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A Battle for Supremacy: Rotimi Amaechi vs Hadiza Bala-Usman



By Eric Elezuo

What exactly is happening at one of Nigeria’s most lucrative cash cows, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA)? Something is obviously amiss and insiders have revealed that the whole brouhaha is linked to a supremacy battle between Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi and NPA’s suspended Managing Director, Hadiza Bala-Usman.

Interestingly, both were the best of friends when they strategised to pull down the Jonathan Presidency in 2015, enthroned Buhari in the same year and worked towards his reelection in 2019. Today, the cookie has crumbled and the war of attrition is deep.

Insiders have revealed that the NPA saga is actually a monumental war between Amaechi and Kaduna Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai and their supporters.

The allegation is that the whole brouhaha is for the soul of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and who controls the party ahead of the 2023 Presidential election.

Though the palaver has been simmering for sometime now, the shit hit the fan on Thursday, May 6, 2021 when a letter from the Presidency, signed by President Muhammadu Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Shehu Garba became public.


“President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the recommendation of the Ministry of Transportation under Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi for the setting up of an Administrative Panel of Inquiry to investigate the Management of the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA.

“The President has also approved that the Managing Director, Hadiza Bala Usman step aside while the investigation is carried out. Mr. Mohammed Koko will act in that position.

The panel is to be headed by the Director, Maritime Services of the Ministry while the Deputy Director, Legal of the same ministry will serve as Secretary. Other members of the panel will be appointed by the Minister”

Hadiza Bala-Usman’s suspension came as a rude shock as she has been running the dollar-denominated agency with full powers like a Super Woman, her word was law and no one dared confront her over any issue. Little wonder an industry expert told The Boss “I don’t understand why a Finance Director will be told to take over when the issue in contention is unremitted funds,”

We gathered that everyone was surprised that the whole NPA Board which was allegedly hand-picked by the Minister, Rotimi Amaechi, was left in place and only the Managing Director was suspended. That is why many believe that there is more than the presidency statement revealed.


Those in the know revealed that it was former Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi that nominated Hadiza Bala-Usman, the former Chief of Staff to Governor el-Rufai as Managing Director. The 2016 nomination was a signal that both officers were in very good terms as she worked at the secretariat of the APC presidential campaign the previous year when Amaechi was the Director-General of the Buhari Campaign Organisation.

We recall that both were in the inner caucus of the campaign and were among the few chosen to accompany then Presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari to Chatham House in February 2015.

Sources have hinted that over the years, the relationship between Amaechi and Bala-Usman began to degenerate concerning matters of procurement, contract awards among others in the ministry. Not only was she allegedly treating the Executive Directors with utmost disdain, The Boss understands that the suspended MD was going solo in affairs of the agency to the chagrin of the Minister.

We were told that the pair had a major fallout over the matter with INTELS, the ports logistics company  which had enjoyed a monopoly in the oil and gas cargo business for years.

NPA terminated the company’s pilot monitoring and supervision agreement over non compliance with Presidential Directive on Treasury Single Account (TSA) and refusal to remit $145 million.

The Minister had directed that the matetr be handled differently, but he was ignored even the new instruction for court cases to be dropped is yet to be implemented.

That was not all, there is also the issue of impunity and an alleged penchant to “fight to finish” leveled against the suspended Managing Director.

Critics also point to her face off with Ocean Marine Services Limited where she cancelled the company’s Secure Anchorage Agreement and later wrote a petition to the Senate President that she was attacked at the NASS Chamber by hoodlums sponsored by the company.

Despite the presentation by OMSL that it had acted with integrity, probity and even shown its years of commitment and contribution to the economy and the intervention of the Senate Committee, Bala Usman was obstinate.

Though she was applauded for many innovations, her alleged sins blighted them all.


On March 2, 2021, the Budget Office, in a letter signed by the Director-General, Ben Akabueze, outlined shortages in remittances from the NPA. The letter was in response to a letter of February 19, 2021 by the Transportation Ministry, and signed by Mr. Amaechi, seeking to know the extent of remittances from the Port Authority. The shortages in the remittances prompted the Transportation Ministry to petition the President.

In the letter dated March 4, 2021, addressed to The President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, and titled REMITTANCE OF OPERATING SURPLUS TO THE CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND ACCOUNT (CRF) BY THE NIGERIAN PORTS AUTHORITY FROM 2016 – DATE, Hon Amaechi’s Ministry of Transport accused the NPA leadership of withholding One Hundred and Sixty Five Billion, Three Hundred and Twenty Million, Nine Hundred and Sixty Two Thousand, Six Hundred and Ninety Seven Naira only (N165, 320, 962, 697.00) in five years, and therefore, should be investigated.

