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Rep Kamale And The Harsh Verdict of Nemesis

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BY IDOKO AINOKO

There is a garrulous House of Representatives member, who indiscernibly provokes himself, under the delusion that he is confronting the establishment. Some people prefer to call him a “scapegoatist” in “appreciation” of his flair in scouting for leaders to blame, while overlooking his own responsibilities.

He is dis-Hon. Adamu Kamale, who represents Michika and Madagali federal constituency of Adamawa state in the Green Chamber of the National Assembly (NASS). His home state of Adamawa had been under the vicious spell of Boko Haram Terrorism (BHT) in 2009, when the extremist Islamic sect went berserk in Nigeria. It peaked in subsequent years until 2015, when President Muhammadu Buhari assumed the mantle of leadership of the country.

Apart from Borno and Yobe states, Adamawa is one of the three states in the Northeast, declared as the epicenter of Boko Haram insurgency for years. Insurgency raged with inferno and the likes of Kamale became deserters of their homes and sought refuge in the cozy confines of Abuja and big cities in Nigeria. Today, he visits home, but does not know what has changed.

Unfortunately, Rep Kamale was one of the most silent voices in his community, when terrorism raged like wild fire. And after exploiting the vulnerability of his distressed kith and kin, dis-Hon. Kamale somewhat wormed his way into political power. He won the House of Reps seat for Michika and Madagali federal constituency on the platform of the PDP in 2015 and even with such power; it has not changed his complacence on issues of terrorism.

Its most baffling that a legislator whose state was consumed by the fire of terrorism, courts the comfort of silence in the green chamber of NASS. He does not even whisper on the floor any useful suggestion for ameliorating the sufferings and hardships of victims of terror in his constituency.

He only finds a reactivated voice, when terrorists occasionally strike obscure and soft targets in his state. On his legislative agenda, assessed from his actions, no initiative and nothing precisely, links him with his ravaged and devastated home state. He waits until the sound of a bomb explodes and it becomes enough motivation to play to the gallery, by fouling the air, with all manner of obscenities.

Kamale is no doubt, an interesting character in absurdity. Each time he speaks in the media on Boko Haram terrorism; he is either reeling out scary imaginary scenarios of terrorism attacks or unconsciously admitting his deficiency and ignorance publicly about the tempo of the counter-insurgency war.

Yet this is a man, who represents a constituency and has lawful powers through a motion or Bill to compel the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) to do what he thinks it has neglected in combating terrorism or rebuilding ravaged communities. But ironically, during plenary, Hon. Kamale is as cold as impotent ash and eerily forgets that his people are gravely afflicted by terrorism, until he sees a reporter to ventilate cheap anger.

Pathetically though, this is the level of his mental instability and confusion. An unstable character, to say the least, who believes, deception is the greatest asset of some politicians in Nigeria.

But the era of political deception has eclipsed. It is an act infinitely resented and abhorred. So, he is not finding it easy to think and act progressively. Thus, he has morphed into a grand patron of liars, who nurtures and propagates assorted lies.

A few days back, he was in the news again. He was not home to brief his people on how he has discharged the mandate entrusted to him, or what constituency projects, he has executed, especially on security. A certified alarmist, he claimed to have escaped a violent attack on Kamale community in Michika LGA on Christmas Day. But in two separate media interviews, dis-Hon. Kamale incoherently recounted the single incident differently. What confounded most was the helplessness of a Representative of the people to reasonably understand the nature of the attackers.

At a point, he claimed emphatically that the attack was orchestrated by suspected Boko Haram insurgents, “The insurgents have been active both in the day and at night, killing, maiming and looting.” And at some point, , Kamale says, “we cannot say they are robbers because they were not interested in just looting as they went to the extent of killing as is consistent with Boko Haram activities.” And yet, he says again, “It was horror and we saw hell when the gunmen, though I cannot ascertain whether they were Boko Haram or not, came to the area at about 11 pm on Monday being the Christmas day and launched an attack on residents.”
This is simplistic conclusion and it has opened new vistas in knowledge, as dis-Hon. Kamale does not believe armed robbers could also possibly kill during raids. It’s more comfortable to brand them suspected Boko Haram terrorists.
But what Kamale’s fresh hysteria and confessions about terrorism and allied sects or criminals has floodlit is the willingness of some people within these communities to harbor criminals, court them and provide information to enable them function unrestrictedly.

Kamale’s personal account of the latest incident betrays him and some other politicians in the state, as conniving with natives to sustain unrest and armed banditry for political reasons.

The Rep member was credited with the statement that the assailants sneaked into the town, while people were celebrating Christmas at 11pm on Monday December 25, 2017. How did the assailants sneak into the town without anybody’s notice until an attack was launched? The issue is not the failure of security agents to respond to distress calls, but that of an entire community which incredibly went into slumber, to the extent that no one sighted the attackers timely to alert security agents.

It means the problem rests squarely on the shoulders of the locals, since it is impossible to have every homestead guarded by a sentinel. Overtime the government and the Nigerian military have preached collaboration with security agents in tackling the menace of insecurity. But it appears, some natives are more interested in conniving with the armed gangs.

And Rep Kamale like them, feel, defeating terrorism is by the sound of the gun alone. But it is beyond this simplicity. The support, co-operation and information sharing with the military and security forces are critical. Obviously, Kamale’s constituents have failed to embrace this understanding. And Kamale has failed in his sacred duty of sensitizing and educating his people against the present support they extend to terrorists. Channeling a percentage of constituency votes for this project should not be too much for Kamale, but he has not bothered.

He prefers to wail and shed crocodile tears when armed criminals strike. The grand plot is to perpetually colour the communities with violence to create the impression that terrorism has not been defeated, in order to frustrate a clean, free and robust participation of the citizenry in the electoral process.

And any eve of general elections are fertile times when such evil is plotted. With 2019 general elections fast approaching, one can understand the excitement of dis-Hon. Kamala in the resurgence of violence and the natural inclination of mouthing that Boko Haram Terrorism is not defeated.

Kamale has to learn and apply the experience in other parts of the Northeast plagued by terrorism. Yobe was one of the states under the severe furnace of terrorism, as insurgents made attempts to even capture Government House Damaturu. But different layers of leadership in the state did not abdicate on their responsibility, but combined efforts to sensitize and educate the people about the dangers of incubating and protecting terrorists. The message sank and Yobe is at peace with itself now. It is what Rep Kamale needs to do. He has to become the arrowhead of this campaign on counter-terrorism and refrain from heaping blames on others.

Therefore, Kamale is unmistakably part of the problem and it is more dignifying to remain silent than pandering to public sympathy and confusedly blaming the government over his own shortcomings, while feigning to be a victim . If indeed, Rep. Kamale is a victim of the attack, it only serves as fate rendering a harsh verdict of nemesis on him and co-travellers promoting this violence in insidious ways.

If Kamale fails to act or do the needful as representative of the people, mountain Kilimanjaro would be a small height for him to climb, when armed assailants unleash their fury again. When you harbor a serpent, expect its venom against you anytime. Leaders should learn to accept responsibility for their actions or inactions and discard the blame-game.

Ainoko is a public affairs analyst and contributed this piece from Kaduna.

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Opinion

War with The Church, As Obi Insulted Catholic Bishops

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…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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2019: ORTOM MAKES MORE GAINS AHEAD OF MARCH 2

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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

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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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