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Corruption and the acquittal of Nigeria’s Senate president Saraki. By Bayo Oluwasanmi

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By Bayo Oluwasanmi

Special to USAfricaonline.com   @USAfricaLIVE

 

 The hypocrisy, violence, hatred, and subversion of democracy and justice with our blood letting politics will provide the minefield for thugs and hooligans like Dino Melaye and other ultra loyalists of Mesujamba Saraki. Plundering of the ruling class will crush the working class. All power and economic privilege will reside and remain with the oppressors, their cronies, friends, and families.

We cannot be reminded too often that the leopard doesn’t change its colors. With greater frequency and audacity, the senate will continue to illustrate immoral and political debauchery, compromise and confusion. Senators will take their foolishness to dizzying levels….

The verdict is in: Bukola Abiku Mesujamba Saraki has no case to answer after,   allegedly, bribing CCT Chairman Danladi Umar a whopping $2 million. No surprise at all. Mesujamba Saraki is synonymous with corruption. We know it will all come to this because the lawless criminal climate with a corrupt judicial system, makes it impossible to successfully prosecute and convict the reputable boss of the Saraki Family Corruption Dynasty.

Mesujamba Saraki’s trial is a textbook case how corruption undermines democratic accountability, discourages good governance, and worsens poverty. I’m not going to waste space on how and why he was acquitted. I’m concerned about the implications of having a reprobate like Mesujamba Saraki to continue leading the Senate, the highest law making body of Nigeria.

So, what are the socioeconomic and political implications of the head of the Saraki Family Corruption Dynasty as the  president for the life span of the current senate?

Nigeria’s political Armageddon stares us in the face with great trepidation. We stand at a sacred moment when the elemental forces would coalesce to bring about the frighteningly prediction of the  Armageddon of one Nigeria. The time capsule of life for Nigerians will be between intensely bitter taste and disgust. Nigerians will be pushed further to the nadir of main indices of quality of life. Corruption would escalate and make life more miserable and unbearable for the citizens. The frenzy for corruption would assume a demonic crave.

The 180 million  Nigerians will continue to be kept in the dark, uneducated, uninformed, castrated and too docile to rebel. Nigerians will continue to live in poverty, hunger, and d[quote font=”verdana” font_size=”18″ color=”#ffffff” bgcolor=”#0d0859″ bcolor=”#dd9933″ arrow=”yes” align=”left”][/quote]isease. Greed, filth, and viciousness will be the norm. Ruined cities and towns will compete for a place in the refuse dunghill. Social decay will reign like we have never experienced before.

The ruling class under the control and direction of Mesujamba Saraki senate will expand and extend plundering, looting, luxuries, and lusts while the proletariat will live in poverty, and are kept sedated with crumbs, fears, propaganda, and lies. The political drum beat will be louder, noisier, and messier marching Nigerians to the beat of illicit desires of the ruling class. The hypocrisy, violence, hatred, and subversion of democracy and justice with our blood letting politics will provide the minefield for thugs and hooligans like Dino Melaye and other ultra loyalists of Mesujamba Saraki. Plundering of the ruling class will crush the working class. All power and economic privilege will reside and remain with the oppressors, their cronies, friends, and families.

We cannot be reminded too often that the leopard doesn’t change its colors. With greater frequency and audacity, the senate will continue to illustrate immoral and political debauchery, compromise and confusion. Senators will take their foolishness to dizzying levels of raw candor with revolutionary zeal. They will continue to be a sad example of representatives who failed to take responsibility. As a matter of fact, they’ll wash their hands of responsibilities in the following ways:

  • They’ll evade ownership of the consequences of their choices and behaviors. They’ll be paralyzed by conflict. They’ll have a problem with futility – no good would come from a right decision, so why waste time? So they’ll reason. Their apathy would stem from their belief that taking a right decision seems useless. As usual, they’ll continue o look out for their own selfish interests.
  • They’ll be imprisoned by fear and preoccupied with survival – loss of control, image, and position. They’ll continue to lack focus – be neutral or passive over crucial decisions. They’ll exhibit bizarre antics and unrestrained behavior. We will see endless parade of swindlers, con men and women, crooks, and charlatans the country ever witnessed. Nigerians will become butlers to wait on every command of their hapless leaders.
  • The number of scams and scandals in the senate will be chaotic, they will defy explanation or description. Moral failure, financial chicanery, and public scandals will become deeper and dirtier. The actions of the senators will be repeated bizarre practices and exaggerated pronouncements based on hollow shell of human imagination from the hollow chamber.
  • The senate under the continuous leadership of Mesujamba Saraki, Nigeria will become an utterly horrible and degraded society that is generally headed to an irreversible oblivion or dystopia. There will be exponential mass poverty, squalor, suffering, and oppression. Suppression of justice, freedom, and happiness will be on the rise. Sick Nigerians will be punished  as criminals while thieves will continue to be ferried to foreign hospitals for treatment.
  • Nigerians will be doubly exploited as a slave class conditioned and drugged to obey and enjoy their servitude. Nigeria will be a country of decaying and squeezed morals buried under tremendous pressure of shame and greed. And much more.

The above requiem portrait may look like an unbeliever’s pilgrimage inspired by unrepentant atheists. Well, we can’t prepare for a future we cannot predict. We cannot predict the future of Nigeria and Nigerians under the prolonged direction of soiled image of Mesujamba Saraki as the senate president. The history of the Saraki Family Corruption Dynasty shows Mesujamba Saraki was manufactured in a lab for franchise corruption designed to appeal to legislators and public officials and for recruitment as plunderers of our treasury.

Nigeria under the senate direction of Mesujamba Saraki as the top law maker will be thrown into a national funeral which no one will attend. History will remember him not as senate president, but as a top raider and recidivist of gang of thieves who served as law makers that plunge our people and nation into the abyss of poverty and penury.

