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Tinubu and His Ceaseless Pattern of Unfitness

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Yesterday in Jos, after weeks of procrastination and rehearsals, Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu, the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress demonstrated another pattern of unfitness for the office he seeks to occupy. From his unsteady gaits to his incoherence and the unintended but welcome prayer for the PDP, all was a theatrical exhibition of a misplaced ambition.

The manifestation in Jos is a further consolidation of a pattern in the physical and psychological composition of Tinubu, who a few weeks ago shocked his host, Governor Nasir El-Rufai when he said Nigeria would go from rotten to bad. Analysts who put both events in context have leaned on the Biblical aphorism that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

The period of campaign is not just for activities that political parties can design to fill the void before election. It is part of the building blocks for leadership selection. It is a period of assessments for choices and decisions by the electorate. It is therefore important that Nigerians take full advantage to mark the scripts of various candidates and their parties. A man like Tinubu, who could not have the presence of mind or who required support to move around has obviously marked himself down.

Nigerians would recall the various inadequacies demonstrated by Buhari before he was elected in 2015. His qualification was a subject of litigation. His speeches were filled with gaffes including his inability to get right the name of his running mate. Every support was governed by emotion. Some of us fell for the wave of the period, but with the benefit of hindsight we now know better. The election of a President for a great and demanding nation like Nigeria is beyond the application of the Peter Principle, where people are promoted to the level of their incompetence.

In disaster management, there are some principles. The first is early warning signs. The disaster that the unlikely presidency that the Tinubu ambition represents is laden with early warning signs, buttressed by his conduct and carriage. Nigeria can not afford to walk into disaster. The second principle in disaster management is disaster risk reduction. Again, Nigeria has a great chance now to avoid a repeat of the Buhari Presidency, who was largely an absentee President in and outside the county.

The controversies surrounding the Tinubu persona are legion. His age is shrouded in mystery. His origin is in question. His academic credentials are in debate. The records of his career are in dispute. The source of his wealth are in contention. The burden of crime hangs around his neck. If in the face of all these he has been getting away and some Nigerians want to contextualise all within human fraility, what about the personal failures he now markets around the country?

For a very long time Tinubu made the rest of Nigeria to believe that he is not only the conscience of Yorubas but he’s the numero uno of the South-West of Nigeria. Events in the last few weeks during which Tinubu had to wrestle to obtain the endorsement of Afenifere have shown that Tinubu has no political base, or has an an exaggerated claim to political leadership.

As we critically evaluate the suitability of Tinubu, let’s call to mind the experience of Americans under Donald Trump. Trump was a man who lived in controversy all his life, but who through brinkmanship, deception and deployment of a huge financial asset hoodwinked Americans until they promoted him to his incompetence and unmitigated disaster. It will take decades if not centuries for America to clean the mess. Nigeria can be smarter by learning from the mistakes of the masters of democracy who were almost consumed by political indiscretion.

Tinubu has shown in words, action and attitude that he constitutes a great danger to himself and a potential disaster to Nigeria. His unfitness manifests daily. Let us heed the early warning signs. Let us adopt a disaster reduction strategy.

Atiku Abubakar remains the best option to lead Nigeria out of the disaster and calamity that the APC has sentenced Nigeria in the last seven and a half years.

God bless Nigeria.

Senator Dino Melaye is the Spokesperson PDP Presidential Campaign Management Committee

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Opinion

Osun: The Power of the People is Under Attack

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By James O. Bamgbose

At the mention of democracy, what easily comes to mind is the fact that it is a system that places the power to decide leadership on the people. But the experience of the people of Osun state has been the entire opposite of this enticing feature that endears people to democracy. Politicians who fail to get the mandate of the people seem to have found a way to use the court to impose themselves power.

The most recent instance of such a repressive approach is the Justice T.A. Kume led Election Petition Tribunal decision that waved aside the will of the people for a different choice. In the majority judgment read by Justice Kume, the panel made a sweeping attack on the power of the people to choose their leaders as envisaged by the democracy.

The judgment was a clear indication that the law court is now an abode for politicians rejected at the ballot to sneak into power. Before now, violence and manipulations are the tools for politicians to force their way to power, but judges, who are obviously compromised, are the willing tools for politicians to boycott the people to power.

For anyone who followed the Tribunal proceeding up to the point of judgment, they will hardly be surprised by the verdict reached by Justice Kume and his colleagues. This is because Justice Kume never hides his bias against the respondents to the point that you wonder whether he is an arbiter or the petitioner counsel.

