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Hurray ! It’s Politicking Time For Nigerian Senators Again!




Customarily, the atmosphere is adequately charged in anticipation of the 2019 general elections. The heat in the polity has intensified and hit many politicians in Nigeria very badly, with supersonic fever of expected defeat at the ballot.

Some serving Senators are the most exasperated, having sensed the unfavourable electoral tide against them. They exude and manifest symptoms of desperation for electoral relevance at the eleventh hour.

Doggedly in pursuit of selfish ambitions, the Senators in crisis-prone areas have animated their deceptive emotions. They have centered it on artificial interest in the welfare of constituents now.

But unfortunately, in presumed ‘indicting’ outbursts and blanket condemnations of everything to impress constituents to posture as workaholics, these Senators exhibited confounding ignorance on security issues. They shocked many by peculiarly berating security agents for dissatisfactory roles in the handling of the internecine armed local conflicts in some parts of the country.

Perusing recent “lamentations” and attacks on the Federal Government of Nigeria and Security agents by these indignant Senators, the feeling of deceit is arising from frustrations seared through so deeply. Suddenly, and for the first time in years, constituents are listening to the loud voices of their representatives in the Red Chamber.

Therefore, Senators like Suleiman Asonye Adokwe who represents Nassarawa South Senatorial district and his counterpart for Benue North East senatorial district, Chief Barnabas Andyar Gemade have transmuted into accidental activists and critics of a “failed” government, security agents.

From the fire of their reincarnation came the chants of the agenda of unmitigated killings and ethnic cleansing against their people, only known to their imaginations and vocabulary. Yet, just another peculiar crafty move, to dubiously hoodwink constituents into voting them again, in 2019.

Before this hour, the duo of Adokwe and Gemade had a national reputation as backbenchers, benchwarmers and swelled up the clan of “I concur” and sleeping lawmakers on the floor of the Senate. Hardly are their shadows even spotted during plenary. The dozen TV cameras in the chambers would always miss them during hot debates on national issues.

Indubitably, the duo have estranged themselves from their constituents, compelling many to wonder whether they were on sabbatical leave in exotic night clubs in the Bahamas or Dubai. They were constantly global trotting in the guise of medical tourism in India, Germany or the United Kingdom at the expense of their constituents.

Any time they were back from the veiled pleasure trips, constituency projects funds would be deployed to organize sham mobile medical treatments in their constituencies. Even at it, they would leave the people more burdened with medical afflictions.

If history was potent enough to hold a reflective mirror, it would show these two Senators consistently over the years, as aligned with the unenviable records of poor performance in the parliament with virtually no sponsored Bill to their credit. It does not matter whether the assessment is conducted by the media or some other independent organisations, they riposte same results on these characters.

So, Senators Adokwe and Gemade have not just lost touch of happenings at home, but their knowledge of current affairs in Nigeria is leprously diseased and plagued by leisure of insomnia at the expense of responsible representation. But each time they retire into their palatial and cozy mansions in Abuja and elsewhere, as 2019 is next door now, the thoughts of how to again, dupe the people of their mandate, assails their senses.

The easiest escape route in the dubious quest for another electoral victory is to conjure all manner of gimmicks against a credible establishment to lure their unsuspecting, neglected, milked and dumped constituents. But even some of their colleagues were bemused, when they mixed raw anger with senselessness in blind fury.

Therefore, when Senator Adokwe claimed in a repulsive public statement a few days ago, mesmerizing about killings in his constituency, he unconsciously confirmed his absenteeism and insensitivity to the plight of his people when he submitted; “I am not one given to emotions easily, but what I have gone through this weekend is very horrifying.” He had to wait until the eve of 2019 to vent his spleen, assuming his postulations were true?

And in a haze of craziness, Adokwe who by self-confession convicted himself, began to curse everybody for “sleeping” over his responsibilities. But the Senator forgot easily that he has slept worse on discharging his obligations to his constituents.

On his regular sleeping seat in the Senate, none of the leaders he poured vituperations shared it with him, yet could not perform. So, afraid of his shadows, he cornered some of the security agents that would have been drafted to contain armed militia as his personal bodyguards. This unconscionable leader of the lower rung cannot blame anyone else for his own failures.

Posturing in somewhat rehearsed conspiracy, Senator Gemade, who is about rounding eight years in the Red Chamber, copied his comrade in indolence, Senator Adokwe. With nothing to advertise as achievement, but desperate to come back for a third tenure in 2019, this infectiously renounced Senator felt lambasting the FGN and security agents would deceptively assuage the anger of his constituents to vote for him again in 2019.