• Oluwasanmi contributes commentaries to Houston-based USAfricaonline.com. His e-mail bjoluwasanmi@gmail.com

 

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USAfrica is an international multimedia company, founded since 1992 by Dr. Chido Nwangwu [author of Mandela & Achebe: Leadership, Identity and Footprints of Greatness], with its headquarters in Houston, Texas. Also, he established the 1st African-owned, U.S.-based professional newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com, both assessed by the CNN and The New York Times as the largest and arguably the most influential African-owned, U.S-based multimedia networks. USAfrica’s first print edition of USAfrica magazine published August 1993; USAfrica The Newspaper on May 11, 1994; The Black Business Journal in 1998; CLASSmagazine on May 2, 2003; PhotoWorks.TV in 2005, and several platforms and products. USAfricaonline.com is powered by the global resources of USAfrica, CLASSmagazine, CLASSmagazine.TV, PhotoWorks.Tv, USAfrica.TV, MandelaAchebeChido.com, AchebeBooks.com and ChidoNwangwu.com

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USAfrica: IPOB tells Buhari to release Nnamdi Kanu; after Fani-Kayode claimed Kanu is held on a warship, far off Bayelsa

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USAfrica: IPOB tells Buhari to release Nnamdi Kanu; after Fani-Kayode claimed Kanu is held on a warship, far off Bayelsa

USAfrica: IPOB tells Buhari to release Nnamdi Kanu; after Fani-Kayode claimed Kanu is held on a warship, far off Bayelsa

 By Chido Nwangwu.

Special to USAfrica (Houston} and  USAfricaonline.com

Following up on the July 2, 2018  viral tweet by former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode that:

“Nnamdi Kanu is being kept on a Nigerian Naval warship, far off the coast of Bayelsa,” the controversial but popular organization, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has again called on the government led by retired Gen. Buhari to produce IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, for a judicial court assessment/trial on charges of treason.

“We call President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately release Kanu and those abducted alongside with him or await the catastrophic consequences their extra-judicial killing spree will cause in the near future.”

The statement reads: 

“Nigerian Army that abducted him (Kanu) should charge him to court or release him to the British government.

It is now clear to all and sundry that the orchestrated sightings of our leader in Cameroon, Ghana, Niger Delta creeks, Malaysia, London and other weird and wonderful places were lies concocted and planted in mainstream Nigeria media to fool and confuse the public.

We, the global family of the indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB), and its leadership wish to reiterate our call to United Nations, Britain, USA and other civilised nations to compel Nigeria to produce our leader. Nigerian Army abducted him when they raided his home with deadly intent.

The periodic harassment of those that stood surety for our leader through Justice Binta Nyako’s court is a clever ploy to drum the false narrative into the brains of Nigerians that our leader jumped bail when in actual fact it was the army that invaded his home and killed 28 people in the process.

The government through its antics may have succeeded in convincing Nigerians that the deadly invasion of Kanu’s home by Nigerian soldiers that led to the killing of 28 persons does not matter and should be forgotten.”

 Kanu and his parents have not been seen since September 14, 2017 when Nigerian soldiers bombarded the Kanus’ home in Isiama Afaraukwu, Abia state.

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USAfrica: Yoruba leaders in Afenifere say Buhari is the god-father of Fulani herdsmen

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*Communique of the General Assembly of Afenifere, an influential leadership organization championing the interests of the Yorubas of southwest Nigeria, after their meeting of  June 26, 2018, at the Akure home of their Leader, Chief R.F Fasoranti. USAfrica [Houston] and USAfricaonline.com are publishing the communique with minor editing – for clarity:

After exhaustive deliberations on the state of the nation, the following communique was adopted:

1, Plateau Genocide and President Buhari’s conflict of interest: Meeting was devastated by the genocide that took place in Plateau State on Sunday [June 24, 2018] in which over 200 deaths occurred by eyewitnesses accounts deaths but the police admitted 100. These wanton killings and official irresponsibility portrays Nigeria as a barbaric entity and we, [the] Yoruba people, are pained living in the same space with the bestial elements who kill innocent people in cruel manner.

The images of little children killed mercilessly with open skulls make anyone with human blood flowing in his or her veins to shrink.
We are further distressed that the response of President Buhari to the murder of hundreds of our citizens did not attract a word of sympathy or regret .
It is very infuriating that the President’s response and that of Miyetti Allah appeared to have been authored from the same laptop.

The Chairman of North Central zone of Miyetti Allah, Danladi Ciroma, said the attacks were a retaliation for the loss of three hundred cows. Said he “These attacks are retaliatory …. Those who carried out the attacks must be on revenge mission …Fulani herdsmen have lost over 300 cows in the last few weeks…..Since these cows were not found, no one should expect peace in the areas.”

President Buhari who is also the Grand Patron of Miyetti Allah who described the Fulani herdsmen terror as “herdsmen/farmers” clashes (a case of two fighting but dead bodies only on one side) also repeated the missing cows and even added another charge Miyetti Allah did not remember: According to information available to the Presidency about one hundred cattle had been rustled by a community in Plateau State, and some herdsmen were killed in the process. The State Governor, Simon Lalong had had invited the aggrieved groups and pleaded against further action …Less than forty eight hours later violence broke out (a euphemism for the word “retaliation” used by Miyetti Allah Chief).

The President used the word “thugs” thrice to describe protesting residents while admitting that human life was becoming “increasingly cheap ” under his watch without saying what he is doing to make it worthy or bring the herdsmen who have admitted killing people to book.

He also repeated the blame game of “desperate people ” causing instability and chaos” in furtherance of the vain attempt by the administration to divert attention from Fulani herdsmen responsible for the serial murders.
Three months ago, we did say that the President is afflicted by conflict of interests as Grand Patron of Miyetti Allah and the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria . It is the affliction that has seen him now functioning as a Miiyetti Allah godfather at a time he should be presidential .We asked him and we are calling on him to make a choice between the two.
It is pointless at this stage making any demand on this incorrigible administration.

We ask our people to have special prayers for the souls of all those killed and for God to have mercy on Nigeria in all our mosques on Friday 29th June in our churches on Sunday 1st of July, and for Him to see us through the last few months of this administration .

