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Lawan: Adamu Works the Magic Again

Lawan: Adamu Works the Magic Again

Eddy Odivwri

Ordinarily, there should be a strong connection between having hoary hair and having honour. That explains why, in a community, whenever there are naughty issues to be resolved, the elders are invited to intervene, believing that the elders will speak the truth and ensure justice is done.

 But consistently, we seem to be seeing the opposite of this virtue in the barely three-month-old leadership of the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Abdullahi Adamu.

He was elected only last March.

In three months, Senator Adamu has practically shaken the table several times.

Barely a month after he was elected, we suddenly saw photographs of heavily-loaded Ghana-Must-Go bags in his house, while he held discussion with one of the presidential aspirants at the time. Nobody could say for sure what the content of the bags were. It was however enough to say it was quite suggestive of something ignoble.  But somehow, the story was managed away from sustained public scrutiny.

The jarred explanation was that Adamu had just hired a personal photographer who was “too zealous” and eager to demonstrate competence. 

The next time we heard from Adamu was the rounds of postponements of  pre-primary election activities, one of the reasons the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was compelled to shift the deadline for party primaries by nine days. This was after he had disorganised the zoning arrangement of the party which had earlier exclusively zoned the party’s presidential slot to the Southern part of the country.

When Adamu came on board, he managed to convince President Mohammadu Buhari that the position should be thrown open. That was how and when the likes of the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, the Jigawa State governor, Mohammed Badaru and former Zamfara State governor, Ahmed Sani Yerima, all got into the presidential race, thus confusing the polity.

Perhaps what was far more intriguing was how, few days to the presidential primaries, early this month, Senator Adamu suddenly announced that President Buhari had endorsed Ahmad Lawan as the presidential consensus candidate of the party. The Adamu announcement came against the backdrop of the resolution of the Northern Governors’ forum that, in pursuit of fairness and equity, power should shift to the south, thus a Southerner should emerge as the party’s presidential candidate.

But Adamu was bent on complicating the process. He unilaterally announced that Lawan, from Yobe State, a far-flung North East state, had been endorsed by Mr President. Alas, it was a lie. A Black lie!

It took the determination of all the APC governors, who drove to Adamu’s house to confront him, to discover that the National Chairman was merely flying a kite. A dangerous kite. A kite that could scatter the party.

 Many believe that the matter was allowed to die because it was damn too close to the party’s presidential primary.

As it happened, the APC presidential primary was held between June 6 and  8. Ahmad Lawan was among the thirteen aspirants who contested the election. He Polled 152 votes, to come fourth.

The Presidential primary came last. All other primaries for elective offices had held before June 6. That of the senatorial contest held on May 21, according to the INEC timetable. 

Perhaps in anticipation of the success of the “coup” he planned with Senator Adamu, Lawan had concentrated his efforts on the presidential race.

We however now hear that he had secretly arranged a “placeholder” ( a new political lexicon) candidate for his Yobe-north senatorial district. The man who emerged as the APC senatorial candidate for Yobe-North (when the primary was legally and openly held) is Bashir Machina, having scored 289 votes.

But Lawan, determined to eat his cake and still have it, had arranged that Machina will stand in the gap for him, in case the presidential plot does not work out, then he would revert to take up the senatorial ticket. As it happened, the presidential plan failed, and so Lawan headed back home to take over from Machina. But the latter believed Lawan came too late. He has already begun to enjoy and savour the status of a senatorial candidate. He was no longer willing to step down for Lawan.

But Lawan will not hear any of that “trash”. He is determined and desperate to retain his seat in the National Assembly, 23 years after he had been in the parliament, by hook or by crook. Many are wondering whether the parliamentarian representation in that district is the birthright of Ahmad Lawan. If he had done 23 full years of unbroken representation, is it not just fair and equitable to allow others to also represent the district in the upper House?

However, Mr Machina will not bulge. He insists he remains the APC senatorial candidate for Yobe North and  that he is not going to surrender his certificate.

Hear him:  “I did not withdraw for anybody, and will not withdraw because that is a matter of right. Removing my name, I consider it very undemocratic, illegal and of course, inhuman”

But despite his insistence, Adamu is back with his electoral magic again. He wants to wangle Ahmad Lawan’s name into the list, even when Lawan did not contest the senatorial election in his Yobe State. He has in fact, removed Machina’s name and unilaterally replaced it with Ahmad Lawan’s and submitted same to INEC, in clear breach of the law, propriety and the ethos of justice.

Worse still, Adamu is now claiming that Lawan contested the Senatorial primary in Yobe north. Really? Who conducted that primary wherein Lawan emerged? Who were his fellow contestants? What did he score?

Adamu, it appears, is determined to be an old and irresponsible liar. He is a lawyer. But must he also be a liar?

Confronted by journalists in Ekiti, he described the replacement of Machina’s name with Lawan’s as “negativities”. What does he mean by that? 

What happened to Lawan also happened to Godswill Akpabio. If Akpabio’s name will not  be supplanted for the real person who won the primary contest in Akwa Ibom, why will Lawan’s own be different.

Gov Bala Mohammed of Bauchi, who also wanted to run for the presidency under the PDP had a similar plot, but was smart enough to discontinue his presidential race and got the placeholder to step down for him before the deadline.

 Adamu should not be allowed to damage the APC.

