Tag Archives: acn

They are stealing our old acronyms – APC raises the alarm over new parties

by Godwin Akanfe

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has raised the alarm over a plan by unscrupulous and apparently-hired hands to relaunch the acronym battle against the party by seeking to register three new parties that bear the acronyms of the same parties that merged to become the APC.

Party spokesman, Lai Mohammed, said on Sunday that those behind the phantom parties, who are apparently working at the behest of people who have a mortal fear of the APC, have applied to INEC to register the Allied Council of Nigeria (ACN); Advanced National Patriotic Party (ANPP) and Conservative People’s Congress (CPC).

He said the fact that the acronyms of the three entities tally with those of the APC component parties (ACN, ANPP and CPC) is not accidental, but a grand design by those who have been having sleepless nights since the APC was registered.

”It is worthy of note that the three applications to INEC for the registration of the three organisations as political parties were made on the same day. Apparently, common sense takes flight in the face of great desperation!

”Their plan is simple: Once the parties are registered, they will then apply to change their logos to those of the original ACN, ANPP and CPC, and then hope to be on the ballot for next year’s general elections. Just before the elections, the sponsors of the phantom parties will then send out messages, saying the APC has splintered into its component parties for the purpose of the election. Whatever happens, their plan is to confuse the electorate and hamper the electoral fortunes of the APC,” the party said.

The APC called on INEC not to succumb to the antics of those who are planning to sabotage the 2015 general elections and win elections by subterfuge.

”This acronym battle is a part of the larger war against our party to prevent its registration. Nigerians will recollect that the same people, apparently, applied to register a phantom APC the moment it became clear that our merger would succeed and that INEC would register our party, having met all the requirements to consummate the merger.

”Thankfully, INEC refused to compromise its neutrality and integrity and chose to act in accordance with the law by registering our party. We urge the electoral body to do the same now, in the face of unprecedented desperation by those who believe they can only win elections by cutting corners,” he added.

Mohammed also called on Nigerians to be vigilant as the 2015 elections approach, saying those who are now coming to terms with the reality that the APC is a viable alternative in the country’s political firmament will stop at nothing to seek to mar the electoral fortunes of the party.

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Dele Momodu: Nuhu Ribadu and the rest of us

by Dele Momodu

Fellow Nigerians, it has been a week of serious fireworks and heavy bombardment against one of our own on social media. The brouhaha erupted over what should have been a simple migration of Nuhu Ribadu from his erstwhile political Party, APC, to PDP, a Party most of his fans turned attackers consider to represent a complete opposite of the politics that Ribadu professes as well as a total abandonment of his avowed principles. As much as I tried not to dabble into what I considered a personal decision, I was forced at a stage to state some facts on Twitter. I intend to expand the content of that intervention today.

The fury expressed against Nuhu was certainly borne out of acute frustration by those who looked upon him as a saint in a terribly polluted environment. How they arrived at the deification of this gentleman is worth exploring. For those who may not know him well, let me sketch, as much as I can, a vivid picture of a man we all know as Mallam Nuhu Ribadu.

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The other informed view is that Nuhu abandoned APC because he’s not convinced it can pull the stunt of defeating an incumbent President in a country where power is everything. Such doomsday scenario would certainly scare anyone who has spent most of his adult life in public service. 

Nuhu was a serving police officer whose ascendancy came when he was appointed by the then President, Olusegun Obasanjo, as Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The Agency was empowered to arrest, detain and prosecute economic saboteurs and all manner of criminals seeking to ruin the State or individual through stealing or obtaining by false pretence. Nuhu wielded enormous powers and used it to the fullest. He courted the media and became one of the most famous celebrities in the process. Nigerians found him a fearless Angel who was ready, able and willing to take on the cankerworm of corruption ravaging our country with total impunity. Many of his admirers could not be bothered if he was guilty of human rights abuses and/or extra judicial prosecution of his war against corrupt Nigerians.  It even seemed they loved and preferred any kangaroo justice that could be employed to devastate those they saw as enemies of progress.

Naturally, Nuhu stepped on very powerful toes. The more he talked, lashed at and threatened to deal with criminals, the more he exposed himself to danger. I remember warning him on this page in 2007 about the obstacles that would make his mission impossible. He appeared to me like an employee who took his job more seriously than the employer. I do not know of any Mafia nation bigger than Nigeria at this time and age and I tried to paint the lurid picture for him to see how clearly he was heading for a cul-de-sac and how the snakes imbued with power in Nigeria were going to bite him mercilessly.

