POLSCOPE 

with  Eddy Odivwri 

eddy.odivwri@thisdaylive.com   08053069356

What hit the Ondo State governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, is perhaps a strong political temptation, if not trial. Until the sudden appearance of Jimoh Ibrahim on the PDP scene in the state, Mimiko may have thought that he already had everything figured out about who his successor will be. But a certain Jimoh Ibrahim raved out from a side bush and ever since then, disquiet, uncertainty and anxiety has seized Mimiko and his political household.

Jimoh Ibrahim had appeared like a joke, but as the November 26 governorship election date draws nearer and nearer, Mimiko and co must have realized that Jimoh Ibrahim is more than a mere joke. He is in fact the river between them and the Ondo Government House.

With the Federal Government under the control of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mimiko and his PDP would have had to double struggle to retain the state as a PDP-controlled one. Yet, it is even now more dicey given the Absalom revolt that seems to have ripped the state PDP down the line.

I am not certain how and when Jimoh Ibrahim suddenly appeared on the scene. Many even say he hasn’t quite been a party man all along. But as I write, he is the one the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has recognized as the PDP candidate in the state, despite the huge protestations that have followed. In fact, Jimoh Ibrahim has long kicked off his campaign.

Some political analysts have implied that Jimoh Ibrahim is the master stroke APC strategy to deflect and deflate the PDP political machine in the state.

Yet others have blamed the Jimoh Ibrahim cross on the division in the party right at the national level.

Those who pitch with this argument explain that the unstated understanding between the Markarfi-led faction of the PDP and the Ali Modu-Sheriff-led faction is that the former faction will produce the party’s candidate in Edo State while the latter will produce the candidate in Ondo State.

How true this arrangement is, I cannot confirm, although it is true that the Pastor Ize-Iyamu who contested against Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State came from the Markarfi-led faction of the PDP.

But the Mimiko group has been so flustered about the recognition INEC gave Jimoh Ibrahim, so much that he had to run to President Muhammadu Buhari to plead for his intervention, irrespective of the fact that Buhari is the head of the APC.  This has been followed with plenty of threats, with a warning that the political fire that consumed the state in 1983 should not be rekindled by this plot.

Last Wednesday, the Appeal court seating in Abuja rejected Jimoh Ibrahim’s bid to stop Tayo Jegede’s appeal against his “rejection” by INEC. It is indeed curious that just a week to the election, PDP”s candidature in the election is still a matter of conjecture and legal tussle. It all looks like a prologue to a huge political chaos in no distant time.

No doubt, Mimiko is now getting the shorter end of the political stick. Could this be a pay back time for his misuse of his political privileges in the past? He it was, who instigated the impeachment of his deputy, Alhaji Ali Olanusi, in 2015, after the latter decamped from PDP to APC. Mimiko himself had similarly decamped from his Labour Party, on which platform he was elected, and joined the PDP, without of course, losing his seat.

As it seems, Mimiko and his party are in a fix. What will the man famously hailed as Iroko do now? Will the Jimoh Ibrahim machine over run him and his Jegede embattled political household? Will that be the end of Mimiko’s political odyssey?

 Will the confusion and uncertainty in the PDP camp create an easy ride for APC’s   Rotimi Akerodolu into the Ondo Government House? Is the APC household itself really united enough behind Akeredolu? With the absence of President Buhari, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Pa Bisi Akande and other notable party chieftains at the APC’s recent mega rally in Ondo State, will Akeredolu still be able to take the crown? Or will an underdog eventually spring the ultimate surprise? So much questions, so much uncertainty.

The only thing glaring is that the PDP is like the proverbial house divided against itself. Will it and can it stand?

pix: Olusegun Mimiko.jpg

Trump and the Metarmorphosis of Nigerian Christians

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ver since the presidential election in the United States of America (USA) sprang the surprise of producing Donald Trump against the better projected Hillary Clinton, many Nigerian Christians have been speaking in new tongues. Suddenly they see in the same Trump they collectively slammed and vilified before November 9, as “the choice of God”, one who will redeem America from the vileful effect of the liberals like Obama, Hillary, etc.

Many, like Dr Doyin Okupe, waxing most ecclesiastical, had quoted plenty of scriptural references to prove that Trump is a divine zip to the mouth of Obama and co.

Really? The same Trump who is an archetype of everything but noble?

Here is a man who uses the most uncouth language in describing Africans and even Nigerians, he says most despicable things about us, releases smoky threats against us and our people, expresses desire to recolonize us, implies that we are slaves, a man who comes on board with huge moral baggage (divorced twice and in his third marriage) and digs into the crotches of ladies of easy virtue even in public glare…, , an ace racist etc, suddenly transforming to being the God-endorsed angel to cleanse America and the rest of the world. And now the prophecies and proclamations are now being tweaked to favour and polish Trump. He is now the Calvary Rep, enthroned to disgrace Obama and co.  Haba, Brethren!!!

Where were these latter day “Trumpy” Christians  when everybody was angry that Trump represented the worst of American specimen and so underserving of the White House captaincy?

Yes, Trump technically won the election—no thanks to the American complex Electoral College– (even though Hillary garnered more votes), but the fact remains that he is politically grotesque and represents a hateful world order that preaches separationist ideals instead of globalization. He is a disenchanting demagogue.  He has re-iterated his threat to deport or jail about three million immigrants who are either illegal or with criminal records.