Politically, Nigerians must now gird their loins and see the democratic uprooting of this administration as a task that must be done in 2019 so as to save the the country from utter destruction .There is no land where the blood of the innocent is being shed daily like Nigeria that can make progress in any area of human endeavor. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

2, RESTRUCTURING IS A NATIONAL AGENDA
At a time when the country as at the verge of collapse as a result of structural defects ,we noted that the President while receiving Urhobo leaders on Monday was still da missed the popular call for restructuring of the country when he said “Every group asking for restructuring has got their own agenda and I hope it can be accommodated by the constitution ”
We say without any reservation to Mr President that the call for restructuring is a selfless call borne out of the need to retrieve Nigeria from the brink of collapse and put It back on track .If the President talks about people with personal agenda on restructuring ,it. Can only be those who insert it in their manifestos to win elections and turn around to say they are getting different definitions of restructuring after they came to power .
We insist that for the country to move forward and develop ,it has to be restructured into a proper federation .

3, NO PUBLIC FUNDED RANCHES IN YORUBALAND
Meeting rejects the idea of public funded ranches which is an imperialist agenda of cresting Federal Cattle Territories across Nigeria .We insist that Cattle rearing is a private business and the Government has no business getting involved if there was no sinister.

No inch of Yoruba land will be available for such and no Governor should cede any land for such.

Yinka Odumakin
National Publicity Secretary
Afenifere

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Nigerian democracy and June 12: case for Abiola presidency

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By Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa

Special to USAfrica [Houston] and USAfricaonline.com

 

For a nation that seemed to be in denial for 25 years, monumental history was made in Nigeria this week of June 12, 2018, as the country’s leadership awakened to face the truth of its recent struggles for democracy.

On June 12, 1993, Nigerians went to the polls to elect a civilian democratic President. The election was generally adjudged to be peaceful, free and fair but the official result was not released. The military President, Gen. Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida [IBB] cancelled the elections using all kinds of subterfuge or so it seemed. A motley group of cash & carry politicians led by then irrepressible but now silent Arthur Nzeribe, connived with an equally cash & carry judiciary to give IBB an alibi to cancel the elections. The nation, especially, Southern Nigeria rose up in protest against IBB and his henchmen. I fully remember late Dr Beko-Ransome Kuti, Barrister Femi Falana and the trade unionist Frank Kokori leading protests which many of us joined on Ikorodu Road and Airport Road marching to Alausa in Lagos.There were bon fires all over Lagos and other parts of the South West and for the real first time in modern Nigerian history since the women riots, a full blown civil disobedience was in full swing dragging economic activities to a halt for weeks. Many Nigerians panicked, afraid that another civil war was imminent causing many to relocate( Oso Abiola).

The Peoples ‘pressure’ compelled IBB to step aside, enthroning  Chief Shonekan’s interim National Government (ING). Nigerians were not sure whether to support Shonekan or not despite the very spirited efforts which his government made to reset the nation for a new phase of economic development. The empaneling of the Vision 2010 committee was one of such Strategic initiatives by Shonekan. Sensing that Nigerians were ambivalent regarding the interim National government and perhaps more in keeping with written secret scripts held between IBB and his man Friday, Sani Abacha, Shonekan was forced to resign and with it his government came crashing. Abacha, the ultimate dictator assumed office. It is on record that Chief MKO Abiola the then presumed winner, but now confirmed( by PMB)of the June 12 1993 election was one of the earliest persons to pay a courtesy call on Abacha.

Why he did so? Only historians will tell. But some of us suspected that Abacha played a fast one on him. Perhaps he naively believed Abacha was going to’ restore the kingdom to Israel ‘. Rather, Abacha locked up MKO as the man made efforts to claim his victory. Abacha latter died after he had seized and put Nigeria in his pocket but God delivered Nigeria. Soon after Abacha’s death, hope was raised that MKO would be sworn in as President.

But that was not to be.

The nation woke up one day,to hear that MKO Abiola had been despatched to his ancestors. I thought the Nation was going to burn. Only a tepid response perhaps similar to the one David made when his son born out of adulterous relationship with Uriah’s wife died. While the Child was sick, David was in visible agony,refusing to eat or bath. So when the child eventually died, his aides thought he was going to kill himself. But the guy thought otherwise. No need to cry over split milk. He shaved, had his bath and ordered a sumptuous meal. Nigerians moved on with the fast transition to civil rule plan of Abdulsalami Abubakar or so it seemed.

Former military ruler, Gen.  Olusegun Obasanjo was thrust on the Nation by the Northern military establishment led by the irrepressible IBB himself.

Against all odds including sidelining those who midwifed the new democracy and who prepared to assume the Presidency, people like late Dr Alex Ekwueme and Chief Olu Falae, OBJ, past military head of State returned as a civilian democratic President of Nigeria. It was said that the North gave the presidency to the West to appease them for denying Abiola the presidency. But was the West appeased? It did not look so, as the West at first,essentially, did not seem to have supported OBJ. In the 1999 elections, it was predominantly the North,the Middle belt and  the East that gave OBJ victory. The initial hostility of the West led by Bola Tinubu’s Alliance for Democracy(AD) continued almost through OBJ’s 8-year tenure. Whether this was the main reason OBJ never paid any attention to Abiola and the June 12 movement, one may never know. But through out his tenure OBJ hardly brought Abiola or June 12 into any discussion and one could conclude he wanted the issue buried and forgotten .

President Umaru Yardua’s health did not give him enough time to pay attention to several critical national issues and so it is difficult to say if he would have had a different view about Abiola and June 12, even though the national honor he gave to Gani( which Gani eventually rejected) showed a softness to human right activists. Jonathan,who was in my view the first and perhaps till date the only true democrat in this 4th Republic to rule Nigeria showed more understanding to the June 12 issues. It is on record that he decided to Honour the memory of MKO by naming an important national institution after him- University of Lagos.Again the AD now turned ACN political movement of the South West Nigeria mobilized very strongly to oppose that honour. The democratic Jonathan retreated and perhaps that laid to rest any other plans that he may have had.