The letter signed by Hon Amaechi prayed the presidency to “approve that the account and remittances of NPA in the period of 2016 – 2020 be audited to account for the gross shortfall of remitted public funds.”

The letter reads: “It has been observed from the records submitted by the Budget Office of the Federation that the yearly remittances of operating surpluses by the Nigerian Ports Authority from year 2016 to 2020 has been far short of the amount due for actual remittance

“In view of the above, I wish to suggest that the Financial account of the activities of Nigerian Ports Authority be investigated for the period 2016 to 2020 to ascertain the true financial position and the outstanding unremitted balance of One Hundred and Sixty Five Billion, Three Hundred and Twenty Million, Nine Hundred and Sixty Two Thousand, Six Hundred and Ninety Seven Naira only (N165, 320, 962, 697.00)”

As a follow up, on March 17, 2021, the prayers were granted as minuted on the letter sighted by The Boss with the signature of President Buhari. On the same day, the decision of Mr. President was communicated to Hon Amaechi in a letter signed by the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari. The letter of approval however, got to the Transport Ministry on March 30.

Again, on April 6, 2021, the Transportation Ministry, in a letter signed by the Permanent Secretary, Dr, Magdalene Ajani, communicated to the Auditor-General of the Federation the approval of the President to audit the accounts of NPA. It hinted that the “financial activities including but not limited to the remittances of operating surpluses of Nigerian Ports Authority for the period 2016 – 2020 be holistically and comprehensively investigated and audited.”

It went further to recommend five audit firms to chose from, or in the alternative authorise the ministry to advertise and select a suitably qualified firm to conduct the exercise. The Auditor-General however, turned down the request for fresh auditors as the office can boast of qualified auditors to conduct the exercise, saying there is “no justification for the Ministry to advertise and select qualified Audit firms to conduct the exercise”.

In the response dated April 16, the Auditor-General of the Federation, Adolphus Aghughu, said the NPA accounts had already been audited by external auditors up to 2019 — which is up to date in the cycle.

Aghughu also said his office conducted periodic checks for the years 2016-2018 and issued “periodic checks reports” along with comments on their annual accounts and auditor’s reports.


While the Administrative Probe panel is getting ready to begin work, that may not be the only headache Hadiza Bala Usman has to contend with according to a report by Per Second News.

The publication stated that a report by Auditor General’s Office revealed that NPA’s financial records were riddled with so many bookkeeping deficiencies, irregularities, and errors that a reliable audit was simply impossible.

Highlights of the report include the alleged refusal  of the MD to remit VAT deductions running into billions of naira and in foreign currency denomination to the Federal Inland Revenue Service.

For instance, the query highlighted unremitted deduction to Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to include N3,667,750,470. $148,845,745.04, Euro 4,891,449.50 and £252,682.14.

The NPA under Hadiza Bala Usman was also accused of ” excessive increase in administrative operational expenses” extra budgetary expenditures on hotel accommodation and under disclosure of expenditures on hotel expenses”, Corporate Social Responsibility Projects, diversion of funds through the Nigerian Port Today, to the sponsorship of National Assembly Programmes, amongst other.

The queries which covered over 100 issues, also alleged asked Hadiza Bala Usman to make various refunds to government, especially in instances where such expenditures could not be justified.

Investigation also uncovers that the Audit team reviewed NPA’s policy on implementation of Corporate Social Responsibility Projects/ Programmes and discovered that records relating to CSR fell short of the level of compliance with the Public procurement Act 2007.

In 2016, the NPA spent N286,412,628.00 on CSR while in 2017, the figure rose to N2,496,248,775.00 and N5billion in 2018. The Audit team found out that “beneficiary needs were not properly assessed or identified before the implementation of CSR projects/ programmes.

The Audit team observed to its shock that there was no evidence of compliance with public procurement Act and that most of the CSR projects/ programmes were allegedly inflated and accordingly ordered that the “sum of N5.18 billion should be recovered from the Managing Director of NPA, being the value of, inflated amount under her watch.

The committee also observed that delivery of CSR items were not accompanied with delivery letters and that in some cases, there was no evidence of actual items delivered and who signed for them.

For instance while a contract with Ref. HQ/GM/PROC/CON/C.11/PBT/16/322 dated 16/10/17 was awarded in favour of Messrs Ecomaxx Engineering Projects Ltd for the supply of items to the old people’s Home Yaba, Lagos to the tune of  N19,760,460.00 which was paid vide invoice no HQ/CS/0711 dated 01/06/17 there was no documentary evidence that the items were indeed delivered to the Home.

In the same vein, the contract for supply of items to Yaba children’s orphanage followed the same pattern.

For instance, whilst a contract awarded in favour of Trans-secure Ltd was N19,467,000.00 the survey conducted by the audit team found out that N6,520,500.00 was the actual market price.

