It’s easy to be drawn towards Governor Seriake Dickson. Dickson has the gift of the gab. The governor of Bayelsa can easily convince even the most critical of his style of governance that he’s the greatest thing that has happened to Bayelsa since sliced bread. He exudes the confidence of a warrior, the subtlety of a salesman and the intellect that far surpasses that of the average Nigerian politician. He cuts the picture of a man of conviction, whose personal opinion about every issue cannot easily be swayed. Like his physical stature, which could be intimidating, Dickson’s confidence, which many interpret as arrogance or overconfidence, can be quite overwhelming. Going into the poll, even his political enemies would easily admit that Dickson would be a hard nut to crack. They recall his exploits in 2015, when the All Progressives Congress (APC) had just won elections at the federal level with Muhammadu Buhari as president. Against all odds, Dickson as the incumbent won his re-election. Not the type to yield ground or be caught unawares, Governor Dickson, the politician, has the uncanny ability to foresee future political threats even before they begin to manifest and then begin the process of neutralising such risks. But like every human, like every politician, and even army generals, who lead troops to war, Dickson has his own weaknesses. Military tacticians sometimes design war strategies wrongly and get their foot soldiers killed at the warfront. For most of strongmen, their greatest strength is also their greatest
The Kogi state governorship election has finally come and gone, with Yahaya Bello of the All Progressives Congress (APC) returned to the Lugard House for a second term. Of a truth, Bello’s victory did not come as a surprise to many who followed events leading to the poll and to those who monitored the exercise closely. Ibrahim Garba, the returning officer, declared Bello winner after he polled a total of 406,222 votes. Musa Wada, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), came a distant second with 189,704 votes, with 21 other candidates trailing far behind. Bello’s incumbency as current governor of the state played a key role in the poll as was evident in various areas, from the operation of security operatives deployed for the exercise to events at the polling unit. Below are four major factors that contributed to his victory: ‘FOOT SOLDIERS’ Across the state, there were reports of violence; ballot boxes were being snatched in the presence of policemen while voters and electoral staff were intimidated as well. The situation got so bad that Situation Room, the local election monitor, called for the cancellation of the exercise. At a particular polling unit in Kabba/Bunu LGA, votes were being counted when the youth present let loose and started destroying the ballot papers. One of the presiding officers counting the ballot papers had barely gone half way when a youth threw a satchet water at her while others poured more into the ballot box. Not long before the incident
Majority of people who come to see a psychiatrist are suffering from what is called either a neurosis or a character disorder. These two conditions are disorders of responsibility, and as such they are opposite styles of relating to the world and its problems. In the case of Lai Mohammed, the federal Minister of Information, he suffers from character disorder. People afflicted with character disorder assume not enough responsibility and when they are in conflict with the world, they blame others. So is the case with Lai Mohammed. He automatically assumes that bloggers and critics of rudderless administration of President Muhammadu Buhari on social media are at fault. Lai Mohammed wants to proscribe social media in Nigeria by saying that Nigerians on social media who expressed their anger and frustration on the bankrupt state of Nigeria will set Nigeria on fire. Lai Mohammed’s threat is more of distraction and for image sake than anything else. Only idle ministers of Buhari like Lai Mohammed are able to sleep with their two eyes closed in a country with over 100 million people who are destitute. Lai Mohammed easily gets caught up in doing things for image sake and to distract the people from serious national problems. The threat in my opinion, is pure facade and hypocrisy by trying to cover up Buhari’s incompetence and directionless government.Lai Mohammed’s statement is not only a sickening diversion, it is an attempt to cover up his leadership failure in the tragic way he runs the affairs
Is Nigeria an evil empire? Yes! In my own opinion, President Muhammadu Buhari has turned Nigeria into evil empire. Since Buhari’s arrival in Aso Rock, the evidence that he has turned Nigeria into evil empire grows every day. The barbaric clampdown on critics of Buhari’s evil regime makes Sani Abacha, Nigeria’s erstwhile brutal military maximum dictator, a ‘progressive democratic president’. Buhari as president in a democratic government has taken over all the three branches of government- executive, judiciary, and the legislature. He now controls all the three branches of government. Separation of powers, checks and balances have been completely wiped out. Judges now wait on Buhari to write their judgment. The National Assembly has been pocketed. The legislators are as good as dead. The military and the police have become sniffing dogs for Buhari to hunker down critics of his evil rule. Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare (Mandate) were abducted 100 days ago in the wee hours of the night in their hotel suites without warrant for being part of a peaceful protest tagged #RevolutionNow. Buhari ordered his secret police DSS to keep Sowore and Bakare in detection for 45 days without bail and without trial. At the expiration of 45 days in solitary confinement, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) the attorney for the duo petitioned the court for bail. Justice Taiwo Taiwo the presiding judge, granted the defendants bail. In his characteristic manner of defying court orders, Buhari directed DSS that the defendants should not be released. Mr. Falana went
“The British public are now much more divided in their expectations of the Union’s future than they were in 2014, when the Union’s future was under intense debate with Scotland just three months away from an independence referendum,” said Emily Gray, Managing Director of Ipsos MORI Scotland.