Then enter President Muhammadu Buhari( PMB) under the political amalgam called APC as arranged between Tinubu’s Southwest dominated ACN , Buhari’s Northern dominated CPC and the Bugaje/ Amaechi/ Saraki minority belt-led nPDP. This party paraded democratic principles at formation but as at now has become a Democratic Party with very few true democrats if any at all. Much of the promises it made during the campaigns, including those in its manifesto have been largely ignored or denied. Majorly, it promised to restructure Nigeria but came to power and became the major obstacle to restructuring Nigeria. Because of the apparent poor performance of PMB, in its chosen key Result areas- Security, anti-corruption and the Economy, it has lost some of its most ardent supporters. Prominent among these are the leading lights of Nigeria’s Military establishment – IBB, TY and OBJ. In addition, the Country seems to be slowly descending into a dictatorship with the unfolding erosion of the powers and relevance of the Legislature and a patently evident repression and intimidation of the main opposition Party- PDP. As last week closed OBJ issued a statement claiming that his freedom and life were in danger essentially because of his criticism of PMB’s lackluster governance performance. As I read that statement, my mind went back to the Abacha days and I asked my self: are we seeing the reincarnation of Abacha?

It is in this charged political milieu where we were wondering how we got here that PMB sprung the greatest surprise of his tenure. In a twinkle of an eye, he rewrote history and did what Napoleon could not do. According to the media reports,he acknowledged for the first time that Chief MKO Abiola of blessed memory actually won the June 12, 1993 elections. To demonstrate this, he awarded MKO the highest National Honour of the Nation- GCFR , reserved for only Heads of State of Nigeria. Abiola’s Vice-Presidential candidate Babagana Kingibe was awarded GCON- the Honour for Vice Heads of State or Vice-Presiedents as the case may be. He also gave similar Honour to Gani Fawhenmi, the late  human rights crusader and democratic icon. To cap it up, he changed the date for the observance of Nigeria’s democracy day from May 29 to June 12. These are issues which the June 12 movement, other pro-democracy groups and Abiola’s family have consistently canvassed over these many years.

Since this surprise was sprung, there have been several comments in the media. The consensus is that this is a good move but done with a motive to score political points( cheap or costly).And then I ask, what is wrong with that? My wish is that PMB would score many more of such political points. How wonderful it will be for us to wake up tomorrow to hear that a man from the South East has been made the Inspector-General of Police for example!( please this not to say that I have joined the Senate to fight IGP Idris and I pray that this my humble suggestion is not mischievously transmitted to him). Or how will it be wrong to hear tomorrow that he has accepted the recommendations of the 2014 political conference and ordered immediate implementation or agreed to drastically restructure Nigeria using the six -geopolitical zones as federating units for example. Let him score all the political points( cheaply or costly).For one thing, they will help write off his current political deficits and perhaps place him on the positive. Won’t that be a good thing for Nigeria?

Additionally I have heard suggestions that he should do more than what he has done. People have suggested that Abiola and Kingibe should be paid arrears of their salaries as President and Vice President. This is only fair. Others have suggested that Kudirat Abiola who died in the struggle for her husband’s mandate should be equally honoured and I agree. Others are requesting that Government should help rebuild Abiola’s businesses that have failed. I demure on that. Indeed I am hoping that other heroes of June 12 like Dr Beko Ransome-Kuti, Tony Enahoro, Balarabe Musa, Ndubuisi Kanu, Yinka Odumakin and comrade Kokori should also be honored. In similar manner, Nigeria must not forget the sacrifices of Leaders like General Thomas Aguiyi- Ironsi, Col Adekunle Fajuyi, Shehu Musa Yardua,Alfred Rewane, Dele Giwa and many others who have died in the bid to bring peace and unity to Nigeria. They and their families and businesses need recognition, honour, resuscitation and restitution. What is good for the goose must also be good for the gander!

But for me really, to bring this June 12 matter to a full and final closure, I suggest we should go the whole hog and inaugurate an Abiola Presidency. Since Babagana Kingibe survived MKO as VP, he should by the enforcement or re-enactment of the doctrine of necessity by the Senate be inaugurated as the President and he can choose a VP, perhaps the Chairman of SDP in 1993 or his Vice, if the chairman is indisposed . Alternatively, MKO’s first son can become the VP. If this my ‘revolutionary’  idea is acceptable to the good people of Nigeria, we can inaugurate this government on June 12 next year. In which case we will not need to go through the pain, torture and expense of holding presidential elections next year, which if care is not taken and we continue the way we are going as today may run into painful hitches. Can some one please stand to support this motion?                                                                        •Ohuabunwa, recipient of Nigeria’s national award, OFR, is a leading public policy analyst who contributes commentaries to USAfrica. His email is sam@starteamconsult.com

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USAfrica: Why SaharaReporters Sowore’s disrupt-the-Nigerian-system message is gaining momentum. By Chido Nwangwu

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By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfrica, Houston.                                                                            •Follow Twitter.com/Chido247Facebook.com/USAfricaChido

 

I remember my first meeting with Omoyele Sowore has been almost 10 years — at the residence of the profoundly resourceful Dr. Chidi Achebe — where we (including Prof Okey Ndibe and Prof Chukwuma Azuonye) gathered to learn and interview the great novelist Prof Chinua Achebe.

He came as SaharaReporters.com Publisher which opened a few years earlier in 2006, in New York; supported by grants from the Ford Foundation and the Omidyar Foundation. I came as Publisher of the print and online platforms USAfrica [established 1992, in Houston], USAfricaonline.com, CLASSmagazine and AchebeBooks.com

I had a brief chat with Sowore middle of May 2018 whereby he informed me about his campaign for the presidency of Nigeria 2019. I congratulated him “for the courage to present an alternative outlook on Nigeria.”

Before that day, I observed his campaign events and use of the social elements of technology to enable me make these points.

First, Sowore, an equal opportunity offender [especially of the corrupt], is undertaking a relatively bold challenge of the entrenched forces and groups who have held Nigeria’s potentially greater fortunes as their playground, a barnyard for primitive accumulation and consumption.