The Auditor-General also noted “It was observed that total expenditure by the Authority increased astronomically by 128% from N87.47 billion in 2016 to N198.98 billion in 2017. Of particular concern was the administrative expenses which increased by 72% from N26.126 billion in 2016 to N44.93 billion in 2017.

Again, whereas in 2016 N22.16 billion was expended on revenue monitoring, the amount rose to a whopping N1.06 billion in 2017, an increase of over 4,689%. Similarly, overseas training rose from N20.48 million in 2016 to N470 million, an increase of over 2194%.

Also, whereas N15.31 million was spent on vessels / craft in 2016, the amount rose to N117.4 million in 2017, an increase of 666%.

The excessive expenditure of pollution control also attracted the scrutiny of the auditors as N4.2 billion was spent in 2017 as against N29 million in 2016, an increase of 14,310 %. Other over bloated increase in expenditure include local and foreign medical expenses, legal fees, Corporate souvenirs and expenditure on other government agencies which rose from N50.29 million in 2016 to N338.59 million in 2017, a 573 per cent rise.

The Audit also flagged the N369.71 million spent through the Nigerian Ports Today” the official in-house magazine of the NPA. “Payments to Nigerian Ports Today were reviewed to confirm whether they were properly initiated, authorised processed, documented and paid in line with the Public Procurement Act 2007,” the report said.

Findings revealed the sum of N369,718,130.82 was paid to Nigerian Ports Today, a Limited liability company that is fully owned and controlled by NPA during the period under review. There was no evidence of contractual relationship in the form of award of contract to the company nor was there anything to show the company rendered services to the Authority to justify these payments and concludes that the Authority paid the company without a contract and thereby contravening the Public procurement Act 2007, and that this was viewed as a means to divert public funds,” the report alleged.

The Audit query also took serious exceptions to various expenditure incurred by the NPA on behalf of the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi for which a whopping $604,598.95 was paid without supporting documents.


In her response documented in a letter dated May 5, 2021, and addressed to the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, Bala-Usman faulted the allegations about NPA’s refusal to make remittances to the Consolidated Revenue Fund.She affirmed that the Authority had remitted what is due in full.

The letter titled RE: REQUEST FOR THE RECORD OF REMITTANCE OF OPERATING DURPLUS TO THE CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUNDS ACCOUNT BY THE NIGERIAN PORTS AUTHORITY and signed by her as Managing Director/CEO read “The attention of the Authority has been drawn to a letter conveying Mr. President’s approval for the Ministry of Transportation (FMoT) to conduct an audit of the accounts of the Authority and its remittances to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF). This arose from a correspondence between the Budget Office of the  Federation (BOF) and the Ministry of Transpotation where the Budget Office conveyed to the FMoT an observed shortfall of the Authory’s remittances to CRF

“We wish to state that the Authority’s basis for arriving at the operating Surplus on which basis the amount due for remittances to the CFR is guided by the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007 as amended and further based on statutory mandate whereby the Fiscal Responsibility Commission issued a template for the computation of operating surplus for the purpose of calculating amount due for remittance…”

She noted that the “figures provided by the Budget Office  as Operating Surplus for the respective years on which basis they arrived at the shortfalls are derived from submission of budgetary provision not the actual amounts derived following the statutory audit of the Authority’s financial statements

She went on to state that in 2017 and 2018, NPA’s operating surpluses was N76.782 billion and N71.480 billion respectively as against N133.084 billion and N88.79 billion  as arrived from the budgetary submission.

She noted that in line with the FRC template, NPA remitted N40.873 billion and N34.065 billion for the two years.

The Managing Director also noted that though the Audit of the Financial Statement has been completed  and awaiting consideration by NPA Board, the Authority has so far  made remittance of N31.683 billion for 2019 and  N51.049 billion for 2020.

She then went on to clarify thus:

“The Authority’s computation of its remittances to the CFR are concluded arising from numbers from Audited Financial Statements using the template forwarded to the Authority from the Fiscal Responsibility Commission as herewith attached and not budgetary provision

“That the Authority has remitted the FULL AMOUNT due to CFR for the periods 2017 and 2018arising from the Operational Surplus derived from the Audited Financial Statement for the period totaling N76.384 billion as evidenced in the attached treasury receipts.

“That the Authority has remitted a total of N82.687 billion for the period 2019 and 2020 pending the audit for the financial statement at which point the amount so computed arising from the value of the Operating Surplus in the audited financial statement will be remitted to the CFR.

She rounded off with these words “We wish to request that the Chief of Staff requests the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation who are the statutory custodian of the status of payment to the CFR to provide clarification on the above so as to establish the true position of the Authorities remittances to the CFR.”