So, in loud preachments on the floor of the Senate during the week, Gemade, after suspending his snoozing escapades, his favourite pastime, he trumpeted to an unwilling audience, the ethnic cleansing of his people in Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba states.

What belated and fantastic emptiness! It was nice to his senses, but very shocking to many of his colleagues who assumed him, a somewhat demented soul, by veering too far off the track. Through the outbursts, Nigerians knew both Adokwe and Gemade are just out to remind the people of their familiar tricks of winning elections through masked faces of their real personage.

But the duo cracked hard nuts indeed, exposing their ignorance on security matters about Nigeria. The Nigerian security agencies, especially the Nigerian military, drafted in aid of civil security, under the tireless watch and supervision of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen. Gabriel Olonishakin have performed marvelously, as attested by mitigating the impact on these crises.

If Senators Adokwe and Gemade now sleep comfortably in their Abuja mansions without the phobia of daylight or nocturnal visits by Boko Haram terrorists, it only illustrates how much the Military have been alive to their responsibilities. The CDS team and troops have sacrificed so much to make Abuja and other cities in Nigeria, peaceful and habitable abodes for Nigerians.

There are other threatening armed struggles which suffocated Nigeria before the arrival of President Buhari. There was the lethal and provocative IPOB led by Nnamdi Kanu. But the CDS ensured its quiet extinction. The satanic IMN or Shiites sect virtually grounded most parts of the North with killings and almost morphed into another terrorists sect. It was the Nigerian military that softened these hardened and violent religious extremists.

In Northwest, armed bandits and cattle rustlers caused much pains and nightmares to communities and villages. They had already seized swathes of lands and territories in Zamfara, Katsina and Kebbi states among others. They dislodged locals and were already spreading tentacles to other parts of the North. But the CDS’s dexterous and co-ordinated military operations checkmated them.

But the Adokwes and the Gemade’s were either on AWOL in chambers or sleeping their souls away, so could not know. It is therefore, uncharitable, unreasonable and symptomatic of persecution of the Nigerian military for anybody, much more, such breed of Senators to disparage the ongoing efforts by the military to repress the herders/farmers clashes.

To cross the red line by campaigning for the sack of Security Chiefs is unpardonable. It is even more irritating, when pontificating very flimsy excuses, which the likes of sleeping Senators Gemade and Adokwe epitomize on mandates entrusted to them.

Certainly, these Senators are oblivious of the numerous sacrifices the military have made to rescue the nation from the claws of insurrections. To so freely market gibberish out of prejudice is just a confirmation of their absence, but poisonous focus on 2019. Playing politics with human lives, by turning the whip against their protectors won’t earn them victory at the polls. Like the Bible says, by their fruits, we shall know them.

Okanga writes from Agila, Benue State.

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War with The Church, As Obi Insulted Catholic Bishops



…Says they Lack Political Relevance

The recent media war between the former governor of Anambra state, Mr Peter Obi and the most populated Christian faithfuls in Igbo land (Catholic Church) has left many totally Flabbergasted .

Chief Peter Obi who is a running mate to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on Sunday the 20th of January, 2019 described the Catholic Bishops as a group of cabal in Igbo politics yet without voting capacity and relevance and urge the highly placed / top Religious mentors to seek for an additional system that will make them move from parasitic to symbiotic animals.

Chief Obi made the statement when he met with members of the Anglican laity councils of Nigeria(ANLCN) Anambra state chapter at his Onitsha GRA quarters .

We must also realize that few days ago, it was gathered that Obi called one of the most respectful catholic Bishop in Anambra state on phone around 2am and threatened him on why the Catholic church is against his aspiration and even went to a far extent to inform the Bishop that Catholic Church can’t stop him from winning the election but they will not benefit from his government if he wins.

Unfortunately for the aggrieved Obi who spoke to the clergy man with furious language, he never that his voice was recorded by the Bishop who further played the audio in the congregation of their meeting .

Since ever then, Obi have been working very hard to discredit the enormous spiritual, moral and value development created in the entire christiadom by the Bishops and members of the Catholic church.

One of the most recent and most unbearable was Obi ‘s attempt to refer the Bishops as a group of cabals without political relevance.

Just like Martin Luther King Jr would say ” Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere ” it therefore suggest that the attack on on Bishops by Obi is an attack on the generality of the Catholic church.

It was equally gathered that Obi was forced to declare war on the Catholic church because he was reliably inform that over 70 Bishops attended the Igbo conference where it was resolved that Igbos needs a presidency in 2023 not a vice president.

The above resolution from political perspectives didn’t favour Mr. Peter Obi’s vice presidential ambition and since ever then, Obi has declared war against the church.