Second, the campaign’s financial support is primarily derived from the social media funding site, gofundme.com
His fundraising results there has been a catalyzing factor for the operations and mobilization of supporters. It has not been optimal. Yet, he’s doing what no other Nigerian politician has attempted: Raise money for politics through small donations by everyday folks rather than depend on the overbearing weight of funding from the fat cats!

Third, the former students union leader at the University of Lagos has made swift but effective campaign events across Nigeria’s major cities and North America. As it were, it is factual to note that the attendance of these rallies have been modest. The master stroke and strategy of Sowore are the facts that he has made the most mileage issue in the utilization of social media better than any other potential candidates, so far, in the race.

Fourth, he is capturing the imagination and civic interests of millions of unemployed, underemployed, yet very talented demographics of Nigerian youth. He speaks in their lingo, wrapped

Fifth, besides the youth segment of Nigeria, Sowore has impressed many Nigerians and accountability organizations in the fight over corruption. To be sure, he has equally alienated a huge swath of the Nigerian political and business elite over published materials on his website. The truth of the matter is that he is usually, to use a Nigerian slang, “more correct” than those who accuse him of being driven by malice or sponsored by some special interests.

How all those will impact his ambition to lead Nigeria reside in the dynamic turns and twists of time and real politik.

USAfrica Publisher Chido Nwangwu, pix Jan11 2014

I’ll close with the realistic engagement in the battle for power as stated by the 1960s Black feminist Audre Lorde that ““For the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house…”

———

•Dr. Chido Nwangwu is Founder & Publisher of Houston-based USAfrica multimedia networks, first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com;  and recipient of several journalism and public policy awards. He has been profiled by the CNN International for his pioneering works on multimedia/news/public policy projects for Africans and Americans. He worked previously for the Nigerian Television Authority, Platform magazine, and the Daily Times of Nigeria; and has served as adviser on Africa business to Houston’s former Mayor Brown. USAfrica, CLASSmagazine and USAfricaonline.com are assessed by the CNN and The New York Times as the largest and arguably the most influential African-owned, U.S-based multimedia networks. USAfrica established May 1992.


 

2018 book: In this engaging, uniquely insightful and first person reportage book, MANDELA & ACHEBE: Footprints of Greatness, about two global icons and towering persons of African descent whose exemplary lives and friendship hold lessons for humanity and Africans, the author Chido Nwangwu takes a measure of their works and consequence to write that Mandela and Achebe have left “footprints of greatness.”

He chronicles, movingly, his 1998 reporting from the Robben Island jail room in South Africa where Mandela was held for decades through his 20 years of being close to Achebe. He moderated the 2012 Achebe Colloquium at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.”I’ll forever remember having walked inside and peeped through that historic Mandela jail cell (where he was held for most of his 27 years in unjust imprisonment) at the dreaded Robben Island, on March 27, 1998, alongside then Editor-in-chief of TIME magazine and later news chief executive of the CNN, Walter Isaacson (and others) when President Bill Clinton made his first official trip to South Africa and came to Robben Island. Come to this island of scourge and you will understand, in part, the simple greatness and towering grace of Nelson Mandela”, notes  Chido Nwangwu, award-winning writer, multimedia specialist and founder of USAfricaonline.com, the first African-owned U.S-based newspaper published on the internet, in his first book; he writes movingly from his 1998 reporting from South Africa on Mandela. http://mlkmandelaachebe.com/

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USAfrica: Obiano’s 2nd term in Anambra offers hope in governance. By C. Don Adinuba

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Obiano’s 2nd term in Anambra offers hope in governance
By C. Don Adinuba

Special to USAfrica [Houston]  @USAfricaLive

Since the relationship school, closely associated with Peter Drucker, made a robust comeback in the 1990s among leadership and management researchers, top management schools around the world have displayed a greater interest in the role of passion in the success of organizations.

The resource-based view (RBV) in strategic human resource management argues that a fundamental difference between high achieving organizations and average ones is the passion difference. While ordinary firms are run by people who work without passion, super performing organizations have members who go far beyond the call of duty to deliver the goods.

Two expressions which are closely associated with passion by organizational members are deliberate practice and stretch. By deliberate practice, applied psychologists refer to the fact that people who put in greater effort than most of their competitors. Stretch in management science is a term first used in 1990 by General Electric under Jack Welch to refer to a task that seemed initially impossible but eventually got done.

Passion is extremely important in political leadership, too, especially in crisis situations and transformation of societies. Passion, sometimes referred to as commitment, is the heart of nationalism. One of the critical success factors for the phenomenal transformation of South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and other southeastern societies is the passion of the people and their leaders. Nationalism is now regarded as one of the core Asian values. We all saw how everyday people in South Korea brought out highly cherished personal assets like trinkets and sold and gave the proceeds to the government to enable it to weather the storm when their country’s economy went into a tailspin in the late 1990s. Western scholars, who used to mock the Asian countries for their acute nationalism, have since acknowledged that nationalism was a key factor in the quick recovery of Asian nations and territories from the profound currency crisis. That Biafra survived for a whole 30months during the Nigerian civil war of 1967 to 1970, despite all the great odds, owed to the passion of the people.

The first thing which struck new members of the Willie Obiano administration in Anambra State as they assumed office on Monday, March 25, was passion writ large. In fact, the passion thing had become manifest three days earlier, on the first day of the two-day retreat to prepare the members for the task ahead. The governor arrived at the retreat when most of the commissioners, special advisers, permanent secretaries and heads of the agencies were still eating. Because he uses no siren, the governor took most people by surprise. On the second day, he also arrived ahead of the time.

Obiano sat through the two-day retreat, taking notes, contributing to every discussion on the scintillating presentations by Chukwuma Soludo, ex Central Bank of Nigeria governor; Osita Ogbu, an economics professor and director of Development Studies at the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, who is a former chief economic adviser to the president and chairman of the National Planning Commission; Ibrahim Magu, head of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission; Daniel Okafor, a director of the Code of Conduct Bureau; Bismarck Rewane, the chief executive of Financial Derivates, a Lagos-based consulting firm; Macaulay Atasie of Nextzon, also in Lagos; Twinkle Oruware, an engineer and management consultant in Ibadan, Oyo State; Collins Onuegbu, a software consultant; and Fela Durotoye, an exceptional motivational speaker . Each presenter provided sufficient food for thought.