Advocates of due process have risen staunchly in support of the suspended Hadiza Bala Usman, they are stating that Minister Amaechi and indeed the Federal Government has breached its own approved procedures.

A Government Circular in our possession with Ref No: SGF/OP/1.S.3/T/163 signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha highlighted approved disciplinary procedure against Chief Executive Officers of Federal Government Parastatals, Agencies and Departments.

The circular dated May 19, 2020, and copied to Chief of Staff to the President,

Deputy Chief of Staff to the President, Honourable Ministers/Ministers of State

Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chairmen of Commissions/ Extra-Ministerial Departments, Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Permanent Secretaries

National Security Adviser, Special Advisers/Senior Special Assistants, Chief of Defence Staff

Service Chiefs (Army, Navy, Air Force), Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria,  Clerk of the National Assembly, Chief Registrar, Supreme Court of Nigeria,

Secretary, National Judicial Council, Secretary, Federal Judicial Service Commission,

Directors – General and Chief Executives of Parastatals/Agencies,

Auditor-General for the Federation and  Accountant – General of the Federation

Stated thus:

“Government has observed with concern, the arbitrary removal of Chief Executive Officers and its impact on stability and service delivery.

“Accordingly, Mr. President has approved the following streamlined procedure for the discipline of Chief Executive Officers of Government Parastatals, Agencies and Departments in accordance with the Public Service Rules (PSR).

“The following procedure shall therefore apply whenever a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is to be subjected to disciplinary action:

“When an act bordering on Serious Misconduct against a Chief Executive Officer is reported, it shall be the duty of the supervising Minister through the Permanent Secretary to refer the matter to the Governing Board for necessary action in line with the relevant provisions of the Establishment Act and the principles guiding Chapters 3 and 16 of the Public Service Rules;

“The Board shall in line with due process, issue him/her a query requesting an explanation with respect to the specific act(s) complained about;

“The Board shall forward its findings and recommendations to the Minister for further consideration and necessary action;

“In the event that the Governing Board is the initiator of the report on the alleged serious misconduct, the Minister on the advice of the Permanent Secretary ensures that sub-paragraphs (ii) & (iii) above have been complied with, fully;

“Where the Chief Executive is also the Chairman of the Board, the Minister, on the advice of the Permanent Secretary, shall apply the principles under sub-paragraph (ii) above;

“The Minister, after due consideration of the submission from the Board, shall on the advice of the Permanent Secretary, forward the Ministry’s position along with the recommendations of the Board and the explanation of the Chief Executive Officer to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) for processing to Mr. President, for a decision;

“Upon receipt of the submission from the Minister, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) shall without delay cause an independent investigation and advise Mr. President on the appropriate course of action, including interdiction or suspension in accordance with principles guiding Sections 030405 and 030406 of the Public Service Rules, pending the outcome of the independent investigations;

“It shall be the responsibility of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) to further advise Mr. President on the next course of action, based on the outcome of the final investigation;

“In the absence of a Board, the Minister shall, with the support of the Permanent Secretary, function in that capacity in accordance with the provisions of the Public Service Administrative Guidelines; and

“The Secretary to the Government of the Federation shall implement and/or convey the approval and directives of Mr. President on every disciplinary case against Chief Executive Officers in the Public Service.

“Without prejudice to the content, it is expected that this Circular should be acted upon conjunctively with the provisions of the following extant Service Wide Circulars and publication:

i. Ref. SGF/OP/I/S.3/T.1/132- 2nd August, 1999 Guidelines on the relationship between parastatals/State owned Companies and their Supervising Ministries;

ii. Ref. No. SGF./OP/1/S.3/T-23rd November, 2017 Re: Procedure for Appointing Chief Executives and Heads of Parastatals, Government -Owned Companies, Agencies and Institutions;

iii. Ref. No.SGF.50/S.II/C.2/268-4th December, 2017

End of tenure processes for Heads of Extra-Ministerial Departments, Directors General/Chief Executive Officers of Parastatals, Agencies, Commissions and Government-owned Companies and Succession Guidelines; and

iv. Federal Government Publication on Guidelines to Administrative Procedures in the Federal Public Service Chapter 7.

And it ended thus:  “This procedure shall serve as a mandatory guide and all Ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and any other Public Officer in similar supervisory position, are enjoined to strictly abide by its content. For emphasis, on no account shall a Minister of the Federal Republic unilaterally or arbitrarily remove a serving Chief Executive Officer, without recourse to the procedure contained in this Circular”


Bala Usman’s supporters reveal that she is strongly pushing the due process angle, as she has insisted that she was never queried by the Ministry of Transport or her Board and that till date, she is yet to receive any suspension letter from either the Ministry, NPA Board or the SFG.