Joseph Nwanolu wrote from Onitsha

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By Nathaniel Ikyur

On the sidelines of the gubernatorial campaign rally in Gwer-West which held in Naka town, headquarters of the local council, on Saturday January 19, I met a couple of three Tyoshin men, two women and seven youngmen at a food joint. One of the woman runs the food joint. I had visited the place to fill up while the governor was meeting with the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, a short distance away.

The initial discourse, as I heard why enjoying my pounded yam and pork meat delicacy was about the Gwer-West Council chairman who was caught on camera kneeling down before a group of people. They were referred to as the PDP ‘stakeholders’ of the local government who were embarassed, as I learnt from the discussion, at the actions of the chairman for shouting APC at a PDP function where the wife of the governor, Erdoo Ortom was present.

There was a unanimous position among these discussants, except one lady, that the chairman of the council deserved what he got. The middle aged woman who runs the food joint told me when I enquired why there is so much bile against their local government chairman, as translated into English; that, “the chairman never helped himself by his conduct in office. He isolated himself. The youths were not awith him as others do.”

I was interested in their discussion but was more curious to find out about what took me to Naka. So i interjected in a friendly tone. I asked what their position is/will be in the forthcoming governorship elections. It was not hard for them to know where I stand since I was decked in an #Ortom2019 branded PDP shirt. Of course I knew why I asked this. Two of the governorship candidates in the fortcoming elections are of Ihyarev extraction. Barr Emmmanuel Jime of APC but particularly, Rev Frederick Ikyaan of the Peoples Redemption Party, PRP who hails from Gaambe U Shin Council Ward/Mbatswarev in Gwer-West. And like a well rehearsed choral group, they all chorosued: Ortom.

The woman who runs the food joint told me in unequivocal terms that “Tyoshin people have always been PDP. We don’t know what happened in 2015 but thank God General Ortom is back to his roots.” The other youngman who said he was from the same council Ward with Rev Ikyaan said, “it’s not that we don’t love our brother the Rev. We don’t want to waste our votes. Even if we vote him, he won’t win so we’ll go with what the Tiv people are doing” and added with a proverb: “see, we are holding down a mad dog. We won’t lose our grip from its neck until we kill it, else it will bite us and the poison from its bite will kill us. And the person we know can do this is Gov Ortom.” The mad dog in the proverb is the marauding herdsmen who have killed and maimed the Benue populace.

Remember also that Gwer-West had a bitter bite of the anger of the military last year where a section of Naka town was razed down by the soldiers over allegations that a soldier was killed by the villagers. The scars are too fresh for the people to forget in a hurry.

As the discussion got underway, some of my fellow discussants assured me that the crowd that will come for the rally will be in excess of what I may have seen before. Of course I didn’t doubt them because we experienced similar turn out in 2015. But I asked them if mere crowds at a campaign rally coul garner in the needed votes. They spoke with some air of confidence saying, it’s a testimony of the good things that would follow. That it’s the assurance of things to come.

And true to type, the campaign ground began to swell to its brim. By the time the governor arrived the venue at about 3:25 pm with Dr Ayu in tow, the entire field was filled to capacity. Leaders of the various sections of the local government spoke with one voice. Chief Godwin Ikyereve spoke on behalf of Raav. Hon Kenneth Iyo, Engr. Felix Atume among many others who also spoke at the rally confirmed what the young man at the food joint told me. That Gwer-West is PDP. Hon Iyo who is a former member of the Benue state House of Assembly expressed deep pains over the way and manner his immediate community situated along the river Benue have become a place where there were constant attacks by the herdsmen. In one agreement, they declared that the mistake in 2015 will not be repeated. Which is why they decided to maintain one direction in the forthcoming general elections by voting PDP. Indeed, they assured they will work to ensure that this is sustained.

Gwer-East and Guma local government where the governor hails from, had also witnessed the same sort of referendum on Gov Ortom’s re-election. The turn out at the Gbajimba rally was electrifying and massive. Gradually, the wind blowing across the state is been resolute and consistent. That Ortom who many have given him an unofficial title as the civilian general be voted again to round up a second term and lead the people of the state against the invading herdsmen. It has been a clear testimony. And apart from other sections of the state, MINDA leaders have all spoken and have given hope that they will swing their votes in favour of Ortom on March 2, 2019. In the four MINDA local governments of Guma with a total registered voters of 91,141, Gwer East 93,606, Gwer west 61,411 and Makurdi with an admixture of metropolitan nature, with a whooping figure of 272,158, it will be heartwarming to see how the enthusiasm on the faces of many will be turned into victory songs and dance inspite of the familiar challenges.