Who will Donald Trump’s opponent be? How will Democrats resolve the ideological, generational and demographic questions roiling their primary? Will a strong economy shore up Trump’s support or will recession warning signs turn into a reality? Will Trump face voters as just the third American president to have been impeached by the House of Representatives?
Nigeria came into being as a result of the British amalgamation of Northern and Southern colonial territories in 1914. The amalgamation was an act of colonial convenience for obvious reasons. The Brits wanted one country stretching from the desert to the Atlantic Coast. Northern Nigeria couldn’t pay its way while southern Nigeria generated more than enough revenue for its administrative expenses. The amalgamation laid the historical bitterness, rivalry, and enmity between the two colonial territories. The two colonies are quite the opposite of one another. The North is largely Muslim. It was the center of the erstwhile Islamic Empire called the Sokoto Caliphate. The Muslim North looks up to the Middle East and other parts of the Muslim world for affinity, solidarity, and sociopolitical model. The South is largely Christian and highly influenced by the sociopolitical pattern of the West and traditional African societies. This was the beginning of a precarious foundation of our federalism. The foundations of true federalism are based on the concerns for the unity and integrity of a culturally diverse nation like ours. Our historical experience is a sharp contrast to the important foundations of federalism. Ours is a disruptive and disintegrative sectarian forces coupled with political rancor and instability prevailing since independence. The lopsided power-sharing arrangement between the federal government and the states fuels precipitation and intensification of ethnic conflicts. The politics of ethnicity has remarkably retarded our national development and has remained the sole engine that drives our modern history. The unjust monopoly of
We have witnessed the independence of Slovenia from the former Yugoslavia, the collapse of the Soviet Union, the division of the former Czechoslovakia, and the separation of both Eritrea from Ethiopia and South Sudan from Sudan. Numerous successful secessions have allowed people greater freedom and self-determination: Greek independence from the Ottoman Empire, the Hungarian split with the Soviet Union in 1989, Singapore’s secession from Malaysia in 1965, Ireland’s independence from the United Kingdom, and countless others. Nigeria’s impotence as ungovernable, divided, separate, hostile, and unequal nation is apparent for all to see. Nigeria, as we know it, is dead! The country is irrevocably broken along ethnic, linguistic, geographical, religious, and cultural lines. The sooner the Nigerian people accept this, the sooner the break-up and the sooner we can move on. From time to time, the break-up of Nigeria becomes inevitable to many of us who believe that “In the course of human events, it is necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them.” We’re in one of those periods now, and while the reasons are unique, the historical moment is not new. In 1953, the Northerners considered secession from the Nigerian colony that would soon be an independent nation. The words of our founding fathers that Nigeria is not one country remain prophetically instructive. Listen to them: “Nigeria is not a nation. It is mere geographical expression. There are no ‘Nigerians’ in the same sense as there are ‘English,’ ‘Welsh,’ or ‘French.’ The word ‘Nigerian’
New official data obtained by The Associated Press shows a spike in Jewish settlement construction in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem since President Donald Trump took office in 2017, along with strong evidence of decades of systematic discrimination illustrated by a huge gap in the number of construction permits granted to Jewish and Palestinian residents. The expansion of Jewish settlements in east Jerusalem, which Israel seized along with the West Bank and Gaza in the 1967 Mideast war, threatens to further complicate one of the thorniest issues in the conflict. The refusal to grant permits to Palestinian residents has confined them to crowded, poorly served neighborhoods, with around half the population believed to be at risk of having their homes demolished. The data was acquired and analyzed by the Israeli settlement watchdog Peace Now, which says it only obtained the figures after a two-year battle with the municipality. It says the numbers show that while Palestinians make up more than 60% of the population in east Jerusalem, they have received only 30% of the building permits issued since 1991. The fate of the city, which is home to holy sites sacred to Jews, Muslims and Christians, is at the heart of the decades-old conflict. The Palestinians want east Jerusalem to be the capital of their future state, while Israel views the entire city as its unified capital. Tensions have soared since Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in 2017 and moved the U.S. Embassy there, breaking with a longstanding international consensus that