It got worse in his judgment, where he maliciously attacked the 2nd respondent (Governor Ademola Adeleke) by making a veil dismissal of his (Adeleke) as a dancer. “The 2nd Respondent cannot “go lo lo lo” and “Buga won” as the duly elected Governor of Osun State in the election conducted on the 16th day of July 2022. See Kizz Daniel’s song,” Justice Kume noted in his judgment.

This is not only a new low for a judicial officer but a clear statement of bias. It is evident that this bias weigh heavily on his decision, which by every indication, was perverse. Or, how can one reconcile the conclusion made by Justice Kume in the judgment that the Exhibit submitted by the respondents after the Exhibit BVR “amount to tampering with official documents” without any clear evidence adduced in that regard?

A judge is not a superman, and this is why most times, they rely on the presentation of an expert to have a clear understanding on the matter before them. One would have expected an unbias arbiter to seek the advice of an expert on the BVAS technology so as to make a sound decision that will ensure true justice.

This was not the case in the Osun Tribunal case, as Justice Kume, relied more on his opinion, rather than evidence that is before it to arrive at the judgment. Or, what could have informed the decision to ignore the BVAS machine physical examination ordered by the court, and go for a server report that has been disputed as incomplete by the maker, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

It is known to the whole world that the BVAS machines were the device used in the polling units and hold more credible data than a server in far away Abuja. What Justice Kume did with the judgment is beyond injustice, but a serious attack on our democracy. With a decision as the one done by Justice Kume, voters will no longer be encouraged to participate in an election because their votes may not actually matter but the whim and caprices of a judge who was not anywhere near the place of the election.

This unfolding reality will be devastating. In other words, politicians will no longer be interested in what the voters think, but be sure to manipulate the judiciary and find their way to power irrespective of what the people decide at the poll. This is a great setback on our democracy and to imagine that the judiciary, which should ensure the sanctity of the ballot, is the same fouling it, is to say the least a demoralising.

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Opinion

The Oracle: Ethics and Discipline in Law: Akin to Waiting for Godot (Pt. 3)

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By Mike Ozekhome

INTRODUCTION

A nation is said to be developed when the standard of her discipline and ethics are measured in comparison with others in the developing society. Where this is lacking in Nigeria for instance, is what has led her to fail to measure up with other developed nations of the world. Today, we shall continue our discourse on this.

ETHICS AND MORALITY (continues)

To analyse law, refers must be made to a classic tale, originating in India, of a group of blind men and elephant even though there are numerous variations of the story, but I enjoy the Jain’s version in particular:

“Once upon a time, there lived six blind men in a village. One day the villagers told them, “Hey, there is an elephant in the village today.”

They had no idea what an elephant is. They decided, “Even though we would not be able to see it, let us go and feel it anyway.” All of them went where the elephant was. Every one of them touched the elephant.

“Hey, the elephant is a pillar,” said the first man who touched his leg.

“Oh, no! It is like a rope,” said the second man who touched the tail.

“Oh, no! It is like a thick branch of a tree,” said the third man who touched the trunk of the elephant.

“It is like a big hand fan,” said the fourth man who touched the ear of the elephant.

“It is like a huge wall,” said the fifth man who touched the belly of the elephant.

“It is like a solid pipe,” said the sixth man who touched the tusk of the elephant.

They began to argue about the elephant and every one of them insisted that he was right. It looked like they were getting agitated. A wise man was passing by, and he saw this. He stopped and asked them, “What is the matter?” They said, “We cannot agree to what the elephant is like.” Each one of them told what he thought the elephant was like. The wise man calmly explained to them, “All of you are right. The reason every one of you is telling it differently because each one of you touched a different part of the elephant. So, the elephant has all the features of what you all said.” 

Because of the multi-dimensional and interdisciplinary nature of law several theories and schools of law have been propounded to wit: the Naturalist School, the Socialist Theory, the Positivist Theory, the Realists Theory, the Utilitarian Theory and so on, but we are not going to wear ourselves out with the various theories. For the sake of this write-up, we shall adopt the definition proposed in the Black’s Law Dictionary above, that is:

“As that which is laid down, ordained, or established. A rule or method according to which phenomenon or actions co-exist or follow each other. Law, in its generic sense, is a body of rules of action or conduct prescribed by controlling authority and having binding legal force. That which must be obeyed and followed by citizens subject to sanctions or legal consequences. Law is a solemn expression of the will of the supreme power of the State”.