But this argument of procedural breach in asking Hadiza Bala Usman to step aside is completely wrong, an insider told The Boss.

We were told that ” Constitutionally, the President has the power to hire or fire any of his appointees at any point in time.  In this case, she wasn’t even fired. She was just asked to step aside for an investigation to take place. And this was done by the President and not the Minister”

But we gathered that the suspended MD apart from using this due process argument, has also dug into the trenches and all manner of arsenals will be thrown into the fray in the coming days.

And just as we were rounding off this story, The Boss got pictures of an all white mansion allegedly owned by the former Governor and Minister outside Nigeria.

In our usual authoritative style, our Publisher immediately contacted the Minister, Rotimi Amaechi who gave a swift and emphatic response “ I have no property overseas and I dare anybody”

Without a shadow of doubt, this NPA saga is certainly far from over.

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Guber Polls: Second Term Seeking Governors Fret




By Eric Elezuo

As Nigerians march to various polling units across the 36 states of the federation to elect 28 governors out of 837 candidates and 993 House of Assembly members out of 10,240 candidates, a special prayer for a smooth electoral process devoid of what was obtainable on February 23, 2023 when the presidential and National Assembly elections were held has been canvassed.

It is on record that the February 23 elections were marred by violence, none transmission of results electronically, harassment and intimidation of voters not loyal to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) by thugs allegedly loyal to the APC and flagrant distortion of election results. While some governments have congratulated the announced winner of the presidential election, most international bodies including The Financial Times, New York Times, The Economist and many others have condemned the election and the emergence of the APC candidate, Bola Tinubu, saying everything was heavily flawed. Presently, the matter is in court as two presidential candidates; Peter Obi of the Labour Party and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who felt aggrieved are seeking redress from the judiciary.

But with the way things turned out during the previous election, regarding how the emergence of the Labour Party and Peter Obi proved to be a game changer, and practically retired some old politicians as well as swept votes in places considered strongholds of some politically godfathers, governors who are seeking reelection have become jittery as fear of the Labour Party sunami has created a new chapter in the political equilibrium.

In the 28 states where governorship elections will be held, 10 are seeking reelection. They are Babagana Zulum of Borno State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State, Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Abdulraman Abdulrazaq of Kwara State, Mohammed Bala of Bauchi State, Umaru Fintiri of Adamawa State, Muhammad Inuwa of Gombe State and Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State.

Most of the governors listed above did not perform in delivering their states to their presidential candidates, and as a result, have come under intense tension as to what may go down at the polling units with special regards to their quest to return to their various government houses for another four years. Consequently, supporters of some governors and political parties resolved to attacks of supporters of other political parties either physically or emotionally.

In Lagos where Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is having a running battle with the candidate of the Labour Party, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, and to some extent the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Olajide Adediran, situation has degenerated to ethnic attacks, with the indigenes throwing tantrums at the Igbo for supporting the LP, and by extension Rhodes-Vivour. The Yoruba has insisted that the candidacy of Rhodes-Vivour has been rejected because he was born of Igbo-mother. Consequently, many Yoruba have cast aspersions at his candidacy, saying he was Igbo, and Lagos was not going to hand over their affairs to a ‘foreigner’. These notion, which has not only been perpetrated by the ordinary man, but by supposedly high placed citizens including Femi Fani-Kayode, who also almost in his characteristic stride, set up a conflict between the Igbo and Yoruba, with a damning article, “The Truth About the Igbos”, and the many others, has created skirmishes against the Igbo in Lagos. the thugs, who were well on ground during the presidential election, have also returned with threats of dealing with any Igbo voting against the APC.

In a viral video, a known thug, Musiliu Akinsanya, known by his nickname, MC Oluomo, was seen threatening the people of the Southeast not to risk coming out to vote if they are voting against the APC.

“We have begged them. If they don’t want to vote for us, it is not a fight. Tell them, mama Chukwudi, if you don’t want to vote for us, sit down at home. Sit down at home,” he said.

But the Police, speaking through the Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said Oluomo was joking when he made the utterance. As a result, he was not even as much as invited to explain his position or why he made such a costly joke.

“So, let us take it for a joke like he has said. But nobody has the right to tell Nigerians not to come out and vote. It is not allowed. It is not possible; not proper. But he has come out to debunk that it is not true. So, let us leave it that way – that it is not true and a joke within one or two persons in that area at that particular point in time. Even the CP of Lagos was on a television programme this afternoon to address that if it is true, they are investigating that matter,” Adejobi said during a live TV show.