You may not really know how it feels to be stigmatised as a Nigerian until you travel out of the country or have dealings with foreigners. Years ago, when I arrived at the University of Sussex, UK, for my master’s programme, I set out to fraternise with other African students. One evening, I went on a stroll with John Ikubaje, my fellow Nigerian and course mate (who now works with the African Union in Addis Ababa). We came across some African students — two from Kenya and one from Malawi. They were already fraternising. We joined them and spent roughly 30 minutes chatting on how we were settling in. I had no way of knowing that they were not at ease with us. Days later, one of the Kenyans, a lady, confessed that they had been warned to be careful with us Nigerians. They had been advised that whenever they were with Nigerians, they needed to be at full alert because we could remove their wallets without their knowing. In other words, we Nigerians are smooth criminals. The lady recalled an experience. She used to go to China for business. She said Nigerian traders would go from factory to factory asking for free product samples which they would then ship to Nigeria and sell without making any orders as expected. Because of this dishonest behaviour, she said, the Chinese manufacturers stopped giving out free samples. I felt sad. I felt stereotyped. How can anybody use the conduct of a few
Initial doubts about who was being molested in a shocking video clips on social media by some hoodlums were cleared when the former Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu confirmed the veracity of the unfortunate episode. The attack occurred last week in Nuremberg, venue of the second annual cultural festival and convention of Ndi-Igbo, Germany. The Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) has since owned the attack, accusing Ekweremadu of instigating ‘Operation Python Dance’, a controversial 2017 military operation in the south-east. They have also accused other south-east leaders of masterminding the proscription of IPOB by the federal government and not doing enough to address the challenge of insecurity in the region. Some of the miscreants who attacked Ekweremadu and their enablers have tried to justify their violent acts by claiming moral superiority on issues concerning the welfare of Igbo people. But such violent behaviour, as was demonstrated at the meeting in Germany, stands condemned. We hope the culprits will be identified and brought to justice. That, according to embassy of Nigeria in Berlin, would help to deter future acts of violence against Nigerian government officials given the threat by IPOB to carry out similar attacks, especially against those that are of Igbo descent.Most Popular The Shadow of Biafra Refuses to Go Away: Here’s Why Indigenous Peoples of Biafra Attacks Ike Ekweremadu Buharis and The Current Soap Operas Bayelsa State PDP Facing Self-Destruction As Sowore Goes To Court Today, Yoruba Race Under Siege… Time To Go Our Separate Ways
War! That word alone summarises the situation in Bayelsa State as the governorship election approaches. Bayelsa is at war with itself. To put it more appropriately, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa State is on the path of self-destruction. Both the party leadership and the government seem to have found a common enemy within, and they are tackling him with all the arsenals at their disposal. One question bothers me. There are 21 PDP aspirants currently campaigning for the office of the governor. But only one person, Timi Alaibe, has come under consistent attacks either directly by the government of Bayelsa State or by sponsored groups. The focus of this war is the insistence by Governor Henry Seriake Dickson that he must decide who succeeds him in January next year. His fear is that if left alone, Alaibe would be that successor. That scares him. Last week, a certain Alfred Egbegi who heads the state newspaper company, went personal against Alaibe whom he said has not been picking his calls. Imagine that! Findings show that he had gone to Alaibe’s house to protest the same issue only to realise that the man did not have his new phone numbers. Not satisfied, he took to Facebook. He wrote, “I was for Alaibe for 100% for over 10 years. He refused to pick my calls, ignored my person and refused to return (sic) text messages until Dickson my friend appointed me. In public, Alaibe behaves as if he has never met