“WAITING FOR GODOT” is a term coined from the story – Waiting for Godot – to describe a situation where people are waiting for something to happen, but it probably never will. Simply put, it is to engage in wishful thinking or to build castles in the air. The phrase is coined from the play by Samuel Becket. The play is basically two clowns waiting for someone who never shows up. It’s a metaphor for humanity waiting for some revelation of God’s presence amid horror, destruction and chaos.

They never get it. At the end a messenger boy comes to say Mr. Godot is very sorry but he’s unable to come today, but perhaps tomorrow. That’s life. Waiting for Godot is a tragicomedy in two acts by Irish writer Samuel Beckett, published in 1952 in French as En attendant Godot and first produced in 1953. Waiting for Godot was a true innovation in drama and the Theatre of the Absurd’s first theatrical success.

NATIONAL ETHICS

National ethics simply means a set of conduct and behaviours expected of every citizen, the breach of which attracts punishment. National ethics is defined as a system of morals, rules, and behaviour which every community in a country is bound to abide by and a breach of such rules usually attracts punishment.

National ethics is stated in the Constitution of a nation to guide the behaviour and conduct of citizens in their places of work. It serves to establishment of law and order and attainment of meaningful development in a country. The present Constitution of Nigeria states the national ethics to comprise the following: Discipline, Integrity, Dignity of Labour, Social Justice, Religious Tolerance, Self-Reliance, and Patriotism.

Discipline, Integrity, Dignity of Labour, Social Justice, Religious Tolerance, Self-Reliance, and Patriotism.

By discipline the Constitution meant Nigerians should try not to be corrupt, disobedient to laws or embezzle government’s funds when they found themselves in a position of leadership. Citizens are expected to be disciplined, always observing self-control and associating themselves only with people of good character. The importance of discipline which cannot be overemphasized include but not limited to the following: Discipline builds good habits; Discipline helps one stop procrastinating; Discipline helps one manage one’s time better; Discipline helps one achieve your goals; Discipline boosts one self-esteem; Discipline helps one master things; Discipline makes one more reliable; Discipline improves one’s ability to manage challenging emotions. When you have discipline in your life you can make small sacrifices in the present for a better life in the future. Discipline creates habits, habits make routines, and routines become who you are daily.

Like a muscle, discipline can be trained. The more you work on your discipline the stronger it becomes. You see this in sports all the time, the more disciplined team ends up beating the undisciplined team with greater talent. Disciplined teams can see the big picture and use restraint during adversity. Teams who aren’t as disciplined lose their cool and end up costing themselves a shot.

By integrity the Constitution states that Nigerians should try to be firm and honest in all their activities. They should not allow others to drag them into illegal and dishonest activities.

Integrity is a characteristic that many of us value in ourselves, and it’s one we look for consistently in our leaders.  But what does it really mean to have integrity? It is the quality of being honest and strong about what you believe to be right.

One could say that integrity is always doing the right thing, even when no one is looking, and even when the choice isn’t easy. Or, one might see integrity as staying true to oneself and one’s word, even when one is faced with serious consequences for the choices that you’re making.

When we have integrity, we gain the trust of our leaders, our colleagues and our team. We’re dependable, and, when we hold ourselves accountable for our actions, we become role models  for others to follow.

All of this, in turn, directly impacts our success in life.

Dignity of labour entails that Nigerians should be proud of the work they do irrespective of its nature provided it is legal. It also means labour should be rewarded accordingly. That is, we should have respect for those who work for us. The dignity of labour is the philosophy that all types of jobs are respected equally, and no occupation is considered superior and none of the jobs should be discriminated on any basis. Regardless of whether one’s occupation involves physical work or mental labour, it is held that the job deserves respect. Simply put, any form of work, manual or intellectual, is called labour and respecting any kind of job (manual or intellectual) is called “dignity of labour”. Dignity of labour, in a nutshell, is the experience of self-worth and achievement that a person derives from his or her work. It is experienced when a person is treated as an equal in the workplace and when they feel useful to their company and to society in general.

By social justice the Constitution implies that Nigerians irrespective of where they come from should be treated fairly and rightly. That is, they should be given equal opportunities in terms of access to justice, employment, education, etc. This could help to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor to the barest minimum.