But one thing was sure, the threat of losing his position because of the overwhelming support the LP was receiving in Lagos, Sanwo-Olu became more visible in campaigns, and became to appear on TV interviews which he had hitherto shunned and became more accessible to Lagosians, who agreed that he had been faraway from the people in the last four years. He had paid pension, increased salaries of civil servants, released seized property among other people oriented actions he was wont to have taken long before now.

Another angle the Yoruba elites have stooped low to attack Igbo is in the area of unconfirmed notion of Igbo saying Lagos was ‘no man’s land’. So far, not one of the speakers, or writers, who made the assertion has quoted a source where the statement came from, prompting observers to conclude that the mindless attacks were products of hatred against the Igbo race. It has also been noised that the Igbo wanted to conquer Lagos through electing Rhodes-Vivour, who also is a Yoruba man.

“That is one of the most laughable part of this whole scenario. How can the election of a young Yoruba man means conquering Lagos. Isn’t it the more reason people should see there’s no credence in the entire setting. The Yorubas have, because of hatred forgotten that everyone wants the stranglehold of Bola Tinubu for over 24 years in Lagos to end. Yet, even those that are supposedly in the know have turned around to weave a tale of Igbo aiming to take over Lagos because Gbadebo is contesting against Tinubu’s candidate,” a prominent Lagos indigene, who craved anonymity said.

What is more worrisome, a cross section of Lagos residents told The Boss, is that the yarn is not only being peddled by illiterates or layabouts, but by people who are well looked up to by the younger generation. It would be recalled that during the prelude to the presidential contest, Sam Omatseye, who is the chairman of the editorial board of the The Nations Newspapers, owned by Bola Tinubu, pen an opinion titled Obi-tuary, where he derided the person of Peter Obi and the Igbo race. His was not the last as many others followed.

What is more obvious than clear is the fact that a new precedence has been set by the so called Yoruba people fighting against Gbadebo. It means that many of them married to women of other tribes including foreign women, has automatically denied their children of Yoruba heritage. If a child born of another tribe-woman but Yoruba father is not of full Yoruba blood, then the race should be in for a crisis as many Yoruba men are spread across the world, and no one knows where the arrow of love will strike him.

Of more importance is the fact that Rhodes-Vivour contested the senatorial position for Lagos west in 2019 under the PDP, but no one remembered that he was a half breed. Then he had no chance of winning. Today, hatred has arisen because the young man was riding on the new found popularity of Peter Obi as the face of Nigerian politics presently, to sell himself.

“The day we purge ourselves of the crisis of ethnicity and tribalism, especially the one rooted in blind godfatherism, that will be the day a little respite of brotherliness will be deposited in the nation’s body polity,” a political analyst said.

In Oyo State, the sitting governor, Seyi Makinde, has every reason to worry. He is one of the G5 governors, who abandoned the PDP and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to support Tinubu to victory in Oyo. Today, the APC has denied any form of alliance with the governor, and transferred allegiance to its governorship candidate, Teslim Folarin. The sitting governor will battle to regain the confidence of the party he abandoned, and how he can make APC keep to their side of the bargain during the presidential race. As it stands, other members of the G5 has been made irrelevant having lost their bid to seek senatorial election. They are Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State and Samuel Ortom of Benue State. The last and leader of the group, Nyesom Wike of Rivers State is battling to ensure his candidate, Sim Fubara emerges the governor of Rivers State. If Fubara and Makinde loses today, that would mark the inglorious end of the G5.

In Nasarawa, Abdullahi Sule’s loss to the LP during the presidential election, is an eye opener, and has made the PDP family to intensify campaigns to ensure they return to government house. This is not forgetting that the APC is also hot on their heels.

In Kwara State, the government of Abdulrazaq will be facing another set of Otoge revolution chiefly because of the the general view that the governor under-performed, and again with the Bukola Saraki rising profile in the last four years..

In Bauchi State, Governor Bala Mohammed of the PDP is having a photo finish with his rival from the APC. The race for superiority has been the major cause of armed skirmishes between the supporters of both parties.

In Ogun State, the rivalry between the incumbent governor, Dapo Abiodun and former governor of the state, Senator Ibikunle Amosun continue to heighten. Though both men are in the same APC, Amosun is however sponsoring and supporting the candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Biyi Otegbeye as thye incumbent owing to person issues. Abiodun will need more than his track record to defeat Amosun again.

In Adamawa State, the government of Ahmadu Fintiri will have a running battle with the APC candidate, Aishatu Binani, who is a woman. The crave for a first woman governor is keeping Fintiri at the edge of his seat as the governorship election lasts.

Whichever the pendulum swings, it must be noted that the sitting governors, who are seeking second terms are fretting owing to pronounced and tangible oppositions.