From the MINDA axis alone where the invasion is high next only to Logo local government in Sankera, governor Ortom and the PDP will sure garner more than 60 percent of total vote cast, leaving the other parties to scamper with the rest. Of course respected elder statesman Prof Shima Gyoh, a renowned medical doctor had once argued that the most important thing at the moment is to join hands with Governor Ortom to fight the invaders first. After that, we’ll sit down and ask questions about other sectors of our growth and development.

Jemgbah bloc also gave their referendum in favour of Ortom. Thousands thronged the PDP campaign rallies in the three Jemgbah local governments areas of Gboko, Buruku and Tarka. They were also unanimous that Ortom be returned for a second term. They are convinced that his doggedness to repel the herdsmen whose plan to invade and take over our ancestral lands is real should not be treated with kid gloves. Dr Iyorchia Ayu, former Senate President stated this much when he spoke at all the rallies. The three Jemgbagh local governments has a combined total voter registration of 402,548. Which makes them a hot bed as a deciding factor. (Gboko: 232,132; Tarka: 49,098 while Buruku has 121,318) Before this election, there wouldn’t have been any contest in Gboko, Buruku and Tarka against the status quo. That’s not there again. And the reason is simple: there’s a growing anger against the APC and its leaders for not only turning a blind eye while the state is almost over ran by the herdsmen with traceable complicity against some tribal groups like Miyetti Allah, MACBAN and other affiliate groups but also that some Tiv leaders have allegedly gone into alliance with foreigners and were accusing the Tiv of killing themselves.

The turn of events at all these rallies points to the fact that not only are the people resolved to stand behind Gov Ortom Ortom to fight the aggressors, he will also sing a victory song. His election will affect drastically, the outcome of most elections, altering the status quo. This will see the PDP winning more seats at the National and state legislative houses in Benue state.

And for those who dont know, another gain of Governor Ortom in the forthcoming elections is the expectancy of political blocs like Jerchira, Kwande in Tiv speaking area and the Benue South district who are aiming at taking over in 2023. These three blocs are all laying claim to the coveted seat in 2023. And so one last term for Ortom in 2019 is a sure bet for them at taking a shot at the 2023 governorship seat. Which is why they will return block votes for Ortom. Except those who may want to live in denial, the odds of the 2019 governorship elections in Benue state are more in favour of Ortom than any other perceived candidate. We may argue with every emotions in us, throwing up all manner of imaginary powers elsewhere to subvert the popular will of the people, at the end of the day, Ortom will coast home to victory, dusting the ambitious, pretenders and jokers.

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Atiku’s withdrawal from the debate is a tactical masterstroke



By Farooq Kperogi

I’ve read commentaries that aver that Atiku’s decision to bail out of Saturday’s presidential debate in protest against Buhari’s decision not to participate in it was a tactical error. I disagree. Here is why.

The presidential debate is designed to be a match–or, if you like, a push and pull– between the defending champion, i.e., Buhari, and contenders to the title he holds, i.e., Atiku, Moghalu, Madam Oby, Sowore, and others. If the defending champion declines to thrown his hat into the ring, the entire match becomes pointlessly self-injurious to the challengers. In other words, it would have been a fatal strategic and tactical error for Atiku to partake in a potentially bruising contest with other challengers while the defending championing sits pretty somewhere unhurt.

I’ve read other people suggest that Atiku, being Buhari’s closest challenger, should have used the opportunity of the debate to sell himself to Nigerians. Well, that’s what #NgTheCandidates town hall chat is there for. You don’t sell your agenda by making yourself vulnerable to potentially deathly blows from other challengers who don’t hold the title you are fighting for.

Instead of pillorying Atiku for not taking part in the debate, we should question the other candidates for agreeing to participate in a meaningless dueling match with each other when the defending champion who holds the crown they want to grab chose to run away. Their performance in the debate would only be meaningful if it’s measured against the performance of the defending champion.

From a tactical point of view, I also don’t blame Buhari for refusing to show up for the debate. His mental and physical infirmities are now on full display and would be exposed even more in the unscripted, back-and-forth format of a debate. The cabal that minds him already deeply regrets allowing him to take part in Thursday’s town-hall chat because his cringe-worthy performance at the event dramatized his dementia and aggrandized his unfitness for the job of president. His campaign trail mishaps aren’t helping, either. Another bruise from a debate would seal his fate before Election Day.

In a tragic irony, Buhari and Atiku are less qualified for the presidency than all the other contenders are, yet it is either of them that will emerge president in February. That’s why both candidates are more guarded and strategic in their choices than the rest.

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