Passion was also at display on the day the new appointees were inaugurated. Just before the inauguration, a short ceremony was conducted for those who worked with Obiano in his first term. John Emeka, the Anambra State deputy governor from 1999 to 2003 who was to serve under Obiano as Commissioner for Science and Technology, delivered a soul-stirring speech which was apparently spontaneous. Far from showing bitterness for not being reappointed like most departing members of the council, Emeka told Obiano: “I will cherish participating in your government every day of my life. People of Anambra are very proud of you. This is why they voted for you overwhelmingly in the last November 18 governorship election”. Turning to the new members of the council, the ex deputy governor said: “You must prove your mettle from Day One. He is accessible and amenable. He wants you to disagree with him because he knows you are no robots; he likes good, healthy debates”. Like other members of the outgoing council, Emeka received a certificate of merit, a lapel pin of the state and all his entitlements right there.

The inauguration was followed immediately by the first Executive Council meeting which the governor led, and he spoke for about four hours on various topics without leaving his seat for a second and without notes. He remembered the minutest detail of discussions held at the last Exco meeting on March 5.Throughout the long hours the first Exco meeting lasted, he left no one in doubt that he genuinely believes in his mantra of “achieving more with less”.

The governor was passionate during his meeting with the board of the Anambra Broadcasting Service (ABS) two days later. Having built the most technologically advanced radio and television stations in Africa, he demanded that the TV channel go digital in less than three months and that it do 24-hour broadcasting which has to be available on DSTV, the popular pay channel operated by Multichoice of South Africa. Expressing disgust at the quality of buildings at the ABS, he said work would soon begin on the construction of tall and elegant buildings there. Turning to me, he declared: “We must learn how to use our land resource very efficiently, since the state is the smallest in the country in terms of land mass, after Lagos. Even so, erosion has reduced our land mass considerably. See how Singapore, Israel, Hong Kong and Taiwan use their limited lands to create wonders”.

The meeting with the ABS board had hardly ended when he entered the weekly Security Council meeting where he dominated the environment. Members of the council include not just the state police commissioner, the DSS director in the state, the Civil Defence and security Corps commander, the army and naval commanders in the state, the Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, the governor’s special adviser on security, his special assistant on security and head of the state vigilante who is a respected retired police commissioner, but also heads of the Customs Service, the Immigration Service, the Prison Service, and the Federal Road Safety Corps.

Obiano invites some other people to participate in the security council meetings depending on the issues for deliberations; this time a representative of the traders unions attended because of some market issues. The governor takes security so seriously that he counts the number of road blocks by security agents and the number of soldiers and policemen manning each at any point. He even noticed that some sandbags used by the police in remote riverine communities sharing border with Kogi State were torn and ordered their replacement.

The next day, he ran straight from Onitsha where he was attending the Maundy Thursday mass in Onitsha, as part of the Christian Holy Week of Easter, and headed straight to the Alex Ekwueme Square in Awka where he handed over 40 vehicles from the Innoson Vehicles Manufacturing firm in Nnewi to security agencies. He promised an additional “100 made in Anambra vehicles soon to the agencies to ensure our state remains the most peaceful in West Africa”. Val Ntomchukwu, the Deputy Inspector General of Police who represented IGP Abubakar Idris on the occasion, said: “Other states should emulate Anambra which has become the country’s safest state. The governor means every word he utters”.

I have never seen the Anambra people so optimistic of their state as they have been in the last few months. Having been in office for just two weeks, I now have a better understanding of why Chukwuma Soludo, Bart Nnaji, Victor Umeh, Chris Okoye, Okey Ndibe and even Emeka Anyaoku and the Obi of Onitsha encouraged me to go to Anambra State and make my contribution to the development of the state, after my initial hesitance. Babatunde Fashola, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, calm , cool and very measured as ever, spoke about Obiano the way I have never heard him praise any governor. Anambra State provides a glimmer of hope for Nigeria.

Adinuba is Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Anambra State.

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CHIDO

Obasanjo slams Buhari as “ineffective, incompetent, a failure”

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Nigeria’s former military ruler (from February 14, 1976-1979) and elected President (1999-2007), Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has castigated the current leader, Muhammadu Buhari, who like him, ruled as a dictator (from December 31, 1983 to August 27, 1985) and elected President in 2015 for “bringing hardship on Nigerians”,, “running ineffective economic policies,” and causing a high number of “crippled businesses.”

The first lesson I learnt in my military training is to never reinforce failure. What we have now is failure. Never you reinforce failure. Let failure be failure.

Obasanjo who failed in a multi-pronged quest for an unprecedented 3rd-term as President (see/search USAfrica and USAfricaonline.com news index) told a delegation of the New Nigeria group (led by Chima Anyaso) that it will be foolish and counter-productive for Nigerians “to reinforce failure by re-electing ineffective and incompetent government in 2019…. The truth is this: When you have an ineffective and incompetent government, we are all victims. And don’t let anybody deceive you. Those of you who are in business, your business could have been better today if we have a competent and effective and performing government.”

He continued: “As I said, stop giving excuses; we met challenges. If there were no challenges, then we wouldn’t need you to come.”

“You came in because you know there were challenges and then giving us excuse that you have many challenges, that is why you haven’ t achieved results.

“And then you still want to go [for re-election]….  And if you do not see what you should see, you will then be a victim of what you don’t like, because it’ s only when you see what you should see and you do what you should do that you put away what you do not like.

“You see, I have publicly said and I mean it, that as a party, neither PDP nor APC can get us there as they have been. Never mind about reforms and apology and all that.”

Obasanjo was a key power broker who supported Buhari of the APC and abandoned his PDP then incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Several retired army Generals and civic leaders are expressing their disappointment with the current leader.

Buhari has faced trailer-loads of problems, as he has with many members of his team exposed their relative inadequacies across various sectors of government.