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Photo News: Dele Momodu Meets FIFA Executives in Rwanda




Veteran journalist and Chairman, Ovation Media Group, Chief Dele Momodu, was among the special guests of honour at the special FIFA event held in Kigali

Amaju Pinnick, Dele Momodu, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Isha Johansen after the FIFA Council Dinner in Kigali…

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Court Set to Decide Nigeria’s Next President




By Eric Elezuo

The much awaited February 25, 2023 Presidential and National Assembly Elections have come and gone. Not only has the election been concluded, the Prof. Mahmood Yakubu-led Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has also concluded collation of results, and on March 1, 2023 declared the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Progress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as the winner, and president-elect.

But the declaration of Tinubu as winner has popped up more electoral act crisis as two of the major parties and their presidential candidates in the election have rejected the election in its totality, calling for a total cancellation. They maintain that the elections were heavily flawed with potent evidence of manipulations, harassment, violence, intimidation and stealing and destruction of electoral materials all in the name of denying a group of people their rights to vote.

Consequently, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Mr. Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) have taken their grievances to the judiciary to seek redress with each claiming that they won the election. They agreed that INEC worked to favour the ruling party, ignoring the use of the much publicised Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and the promise to electronically transmit results to IReV in real time. But all the calls made to INEC to call off the announcement of results to review identified lapses were rebuffed with the continuation of election results and the subsequent declaration of Tinubu as winner. The battle has therefore shifted to the Appeal Court where the first part of crossfire will take place before the Supreme Court finally decides without recourse to another authority.

Except in 2015 when former President Goodluck Jonathan took the path of honour and conceded defeat to Muhammadu Buhari, all other elections have been contested in the courts, and the courts have been the ultimate decider. Buhari remained the chief litigant as he has practically gone to court on record occasions including against Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Alhaji Musa Yaradua and Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. Presently, all the parties in the suit have been granted permission to interrogate all INEC election materials.

Declaring his decision to challenge INEC’s declaration in court, Obi addressed a press conference a day after, and declared as follows:

“This is my first time of speaking to the media, and I thank all of you for your understanding. For me, it is a very simple thing to speak to Nigerians who on the 25th of February trooped out en masses as committed citizens to participate in what all of us have called an existential election, for a supposedly free, fair, credible presidential and national assembly election. We give thanks to God.

“For me, the number one thing is gratitude. Gratitude to God Almighty that continues to protect and bless our dear country Nigeria. Number two is gratitude. Gratitude to Nigerians that participated in the election, answering the call as true citizens in our dear country. Number three is gratitude to those of you Nigerians, especially the youth, that believed and worked tirelessly for a new Nigeria, I thank them for the hard work. Gratitude to the Obidients, Youths, those who believe that a new Nigeria is possible, and I say to them that a new Nigeria is possible, and we will work for that new Nigeria.

“The resilience, the hard work, for a new Nigeria should not wane. Datti and I remain committed to that new Nigeria. I know how they will be feeling now because of the way the elections have come and gone. The commitment of Nigerians, even in the face of unwarranted attacks, is a testimony that a new Nigeria is indeed possible. I look at people like Lady Jennifer who was stabbed but insisted on voting, and that gives me courage to believe that a new Nigeria is indeed possible –and there are so many other Nigerians.

“The election that we just witnessed has been conducted and results announced as programmed. It is a clear violation of the electoral rules and guidelines as we were promised. This election did not meet the minimum standard expected of a free, transparent, credible fair election. It will go down as one of the most controversial elections ever conducted in Nigeria.

“The good and hardworking people of Nigeria have again been robbed by our supposed leaders whom they trusted. However, very humbly, I must appeal to all Nigerians to remain peaceful, law-abiding, and conduct themselves in the most responsible manner. Please be assured that Datti and I, and indeed all of us, this is not the end but the beginning of the journey for the birth of a new Nigeria. Datti Baba-Ahmed and I remain undaunted and committed to the project of a new Nigeria that will be built on honesty, transparency, fairness, justice, equity.

“All the above starts with a process. The process through which people come into office is far more fundamental, more important than what they do thereafter. It is my belief that if you must answer “His Excellency”, the process through which you arrive to office must be excellent.

“We must now require that we do the right things. It has to generate the confidence and moral authority to lead. As you know, the destruction of a society begins and gradually progresses when we act rascally, with the deliberate manipulation of the rule of law and the suppression of the will of the people. During my campaign we have been saying that we will govern by the rule of law because we know what not doing that will bring about.

“I assure the good people of Nigeria that we will explore all legal and peaceful options to recall our mandate.

“We won the election, and we will prove it to Nigerians.

“Please, do not despair. We have elections coming up on the 11th. I enjoin you to go out. Campaign. Come out and vote in that election. We still have so many massive support out there that we need for our subnational and state assemblies. Please, come out and be part of that election. I assure you that I will be part of it. I assure you that I am totally committed to a better future in this country, and nothing will stop that. Datti’s commitment, my commitment, is total.