Already, the signs of things to come are emerging. He named two of his children (Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jnr), and his inlaw into the transition committee.

The scale of hate messages and racist commentaries in the US are clearly on the rise. A mayor in Virginia, Mayor Beverly Whaling, had been forced to resign after she approvingly endorsed the racist Facebook post of Pamela Ramsey Taylor, who was director of the Clay County Development Corp. She had written: “It will be so refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified First Lady back in the White House,” adding: “I’m tired of seeing a Ape in heels.”

Yes, I have some things against Obama: his tacit support for same-sex marriage, and the concomitant effects;  insufficient support for Africa and Nigeria especially, but I will not wholesomely demonise a government that thinks for the poor: the Obamacare is an example.

All things said, let it be that the ascendancy of Trump will force Nigerians, nay Africans to look inward and turn around the continent for good.

pix: Donald Trump.jpg

Canticle

Atiku vs El Rufai: Who Blinks First?

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o it is really true that in politics, there are no permanent friends and no permanent enemies?

Of course, yes. What’s reminding you of that aphorism?

 

It is the media fight between a master and a former servant who is almost now a master too.

Who are you referring to?

 

Have you not been following the media fireworks between former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and his erstwhile crony, Gov Nasir el-Rufai?

Oh yes.  And I expect more of such quarrels. It reveals the underbelly of the nation’s illicit deals.

 

Hmmmm,  How I wish it really does. All it throws up are acrimonies based on narrow idiosyncracies , accusations and counter accusations. That’s all we get from those books from public servants. It ends there. Were it not so, all the mud thrown at Atiku by Obasanjo in his book, My Watch, should have led to the prosecution of Atiku. But , lai, nothing has happened and nothing will ever happen because of such revelations.

I understand that is the basis of the quarrel between Atiku and his former boy, now Governor El Rufai. That ever since the latter wrote his book, and made unhealthy references to Atiku’s integrity profile, the duo had drawn the line on the sand, waiting for the whistle to begin the duel.

 

So, why is everybody accusing Atiku as being corrupt? Is it true or sheer conspiracy of political forces?

Who can tell for sure? Don’t forget that Atiku is a wide-winged politician, with enormous influence. It is just unfortunate that he has not been able to cling the presidency. He has tentacles everywhere in this country. His political brinksmanship is almost without pair.

 

I said, why is everybody accusing him of being corrupt, I did not say you should campaign for him. If Obasanjo accused him, and now El Rufai has openly accused him of having even corruption demons, why is he a recurring target of this kind of accusation?

 You have to be perceptive. Obasanjo and El Rufai belong to the same camp. Don’t forget that Obasanjo used El Rufai to undermine Atiku at the time. Don’t forget that El Rufai is also eyeing the presidency, so he sees Atiku as a threat to his own presidential prospect. So if the two of them “gang up” to dress Atiku in corruption robes, it is understandable.

 

But beside those two, there is usually a hanging effigy of corruption around Atiku? What is the problem? Is it a matter of mere misplaced perception or there is some truth to it?

Again, I say be perceptive. Atiku is a politician. So many things are thrown around politicians. And with smart people like El-rufai as an enemy, you can imagine how many despicable things that can be woven around a target seen as a threat. When lions are on the prowl, Hyenas search for alternative  menu

But this El Rufai you are hitting was also introduced to national service by the same Atiku who brought him to Obasanjo to head the privatization scheme. Was it not correct to say at the time that, No Atiku, No El Rufai?

 

You are correct to have said “ at the time”. That was then. Not anymore. That former servant is now a governor of a high profile state. He is powerful and influential. He is right in the middle of the sitting president’s kitchen cabinet.  (in a hushed tone) But many people say he can even betray his mother to get power.

 

But is it true that Atiku cannot get to America ever since his house in Maryland, USA was raided and one of his wives arrested at the time?

My friend, don’t push the narrative of political opponents. Have you forgotten that the same El Rufai posing as a saint now had allotted several plots of land to his wives and cronies, while as a Minister of FCT? Have you asked why he fled to Dubai on exile when Yar’Adua became president? Look, you are dealing with ill-baked politicians. You should take their words with a pinch of salt. But wait a minute, have you forgotten that the same Atiku you are talking about owns the American University of Nigeria? Can you reconcile the rumour you are pushing? Look, it is all political shenanigan. Nothing more. Atiku’s hands are clean.

 

Hmmmm, as clean as a dutiful mechanic’s. and those are some of the questions. How did Atiku get such huge money to establish a very expensive university in Nigeria?

As far as I am concerned, Let all the elite who have conspired to undo this country in whatever way they did, rise against themselves. Let all the hidden deals be brought to light so the national can really recover. The greed and deals that took place are too huge. That’s what is keeping us all bedstraggled. I don’t trust these politicians. They don’t mean well. The few dedicated ones among them are often too overwhelmed by the might of the baneful majority. That is why nothing seems to be changing. Have you asked yourself for instance, why the wild and loud talks about budget padding have remained unaddressed several months after?

Did you not hear that the members of the House of Reps have taken delivery of their cars, whereas the rest of the nation is stewing in recession? Pray, how many projects in this year’s budget have been executed with barely 47 days to go in this year?

 

Hmmmmm. You are lumping many things together. Let’s form a prayer band for this country.

 

I agree, it should be led by Gen Yakubu Gowon. And this has to be urgent.