Buhari contested and won under the banner of the APC, a party and presidency stifled by its naked instinct for nepotism, regional impunity, ideological sectarianism, punitive engagements as standard instruments of governance  and self-defeating insularity.

Lest we forget, Obasanjo became President under the umbrella of the corruption-ridden confederacy of financial locusts called the PDP.

Evidently, the battle for Nigeria’s 2019 elections has started, almost….                                                                                                 By Chido Nwangwu, Founder & Publisher of USAfricaonline.com, CLASSmagazine and USAfrica magazine, appears occasionally as an analyst on CNN International, SKYnews (London). He is the author of the soon-to-be-released 2018 book,  MANDELA & ACHEBE: Leadership, Identity and Footprints of Greatness. ISBN 978-0-9893970-0-1

 

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CHIDO

USAfrica: Gov. Wike tells Buhari the APC is “dead” in Rivers State

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Special to USAfrica [Houston] and USAfricaonline.com @Chido247

Nigeria’s Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state says President Muhammadu Buhari will need a miracle to revive what he called a “dead” All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state. Buhari belongs to the APC while Wike is a catalyst in the PDP.

He said the federal government has not briefed him on the planned visit of Buhari to the state. “I hear they say that the President is coming to our state. I have not been told the President is coming and why he is coming. He has the right to come to any state,” he said.

“Maybe the President is coming to make sure that he will improve the fortunes of the APC that is dead in Rivers state.”

“Apart from Jesus Christ, we don’t know of anyone who has risen a dead thing. APC is a dead party in Rivers state. No matter how you fast and pray, it will never wake up.”

Rivers is, reportedly, listed among the states Buhari plans to visit regarding recent killings in some parts of the country– especially by the Fulani herdsmen.

Wike added: “Let nobody bother him or herself that the President is coming for security reasons. We don’t have security challenges in the state. We have never had herdsmen killings or crisis in the state, except when some criminals tried to disrupt the peace and they were checked. We resolved that challenge.”

Wike made these remarks on Thursday while flagging-off the reconstruction of Egbelu Street and link roads in East-West in Rumuodara, Obio Akpor area of the state. By Chido Nwangwu

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CHIDO

USAfrica: I stand with missing 110 Dapchi girls as I seek Nigeria’s presidency, says Moghalu

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First-class scholar, political economist and Nigeria’s former deputy Governor of the Central Bank, Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, on his Declaration of Intention to Contest the 2019 Nigeria Presidential Election at the Musa Yar’Adua Conference Centre, Abuja; on February 28, 2018.

Special to USAfrica multimedia networks (Houston) • USAfricaonline.com @USAfricaLive @Chido247

With love for our country and a fierce commitment to a vision of rapid progress for our more than 180 million citizens, and following wide-ranging consultations, I offer myself to serve you as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as from May 29, 2019. I therefore intend to be a candidate in the 2019 presidential election.

I seek the opportunity to offer our country visionary, purposeful, competent leadership to build our future.

Nearly 60 years ago, our Founding Fathers Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Sir Ahmadu Bello and Chief Obafemi Awolowo envisioned a great country that would take its pride of place in the world based on the talents of its citizens and a constitutional federation that would ensure justice, equity, and economic productivity.

Their vision and hopes have yet to materialize — military rule, oil booms and busts, and the successive leadership failures of our civilian political class have combined to rob us of what seemed our destiny at independence.

I am standing here today saying that it is time we shatter the downward spiral to nowhere.

I am here today, standing with the 110 missing girls of Dapchi and their grieving family, and with the traumatized young women of Chibok, those with us and those still in captivity.

I am here today standing with 180 million Nigerians, in addition to thousands of businesses struggling to share a measly 4000MW of electricity.

I am here today standing with the 100 million Nigerians experiencing crushing poverty, living on less than 300 naira a day.

I am here today because 33 million of our able men and women are unemployed or underemployed, nearly 15 million children are out of school, and only 60% of Nigerians are literate.

I am here today because our hospitals are understaffed and mismanaged death traps, and women are still subject to horrific prejudices and devastating early marriages.

I am taking this stand, here and now, because Nigeria today is divided by ethnic and religious conflicts, made worse by corruption. The government has failed in its very first duty of securing our lives as citizens, and we have lost our place in the world. The time has come for us to fix this.

We are collectively exhausted by these politicians who continually fall in and out of alliances with each other and care nothing for the ordinary Nigerian. They aggravate our fears in the hope that we will continue to keep them in power even though offer nothing new.

IT IS TIME for a radical change in the political leadership of Nigeria.

IT IS TIME for a visionary, competent and inclusive leadership that truly cares about our country.

IT IS TIME for a leadership equipped with the skills, intellect and competence to wage a decisive war against poverty and unemployment.

IT IS TIME for a Nigeria in which our youth can fulfill their full potential and our daughters can aspire to any opportunity they desire.

IT IS TIME for a 21st century leader to lead us into a new and different future.

What we need now is a REAL movement of the people, by the people and, most importantly FOR the people of Nigeria to move our country forward and break with our troubled past. I offer myself as part of that movement.

We are a nation of great people; as seen by the way Nigerians abroad are thriving. We hear the stories of those who leave home with little more than a hope and a prayer, change the world abroad.

Nigerians have smarts, ingenuity, drive, relentlessness, vision, and sheer force of will. We must be able to harness our strengths and make them work for us here at home.

My fellow Nigerians, to quote the immortal words of the late US president John F. Kennedy, “politics is too important to be left to the politicians.”

We must ask our government hard questions about the promises they made about our security, about power, about civil aviation, about healthcare, about women’s rights.

The world is changing: time and tide have in several countries swept away old orders and brought in new, more dynamic ones. Nigeria must not remain stuck in its past. We, you and I, can do it for our country too.

We need to modernize, and quickly. For instance we know that women in leadership and in government can accelerate growth for any economy, yet only 6% of our legislature are women. There are many, many competent, smart women who are more than ready to dig in and work together to rescue this country. We must draw them out and ensure that their voices are heard.

We must stop recycling failed politicians and regenerate our leadership ranks with competent and experienced young men or women. Youth who have prepared themselves with the relevant qualifications must take over the mantle of leadership because this struggle is about the future of Nigeria, not its past.