How on earth did he expect to fight those who funded the Presidential campaigns of his own bosses? He had granted too many interviews using expletives against the godfathers of Nigerian politics. I knew it was only a matter of time before the chickens would come home to roost and the cookie would start to crumble. But Nuhu and his handlers disagreed with me. He was probably inspired by his sense of self-righteousness and proselytising mission.  I made a few predictions which all came to pass with almost mathematical precision, the chief of which was that he was going to be turned from being the hunter to the hunted. One day, he was suddenly removed from office, demoted from the Nigeria Police Force, after enjoying some sporadic promotions that left many of his old course-mates, and even seniors, very stupefied. The situation was so bad that he fled Nigeria and settled for voluntary exile in Dubai.

As a veteran of exile myself, I knew how difficult it was going to be for him. What exile inflicts on you is similar to what you experience in solitary confinement. The mental torture you encounter is unimaginable. There is nothing worse than a once active and itinerant man being rendered not only invalid but near incommunicado. The worst even is for such a vibrant man, already used to enjoying public attention and adulation to suddenly pale into irrelevance and insignificance. Sooner or later, this change of fortune and circumstance was going to take its toll and it actually did. Nuhu was forced to eat the humble pie and actually needed no persuasion to establish a channel of dialogue with the Jonathan administration. I was not privy to their negotiations but Nuhu was able to return home. He had his rank restored to him and he started looking good again.

One thing must have led to the other and Nuhu soon took a plunge into the murky ocean of politics in our country. How he navigated his journey and meandered his way to the political Party known then as ACN remains his personal secret. But like the rest of us, I believe Nuhu must have been influenced and inspired by the Obama miracle in America. Many of us were fooled into believing that our personal accomplishments and extensive popularity were the ingredients needed to galvanise our people into voting for a new set of leaders. But Nigeria was not yet ripe enough to produce the likes of Obama, David Cameron and other such youthful international politicians; bright, young, charismatic, famous, visionary and so on.

In reality, the options before any of us then were few and restrictive. The first was to go ultra-conservative and join the Republicans of Nigeria, PDP. But no serious progressive would commit such hara-kiri. It has never been in the nature of the Nigerian Conservatives, that PDP typifies, to throw up inspirational candidates. That is one of the reasons Chief MKO Abiola contested on the platform of SDP rather NRC. The Nigerian Conservatives often over-rely on the use of brute force and constantly live under the delusion that any candidate they field would always win even if that candidate is a dog. It explains the reason Abiola was so underrated and a less influential personality in Alhaji Bashir Tofa was fielded and was expected to defeat one of Africa’s greatest icons.

The second option was to join a Party that had succeeded in carving out its own empire in the South West of Nigeria. Even if there appeared to be no marked difference of personality and principle between PDP and ACN, the latter was still manageable and malleable. The PDP as a Party of too many powerful people would be more difficult to re-orientate. Their power derives from too much wealth and access to it; too many offices to share and its availability in Nigeria and far-flung places; old age and its attendant obligatory demand for respect or even subservience. Nuhu must have taken some of those indices into consideration. But that decision was not going to be as simply rewarding as he must have thought. Many reasons conspired against him. Some of the people he had tried for high-level corruption when he was the boss of EFCC were now in the same Party with him.

It is usually said that “show me your friends and I would tell who you are” became a slogan that haunted Nuhu regularly. On several occasions he had no choice but to deny some his own former explosive statements about some of the leaders of his new Party and his equity and goodwill began to nose-dive and diminish. Despite that, he managed to get the ticket of ACN, not without creating some rancorous dissent from some top Party members who felt he was shoved above them.

He paid me a visit a day after he picked up that ticket and we thought we could work together to make the impossible possible. But he had a major hurdle he didn’t know how to cross. That is a story for another day. But a seed of mistrust was planted when his Party decided to support Dr Goodluck Jonathan for the Presidential race. Only the Governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola refused to support such misadventure. I believe Nuhu never recovered from the shock of that chicanery.

The other option would have been to try a Party that did not carry as much baggage of liabilities like the foremost two, PDP and ACN. That was the option I took when I joined the Labour Party which I thought could be built into a workers’ Party and give Nigeria a semblance of a welfare state like England before realising that my optimism had been misplaced and chose the National Conscience Party. Truth is it would always be difficult to have more than two strong Parties at the centre and the other fragments at the local level. It must have dawned on Nuhu that his Presidential ambition would have no wings to fly in the new amalgamation of ACN, CPC, a faction of PDP, and others, with the avuncular presence of General Muhammadu Buhari, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Alhaji Rabiu Kwankwaso, Dr Abubakar Saraki and a possible last minute-joiner, Waziri Aminu Tambuwal. One of those men will certainly emerge sooner than later as the Presidential candidate of APC.

