill the air. Allies and country FRIENDS call for revenge and our throat thirst for blood. The ground is messier than ever with blood.
Suddenly, I as the general on this side is tired of fighting, I have lost many soldiers, got several surgery to remove bullets, I almost died, I am thinking for how long will this war go on. Can’t these allies of ours bring us to table to dialogue and end this war? They have commercialized this war; they sell bullet, armored tanks, drones and ammunitions to us, while our men die in battle. They enjoy the money, smile and live in love with their own people and spouse, while we are at war.
Yesterday, I got a letter that was unaddressed. The writing communicate like you are interested in dialogue and peace. After security analysis from allies and experts the letter was deemed irrelevant, because it was not addressed and our experts think you wrote it to another General you are at war with. I holla at your territory to observe your body language toward peace but you did not show up. I was made to know this could be a trap for ambushed. I was encouraged to continue the WAR. Our guards are ready as ever, new drones and rocket launchers just arrived this morning. We have ordered some incredible and gigantic warship, our soldiers are motivated but I AM TIRED OF WAR General DAE.
As I look at my table, I see proposals from different Generals like you for communion and international RELATIONSHIP, they look juicy but I can’t quickly forget the good old days of our friendship and relationship. I hope you remember those days too…
I lay on my bed, I am tired, weary and thinking of the dead, the people we have made homeless, the number of women we have made widows, how about the amputees and children we have both made orphans. Are you not TIRED OF WAR? If you are, then we must not shy away from dialogue, let put a stop and hurt to this war.
There is no need for blood spilling and shedding again. Let put our allies to shame and make this tie a forever for life in peace, love and happiness.
Dear General Dae, I will give it a deep thought on my own, I will expect a reply to this letter General DAE. If you want my men to seize fire for you to give this dialogue a thought, please let me know as soon as possible. Our seize fire will not mean removing all guards and our flag hoisted in your territory we have conquered. I know this is pretty hard for both of us, but you got to step out and give it a thought on your own.
RESPECT IN WAR FOR PEACE.
Signed by The EAGLE WAR LORD AND GENERAL.