Justice is the concept of fairness. Social justice is fairness as it manifests in society. That includes fairness in healthcare, employment, housing, and more. Discrimination and social justice are not compatible. Now, social justice applies to all aspects of society, including race and gender, and it is closely tied to human rights. More specifically, what does social justice mean?

Social justice means that everyone’s human rights are respected and protected. Everyone has equal opportunities. This doesn’t guarantee that society will be perfect, and everyone will always be happy. However, everyone will have a fighting chance at the life they want. They aren’t held back by things out of their control like systemic obstacles or discrimination.

By Religious tolerance the Constitution simply means that Nigerians should learn to stay together without violating each other’s right in their practice of religion. That is, they should learn to believe that the religion of every person is important to him. Therefore, every Nigerian should consider the religion of another Nigerian important to the believer. That is, we should learn to believe that, much as we value our religions other people, too, value their religion no matter the pattern of worship.

This goal is a complex one due the great diversity of religions and spiritual beliefs existing in the world today especially in our society. Religion is also a very emotional topic. It can often be difficult for individuals to put their personal biases aside and consider ideas or situations objectively. (To be continued).

FUNTIMES

“Chatting with a Nigerian girl is like interview, if you don’t ask her question, she has nothing to tell you”.- Anonymous.

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

“In just about every area of society, there’s nothing more important than ethics”. (Henry Paulson).

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Opinion

How Atiku Abubakar Will Become the Next President of Nigeria by Dele Momodu

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I have read with bemusement many of the polls about the forthcoming Presidential election on February 25, 2023, and have come to the conclusion that the elitist polls have failed monumentally due to the over-reliance on technology in a largely illiterate population.

I have decided to help situate the forecasts based on the established polical history of Nigeria and empirical data.

A Presidential candidate cannot depend totally on votes from outside his home base to win this election. It is a fact of history that whenever the South produced two strong candidates, the dominant Nothern candidate won, such as in 1979 and 1983, Obafemi Awolowo and Nnamdi Azikiwe versus Shehu Shagari.

Bola Tinubu is far weaker today in the South West and Awolowo was by far more formidable, while Obi is the new Azikiwe (the first Governor General and President of Nigeria) in the South East, and Kwankwaso is the current Aminu Kano.

Atiku Abubakar will dominate the North East, North West, North Central and South South. Tinubu may pick a few states in the North and South West but won’t have enough to win. The bridges required to cross to victory has taken Atiku 30 years to build. Tinubu has not been able to lock down the entire South West not to talk of the whole of Nigeria. Over-reliance on bribing the electorates will fail. Hoping to rig brazenly will also fail spectacularly. I repeat, the entire North and the South South will make Atiku the next President. Atiku will still be competitive in the South East and South West. Wherever Obi is number one in the East, Atiku will be number two. Wherever Tinubu is number one in the South West, Atiku will be number two or vice versa. Atiku will be the first to cross the line of recording 25 percent in 24 states. He will get 25 percent automatically in the 19 states of Northern Regions and will pick six in South South automatically. He will pick more 25 percent in all of the five states in the South East, a traditional base of PDP, and same in the South West. Wherever Obi is number one, Atiku will be number two or vice versa. I do not know of any state PDP will not record 25 percent and eventually win the overall popular votes. Nigeria has become so polarizingly divided (pardon my tautology) that the “peoples” are going to vote majorly along ethnic lines as well as primordial sentiments. The North will not vote a “fake Muslim” in the name of a pretentious and mischievous Muslim/Muslim ticket. The scam is dead on arrival. The North East will never vote for a number two position when they’ve been chasing the number one since 1966. The North West will not abandon an Atiku for a Tinubu who’s well known for his iron grip on Lagos State since 1999. The South West itself knows it has the most controversial and palpably weakest candidate in this race this time and would humbly and readily accept its fate with equanimity. It will also dawn on the South East that Obi’s raving popularity alone cannot carry him across the winning line and many of their traditional voters will willingly settle for ATIKU ABUBAKAR and IFEANYICHUKWU OKOWA, the cerebral man and gentle giant of Igbo ancestry. I predict that former President Atiku Abubakar will be the next President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He is the most prepared, experienced candidate in the race who’s ready to hit the ground running from day one…
Nigerians will experience real politicking in the days ahead.

Chief Dele Momodu is the Director of Strategic Communications PDP Presidential Campaign Council

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