As if that was not bad enough, Nuhu could also not guaranty a gubernatorial ticket in his home state of Adamawa and this must have been the last straw that broke his camel’s back. As a democrat he must have known that imposition of candidates was already tearing the ACN apart and that it would no longer be tolerated or condoned in an enlarged APC. He must have seen that it would be difficult for him to be imposed on APC in the same manner that he was foisted on ACN in 2011.  If this was going to be denied as a major reason for jumping ship, the manner he hurriedly picked up a nomination form as a gubernatorial aspirant of the PDP so soon after he joined his new Party gave fillip to that suspicion. What is not known is how easy it would be for him to get that ticket without throwing PDP Adamawa into total confusion, commotion and disarray.

The other informed view is that Nuhu abandoned APC because he’s not convinced it can pull the stunt of defeating an incumbent President in a country where power is everything. Such doomsday scenario would certainly scare anyone who has spent most of his adult life in public service. By next year, it would have been a total of about nine years since he’s been out of government job. Realistically, life would have been too difficult to bear for an average person. Our system is such that it stultifies and strangulates members of opposition. In this season of political confusion, it is easy for most people to give up under the alibi that there is no difference between PDP and APC. While I respect Nuhu’s right to choose either of the two, I believe he should have realised how costly choosing PDP would be to his humongous reputation as the Nemesis of the Corrupt.

While it is always easy to move from the right to the left, it is not usually simple to move from left to right. It is generally believed that PDP is very bad and APC is bad but with flashes of hope from within. Even Biblically, it is better for a bad man Saul to become Paul rather than for Paul to change to Saul. Nuhu’s metamorphosis needs to be situated within Nigerian contemporary history. Most of those who chose to swing from left to right don’t have sweet stories to tell. The people complaining about his move are doing so because they saw him rightly or wrongly as a Messiah. And to whom much is given, much is also expected. Such is the dilemma of a change agent.

The solution to this breaking of people’s heart and dashing their hopes for me is easy. Nuhu is a technocrat who could have opted to work under Jonathan without being a member of PDP. Politics has destroyed too many of our finest brands. Examples abound of those who chose the power of service over the service of power. It is difficult to know if Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, Dr Olusegun Aganga and their ilk are card-carrying members of PDP because of their suavity but Nuhu would now be subjected to the whims and caprices of those tough guys in PDP. This is the tragedy. Despite objections to his appointment as Chairman of the Petroleum Revenue Taskforce by President Jonathan, many still saw that it was consistent his natural role as an anti-corruption crusader. But this time, it seems this defection is tougher to accept.

It was difficult for many of his fanatical supporters to even accept his relationship with some APC stalwarts not to now talk of these PDP oligarchs. They consider this one, a suicidal move to a party where some of the most indescribable characters hold sway. They weep that a man of Nuhu’s calibre would now have to bow to gods with feet of clay or get hacked down to miniature size.
I pray his sojourn in PDP would be a miraculous exception. I sincerely pray he’s right and the rest of us are totally wrong.

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Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

Collins Uma: We will not infringe upon Nyako’s rights to associate with pigs (Y! FrontPage)

by Collins Uma

Collins Uma

The PDP, through the non-existent Wendell Simlin and its spokesperson, Olisa Metuh, started this mudslinging. We have a choice to join them in that gutter or not. Nyako chose to join them. We will not infringe upon his rights to association, with pigs.

On a good day, Admiral Murtala Nyako should be standing in front of a judge right now explaining exactly what he meant by that libelous memo of his. But we never have good days in Nigeria, all because of a little something called ‘immunity clause’ which shields men like Nyako from prosecution, no matter how much damage they do to society by their actions, inactions and senseless vituperations.