“Be rest assured that your support will not be in vain and you will not find us wanting. We must build a better Nigeria where Nigerian youth will be happy, glad to call their own country.

“Thank you and may God Almighty continue to bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

Also, the presidential candidate of the PDP followed and declared as follows:

“Fellow Nigerians, it is with a heart full of sadness that I address you today.

“I have in the last three decades devoted my life to the battle to birth and deepen democracy in our country.

“It was a battle that started during the military era. It was a struggle that nearly caused me my life and that of my son, Adamu, in Kaduna. I survived the assassination only by the mercies and grace of God.

“Following that attack, I was forced into exile. But that attack claimed the precious lives of some police officers. That was not all: my businesses were nearly crippled and my signature business was eventually appropriated by the maximum ruler of that era. My commitment to enthroning democracy ensured that I joined forces with other compatriots. As a leader of the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP), we fought and won the 1993 presidential election, which was acclaimed as the fairest and freest election in our history. Sadly, Chief MKO Abiola, who embodied that hope for the birth of a new Nigeria, paid the ultimate price

“Our fight to enthrone democracy continued. Indeed, the motivating factor for the birth of the Peoples Democratic Party was to force the exit of the military from government and their permanent return to the military barracks.

“Following the exit of the military and the advent of democratic rule in 1999, I did not rest on my oars. I deployed the same level of commitment to advance and deepen our democracy. I did this because our democracy was bought at a huge price of human lives. My mentor and true Nigerian hero, who this venue in which we are gathered this evening is named for, was one of those who paid the ultimate price in that battle. So, also was Chief Alfred Rewane, Chief MKO Abiola and his dear wife, Chief (Mrs) Kudirat Abiola.

“It was also for this reason that I sacrificed my political aspiration and fought against the actualisation of Third Term. Whether during the military or civilian era, I have, no matter how inconvenient, pitched my tent with the people against dictators. During the military regime, it nearly cost me my life and the near decimation of my businesses. In the civilian administration, it had serious adverse implications on my political life. But I have remained undaunted because I was, and still convinced, that the only reason why I am in politics is to work in tandem with other compatriots in the advancement of the wellbeing of the people.

“The 2023 presidential election presented our nation and its people the greatest opportunity for a reset. We had everything going for us: a legal framework in the 2022 Electoral Act and the BVAS technology. The enthusiasm of Nigerians to turn out and in large numbers was an added bonus.

“However, the dreams and aspirations of Nigerians who braced all the challenges to go and cast their votes on Saturday, 25th of February, 2023, were shattered by the conduct of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which failed to live up to expectations. The weekend election was neither free nor fair. Preliminary assessments indicate that it is the worst conducted elections since the return to democratic rule. The manipulation and fraud that attended this election was unprecedented in the history of our nation. I can still not understand why the electoral umpire was in such a hurry to conclude collation and announcement of the result, given the number of complaints of irregularities of bypassing of the BVAS, failure of uploading to the IREV, and unprecedented cancellations and disenfranchisement of millions of voters in breach of the Electoral Act and the commission’s own guidelines. It was indeed a rape of democracy.

“Having consulted with leaders of our party and Nigerians from different walks of life, I have come to the conclusion that the processes and outcome of the Presidential and National Assembly election of last Saturday was grossly flawed in every material particular, and as such must be challenged. This has been attested to by both local and international observers. I want to believe that this was not the legacy that President Muhammadu Buhari had promised. For President Buhari, it is not too late to make amends for the good of our country and the future generations and indeed to assure his legacy.

“This battle to right the wrongs of Saturday is not about me. It is a continuation of my battles to deepen democracy and for a better life for our people. It is about the future of Nigerian youths.

“I know that Nigerians, especially the youth, are traumatised by the developments, but I want to urge them to conduct themselves peacefully. Like I have done over the years, I assure you that I will commit the rest of my life in ensuring that true democracy, which affirms the supremacy of your votes and your will, will take firm footing and guarantee a stable, prosperous and peaceful Nigeria. This is more so as Nigeria represents the hope of Africa and the Black World.”

The duo of Atiku and Peter Obi must have at the back of their minds that no presidential election result declared has ever been upturned by any court in the history of Nigeria’s democracy. It will be a new precedence if by any stroke of luck any of the two is able to make the justices of the Supreme Court change the results already declared.

Saddled with the responsibility of making the right decision as the choice of the next Nigeria’s president shifts to the judiciary are Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, who is the Chief Justice of Nigeria; Musa Datijo Muhammad, Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, Chima Centus Nweze, Amina Augie, Uwani Musa Abba Aji, John Inyang Okoro and Lawal Garba.

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