At nearly 76, he should be a go-to elder when there is a problem in the party, not one to be generating and spreading infamy and mischief like a social media activist.

How Many More Rivers Do We Have to Cross?

 Eddy Odivwri

Did you hear the self-appraisal of President Muhammadu Buhari declaring that he has made Nigeria better than he met it in 2015?

Yes-o, I heard and read the vexatious assertions. They are not only misleading, but very provocative. How can anybody claim that life is better now than it was in 2015?

But can you fault some of the things he said he has achieved? Can you deny the non-existence of his many legacy projects?

Legacy projects my foot!  People are dying of hunger and insecurity and you are talking about 2nd Niger bridge. Is it not those who have life that will use the bridge?  Or the so-called many internal roads and inter-state roads, are they meant for ghosts? The roads are for the living.

Besides, do you know that our debt profile has now increased to over six trillion Naira? Do you know what we are owing China?  What kind of country is this?

They say we have spent over N4 trillion in subsidizing fuel importation, yet, we cannot find petrol to buy. Seven years after, the Buhari government can neither build new refineries nor fix the existing ones. We are the only OPEC country that imports refined petroleum products. Diesel is now selling for over N800 per litre. Industries are shutting down as production cost hits the roof. Banks and even Supreme Court justices are cutting down operation time because of the exorbitant cost of running diesel generators. Every year, Aso Rock, the very seat of the federal government, budgets billions of Naira for generator expenses. Are we a normal people? For the fifth time this year alone, national electricity grid has collapsed, as if it is standing on plastic feet. Power generation has dropped to less than 10 megawatts for a country of over 200 million people. Do you think we are normal? And you say Nigeria is better off today? How do we expect investors in such an environment? Who made that assessment? 

Look, you don’t understand what is happening. Do you know there are millions of Nigerians who don’t know how they will get their dinner tonight? Do you know how many hundreds of thousands of Nigerian youths are jobless university graduates? Why do you think the #EndSARS protest of 2020 resonated so loudly across Nigeria?

 In 2015, how much was a bag of rice? We were buying it between N15,000 and N1700 per bag. Today, after our CBN has supposedly granted local farmers huge loans to grow the same rice, that same bag of rice now is over N30,000.

At the time Buhari took over in 2015, a US Dollar was exchanging for N160/$. Today it is about N610/$. There is hunger in the land. Cost of living is terribly beyond the reach of millions of Nigerians.

Instead of creating the promised 3 million jobs per year, over 5 million Nigerians have lost their jobs in the last seven years.

(Raising his hands like a traffic controller) Hey, Stop there! Jobs were lost because of COVID-19 pandemic. It was all over the world, it was not peculiar to Nigeria. In fact, many countries have not recovered from the global effect of that affliction. So, leave Buhari out of this.

How convenient!

Do you remember that Nigeria was already in a state of economic coma before the outbreak of the pandemic?

Anybody who claims life is better now is an enemy of the country. If you even discount every other thing, the fact that thousands of people have been killed and people are being unsafe even in their homes, you will know that we are damn worse off than we were in 2015. We have simply jumped from frying pan to an acidic fire, under the Buhari administration, and you are here claiming that life is better. What are the indices of that claim?

Look, as I speak, 50 of the passengers kidnapped since March 28 in the Abuja—Kaduna train attack  are still in the bush. They are now being threatened by snakes and scorpions. Nine of them are said to have died in captivity.  And you say life is now better? Is there any week we do not hear of mindless killings and abductions? Is that the sign of being better? Churches are being bombed here and there. And every now and then, there is a standing claim of “Mr President has directed the Service Chiefs to do XYZ”. When those instructions are not carried out, what are the repercussions? Can’t you  see we are not making any progress as a people? 

Unless you are rich enough to send your children to private universities, public universities can no longer guarantee successful completion of  varsity education. What a country! This is no to talk of the offensive miasma of corruption, where just one man could steal N80 billion unchecked…. Has our suffering not increased geometrically? How many more rivers of sorrow and hardship do we have to cross before we will experience thralldom?

You must not dabble into classified security matters. It is not an across-the-counter issue. It is a complex matter beyond the national boundaries. It is a problem that stretches from here to the Sahel region. Security matter is everybody’s matter. All hands must be on deck. It did not start with the Buhari administration. It did not start today and will not just go by tomorrow. After all, the Chibok Girls’ kidnap did not occur under the Buhari administration. And did you not even hear that the military rescued another two of the Chibok girls last Wednesday? Government is on it. The train attack victims will be released. Buhari is hopeful that all the issues will be resolved before he hands over.

Hmmmmm, you know what they call delusion? Look, the rain fell, rain water did not fill the bucket; is it the dew that will fill the bucket? 

A man had seven years to tackle a problem but he practically kept sleeping on duty, is it now that it is quarter to go that he will solve the problems? Don’t deceive yourself, it is clear Buhari was a mistake. A national mistake! Nigerians cannot wait for May next year for him to go back to his goats and cattle in Daura, so we can have our country back.

Regular politicians have failed us. Irregular politicians like Buhari have even failed us all the more. That is why many people are deeply disenchanted with these same old politicians who promise nothing and do nothing, but empty the treasury.

Thankfully, the message of a New Nigeria is breaking and bursting every corner of the country. It is resonating. Nigerians, especially the youth want their country back, from those who have dealt so harshly with us over the years.

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