I stopped taking Admiral Nyako serious when, after he was ‘helped’ by the PDP to become governor of Adamawa state in 2007, he couldn’t summon the courage to look his four wives in the face and, like every self-respecting state governor in Nigeria, appoint one of them as First Lady, the unconstitutionality of that office notwithstanding. What Mr Nyako did was to make them all ‘First Ladies’. Yes, all four of them. All with the usual retinue of aides and aides’ aides and official cars and offices and foreign trips and all other perks and abuses of privilege, all funded from the state’s lean purse, which itself depends on a meagre federal allocation. Let’s not talk about Adamawa state’s internally generated revenue. It is laughable. Yet, Baba Mai Mangoro, as he likes to be called, thought that the proliferation of profligacy represented by having four ‘First Ladies’ was what his state needed. Justice Binta Nyako was put in charge of ‘Abuja Affairs’ (whatever that meant), Dr Halima Nyako was in charge of the health sector (no, she was not Commissioner of Health or Special Adviser on Health or Senior Special Assistant on Health or Special Assistant on Health. There were people occupying these offices already). Hajiya Asma’u Nyako was told to oversee the ‘Home front’ while Hajiya Zainab Nyako handled ‘Political Affairs And Mobilisation’. Only someone with Nyako’s genius could come up with something like this.

According to The Guardian’s September 17, 2007 editorial “When Hajiya Turai Yar’Adua, Nigeria’s First Lady, invited other governor’s wives to a meeting in Aso Villa, Justice Binta, another Nyako wife, showed up at the door beating Hajiya Zainab to it. A furious Zainab was politely but firmly sent away on the ground that there was no room for two Nyako wives at the Villa.” The editorial went ahead to talk about “security implications when four power-hungry women are clustered at the seat of power, plotting and planning. In an attempt to undo each other, they might in fact undo their husband”.

But Murtala Nyako seems oblivious to this.

When, in October 2012, Boko Haram struck at Federal Polytechnic, Mubi, Adamawa state, killing 40 students, Nyako was still a member of the PDP and he didn’t think the attack was President Jonathan or federal government-sponsored. Ditto the other attacks while he was still a ‘Jonathanian’. This unfortunate memo is therefore not about Northern Nigeria as he would want Northerners to believe. It is about him and his new clique’s quest to take power from President Jonathan by every means conceivable. Addressing South Easterners and saying “one is quite sure that if you had condemned the cold-blooded murder of political and military leaders of Northern and Western Nigerian origins in the night of 15 January, 1966 by your sons it would not have led to the subsequent massacre of the innocent and the Nigerian Civil War” was simply an indication that the anti-Igbo pogrom of 1966 in which at least 30,000 Nigerians of South-East origin lost their lives in Northern Nigeria, which led to the Civil War where up to a million others died, is justified in Nyako’s mind. And people like him are ready to take the rest of us down that road again just because of 2015 politics.

It is tragic enough that the PDP has people like Olisa Metuh and Doyin Okupe who have refused to use their God-given intelligence and now talk like they have had their heads reconstructed in the similitude of donuts. This makes us look at the APC with hopes of salvation. It is therefore very disappointing to see that the messiah we are looking up to is in greater need of salvation itself. The real tragedy, however, is that other expectedly sensible members of the APC have not come out to dissociate themselves from the evil opinions expressed by Mr Nyako.

There is no gainsaying that Jonathan’s perceived weakness in the face of the Boko Haram and other insurgents’ onslaught has unwittingly encouraged and emboldened the terrorists and their sponsors. Denying the existence of Boko Haram and claiming that the terrorists are nothing but paid killer squads from the Nigerian Army who are being used by President Jonathan to decimate Northern Nigeria, however, as Nyako has done, is a terribly dangerous level of mischief. It is as murderous as it is suicidal because it gives the terror groups and their sponsors free rein to operate, knowing that some stupid political game has ensured that someone somewhere is taking the fall for their operations.

The PDP, through the non-existent Wendell Simlin and its spokesperson, Olisa Metuh, started this mudslinging. We have a choice to join them in that gutter or not. Nyako chose to join them. We will not infringe upon his rights to association, with pigs. He chose to respond to the “typical bulls__t from the federal administration” with his own typical bulls__t. We will ignore him. General Muhammadu Buhari’s comments after the Nyanya bomb blast has shown us a higher ground, a better way to go. We will take it. Buhari’s comments and opinion exude ultimate class, compared to Nyako’s crass.

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Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

Opinion: The tragedy of partisan politics in Nigeria

by Femi Owolabi

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Unconfirmed sources reported that Atiku had given N1b each to the ACN branches across the states of the federation. Yes, that is N36b! I was an ACN member. Money and other souvenirs were shared at our ward.

In Nigeria, money, or gbemu – as it is being philosophized in the case of political mobilization, is the principal thing upon which partisanship thrives. When you call for a political participation at the grassroots, the first question you are asked is, ‘What is the gbemustic arrangee?’ In plain English, they are asking you, ‘chairman, how much will you arrange for me if I come for this political something?’ The gbemustic arrangee is the first in the scheme of the political systematization. So, most times, as a candidate eyeing a political seat, the game is neither about your competence nor achievements, it is simply about how much gbemu you have, to share! Political rhetoric, ideologies, manifestoes or whatever is not sellable here. He who has the gbemu has the votes. And when you brag about the idea-loaded manifesto of yours and your party, they will tell you that, ‘Olowo’n soro, talika lou’n ni idea,’ Oga billionaire is talking money, this hungry politician is talking ideas. That is why the camel will walk through the hole of a needle before an ordinary Nigerian with good intentions will aspire to a political office and Nigerians would take him/her seriously.

That is why nobody is yet to take Sam Nda-Isaiah seriously since he announced his intention to run for presidency under the platform of the APC. In 2007, it did not take Atiku Abubakar a drop of sweat, after decamping to the ACN, to get the presidential slot of the party. Unconfirmed sources reported that Atiku had given N1b each to the ACN branches across the states of the federation. Yes, that is N36b! I was an ACN member. Money and other souvenirs were shared at our ward. My mind runs back to Nda-Isaiah; where will the humble publisher get N36b to mobilize us? Whatever Nda-Isaiah is saying now, as long as his words are not gbemustically wheeled, only expresses his vacuousness.

I wasn’t shocked, sometime last week when I read somewhere on Twitter; how Dino Melaye’s anti-corruption crusaders accused their principal of failing to gbemustically demobilize them. These are people who one thinks should have believed in Melaye’s anti-corruption crusade and had come out willingly to join him in the protest against corruption. Where would they have expected Melaye to get the money? He was a former House member. And that is enough job to make one a millionaire?!

My sister was dismayed on hearing that Ekiti gubernatorial candidates in the PDP picked their interest form for N10m. What is form? She asked. Is it not just a paper? And how much is a rim of paper? I had a good laugh at her series of questions. This, however, is one thing that should motivate elected officers to steal. In a conversational summit with Ekiti State’s Governor Fayemi last month, he revealed to us that his salary is N549,000. Going by this salary, it should take about two years for the PDP governor to realize the N10m. But, is the case indeed so, juxtaposing their asset-worth before elected as governor and after they had left office?

In his 2012 SNG Public Lecture, the poet and scholar, Niyi Osundare, on the premise of the Ekiti socio-cultural ideology, shares a story.

“Let me share with you a story I heard from my father, a story which illustrates the astonishing difference between the moral order of those days and the degenerate laxity of the so-called postcolonial era.

“As this story goes, a young man in another part of town was beginning to give everyone around him a cause to worry. Already well into his thirties, he had no job; he hated farming, the major occupation at that time because it was hard and dirty. He was apprenticed to one or two trades, but he never waited long enough to complete his training in any of them. The extended family then called him and asked what exactly he would like to do for a living. He said the business of buying and selling was his prime choice, the one he dreamt about all the time, the one that would bring him the fortune and freedom he needed. And he insisted on doing this in some big and faraway town where his need to make profits would not be compromised by family obligations. His family taxed its members, raked together a tidy sum for him and sent him off with all their good wishes.”

“About six months later, it was Christmas time, and this young man returned to town, looking conspicuously prosperous. People wondered which shone the loudest: the gold chain around his neck or the gold strap of his exotic wrist watch. On Christmas day, he floated a feast whose lavish extravagance beggared a royal banquet. About five goats and countless chickens collided in his giant cooking pot, while all the palmwine tappers in town knew where to direct their kegs that day. The great feast was about to start when the guests sent for my father to join them. The first messenger came; my father refused to go; then the second. The third reported with the sardonic warning that whoever failed to get to the feast when the fireplace was still hot would only have himself to blame if all he met were half-picked bones and the loud belches of the punctual guests.”

“At this point, my father felt the need to clarify a few issues, and said something to this effect: Let me explain myself now before outsiders begin to explain it for me or read hostile meanings into my absence at our brother’s feast. He is our brother, and I have nothing against him. I know the way to our brother’s house, and I have been there many times before without being persuaded to come. And it is not that I woke up today of all days and could not find my appetite. But the question for our brother is: ibi se ti reo ree? (where did he get the money from?). Is this not the same young man for whom we had to collect all our toro, kobo (all our little pennies) some six months ago? How could he have made the profit that could fund the feast whose extravagance the whole town is talking about? No one who has made money the hard, honest way squanders it the way our brother is doing. So, without any envy or ill wish, I ask our brother again, ibi se to reo ree?.”

“My father never attended that feast; and as the story goes, there were some members of the celebrant’s molebi (extended family) who never did. Christmas over, the pots and pans went back where they came; the revelers dispersed; our young man returned to his ‘station’. But about two weeks later, when the New Year was still very new and remnants of yuletide jollifications floated on the wings of the harmattan wind, an uncharacteristic hush fell on the town. The young man, that generous thrower of the Christmas party, was back in town. Only that this time he was securely handcuffed and sandwiched between two hefty policemen who had come to search his family house. The town was later told that the young man was charged with all kinds of crimes ranging from massive theft to embezzlement. He was already working hard for a one-way ticket to prison.”

“Ibi se ti reo ree? (Where did he get his money from?) that was the question people asked in those days when our society’s head stood confidently on its neck, and all manner of thieves and criminals never found their way to power from where they could choke us in their moral effluvia.”

In places like America, I am not sure if a Senator Obama in 2008 had the resources to dispense such largesse as former Vice Persident Atiku did in 2007 in Nigeria. Obama was, instead, trying to raise money through donations from his, mostly middleclass, supporters. And it was a transparent exercise. In Nigeria, grassroots supporters are only interested in milking the political aspirant. They know these rich aspirants had, in one way or the other gotten their money by looting the national treasury. So they need not ask, Atiku, ibi se ti reo ree? Their (supporters) ultimate agenda is to get their share of the gbemu. Their chances may be slim as soon as the man gets what he wants. It is the same crowd that you see at the APC rally that would also show up for the PDP rally. The enthusiasm, partisanship shown is dependent on the gbemustic arrangee!

Observing elections in 2011, there was a polling unit where the ACN agents would give N500 to any voter who thumbed for the party. Realizing this, the PDP in its almightiness raised the bar and offered N1,000 for whoever wants to stand by the umbrella. Some people who had earlier voted for ACN expressed their regret, and would want to clean the mark at the back of their thumb, re-join the queue and cast a fresh vote for the PDP. For N1,000. There were polling units where caterers stood by the ballot boxes, and handed over a packed-plate of rice with chicken to any voter who cast for the party that hired them.

Before his demise, the political philanthropist, Dr. Olushola Saraki Olooye of Kwara had always left open his GRA-house gates for all to come in and feast. It uncovers the mystery, that, since the days of Adamu Attah, it’s whoever Olooye endorsed that would win the gubernatorial election.

In an interview with ThisDay Newspaper, last year, the senator representing Ekiti Central Senatorial District explains how Nigerians put legislators under financial pressure. Says Ojudu: “A colleague of mine died about a month ago. A week before his death, we were together at a function in Lagos and he kept complaining about the financial pressure on him. He said to keep himself safe, he had to hire 12 policemen, each of them taking N100,000 per month with three meals. When he is at home, there will be about 200 people waiting for him for one assistance or the other. And I said, ‘look, take it easy. If you die, somebody else will jump into that seat.’ Do you know that he slumped and died barely four days after our discussion? The financial pressure is too much.

“You get invitation for things like house-roofing. You have to pay school and hospital bills for so many people. I always tell my colleagues that we should come together and fashion out a way to take care of our people collectively, to reduce the pressure on us. All the money you claim we receive is returned to the people. Last December, I had to borrow money to buy 200 bags of rice. We have to sit down with the executive and fashion out a way to reduce poverty in the country. We are doing most of the jobs the executive should be doing. Can you go to an American senator and ask for cash? He would be wondering if you are crazy. Here, people don’t have access to governors. People can come to my house any time of the day. All we do every day is go to the bank, collect cash and share to people.”

Hear the senator, “All we do every day is go to the bank, collect cash and share to people!”

The senator is then asked “How much is the take-home of a senator after all deductions?”

“It is about N1 million,” he says. And then you wonder, is it from this N1m that Ojudu’s late colleague paid ten policemen N100, 000 every month? Nevertheless, Senator should keep sharing this money because whenever he goes to Ekiti, nobody will querulously ask, Mr. Senator, ibi se ti reo ree?

2015 election is just a step away. Democratic coalitions, support groups fueled by gbemustic arrangee are springing out from every corner. The most recent I had seen is the Gooduck Initiative For Transformation, GIFT, 2015. Their key message? “Join Us To Convince President Jonathan To Run In 2015.” The acronym, GIFT!

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This article was published with permission from Omojuwa.com

 

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.