The battle to reorient Nigeria into a strong, capable country requires competence, capacity, and character. And as a citizen who aspires to be President I possess all three.

If it is about competence: my work as a Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria who played a leadership role in rescuing and stabilizing the Nigerian banking system after the global financial crisis speaks for itself.

If it is about capacity, my work in the United Nations reconstructing countries torn by civil war or reforming the internal workings of the world body is there for everyone to see.

If it is about character, well, talk to my colleagues, mentors, friends, and of course my family and listen to what they have to say. Strong, knowledgeable guidance is needed as Nigeria navigates these difficult waters, and I offer myself for service with a solid track record of leadership.

I’m not here to tell you that there are quick, easy solutions to our nation’s problems. Far from it. Decades of economic and leadership mismanagement cannot be undone in a few short weeks or months. Things will be difficult and painful choices will have to be collectively made.

What I am here to tell you is that:

TOGETHER, we can choose a NEW path.

TOGETHER, we can set a BOLD agenda.

TOGETHER, we can deliver for ourselves a DIFFERENT outcome.

Nigeria will achieve greatness.

I have not announced today the party platform on which I intend to contest for the presidency. My focus for now is the people of Nigeria and not on party platforms that have in the past been mere vehicles for capturing political power.

While I have been approached by a number of political parties, the movement that I am part of will decide which one we will join. That decision will be based on commonality of vision and the IMPERATIVE of a generational shift in leadership, and we will announce this decision in the coming weeks.

Based on such a decision, we shall seek to build a formidable coalition of parties for the presidential election that together will represent a clear and credible alternative to the failed political leadership class that has enthroned corruption and incompetence in the governance of our country.

It is important that we begin to focus more closely on the individuals seeking elective office in our country and their qualifications in terms of character, competence, capacity, and track record.

We have traditionally focused of platforms and structures that, though a necessary part of the democratic process, in our national experience have mainly delivered the wrong candidates. Naturally, those candidates have gone on to be failed leaders. It is good candidates that will create credible political parties. Visionless parties cannot produce the best candidates.

THE POLICY AGENDA My vision for our country is set out in my new book BIG (Build, Innovate, Grow) which was released two days ago. In summary, however, the agenda of a government under my leadership includes the following:

Leadership and Governance

Compose a world-class, “first eleven” team based on merit and inclusive governance to drive government policy. We will be ready on Day One. The appointment of all senior officials of the Presidency will be announced within 48 hours. My government will enthrone evidence-based public policy, strategy and risk management as tools of effective and modern governance.

Establish and propagate through the educational system a foundational philosophical worldview for the Nigerian state, around which all Nigerians will unite in a common purpose

Nation-building

Lead a consultative political process, in cooperation with the National Assembly, to achieve a constitutional restructuring of Nigeria and return our country to true federalism for stability and prosperity by 2021.

Implement a 50:50 gender parity policy in all political appointments — nearly double the ratio recommended by the National Gender Policy of 2008.

Establish and implement a Diaspora engagement and return policy and strategy as a new, fundamental component of our national quest for development as has been the case in China, India and Israel. My government will build the Diaspora

Commission approved by the National Assembly into an effective, world-class institution to accomplish this important agenda.

Fundamental overhaul of the Nigerian Police Force that will emphasize training, equipment, and boosting the strength of the Force by recruiting at least 1.5 million policemen and women, up from the grossly inadequate present force strength of 350,000.

Economy

Establish an innovation-led economy, with intellectual property and commercialization of local innovation as its bedrock.

Establish a Venture Capital Fund with a minimum of N500 billion as a public-private partnership to invest in the creation of new businesses by presently unemployed youth in Nigeria; the new businesses created with support from this fund will in turn create new jobs. The fund will be managed by private sector partners while the Federal Government of Nigeria will be a core investor.

Reform energy policy to create an enabling environment for Nigerian households to be powered by renewable energy while industrial zones are served by gas and hydro-powered energy.

Fundamental reform of Nigeria’s healthcare system to assure quality healthcare for Nigerian citizens and remove the need for medical tourism abroad. Healthcare will have 15 per cent of Nigeria’s budget in line with the Abuja Declaration of the African Union in 2001. A world-class hospital will be established in each of the six geopolitical zones at a federal university teaching hospital.

Fundamental reform of Nigeria’s education system to create skills and human capital that will drive Nigeria’s industrialization and job creation. Education will be allocated 20 per cent of the federal government budget, with a progressive increase to 30 per cent over eight years.

CONCLUSION

I am here today because I want what is best for my country.

We have no godfathers. We are just ordinary Nigerians who want a future that is very different from the sad reality of broken promises and unfulfilled national potential that has been the lot of the Nigerian people for far too long.

But we know that, with your support we can bring about real progress in our country. To accomplish this, however, every citizen aged 18 years and above must obtain his or her Permanent Voters Card (PVC) and vote in the 2019 elections.

Fellow Nigerians, this movement of the people, the REAL coalition of everyone and not a select few, belongs to you. Because it truly belongs to you, it will be accountable to you, the people. For this reason, we need to crowdsource our intellect and resources to move this country forward. To support the movement, go towww.tobuildanation.com

We must refuse to allow the political elite to continue to intimidate us with the idea that no one can displace them. They boast they will outspend us and more.

But we say to them: Nigerians will not be taken for a ride yet again. The time to sit on the fence is past, ladies and gentlemen.

I’d like to end my speech by thanking my family. My lovely and ever supportive wife, who always challenges me to be the best man I can be. Thank you, dearest. To my sons and daughter, continue to be the amazing, talented people you are. I am so proud of you.

Nigeria, we can do this. Let’s get to work!

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AFRICA

Ramaphosa’s South Africa Cabinet reshuffle rejected by EFF; applauded by ANC

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ramaphosa-ANC

Johannesburg: South Africa’s Economic Freedom Fighters party has rejected President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Cabinet reshuffle, saying it was a realignment of corrupt and “delinquent” ministers.

In a statement, EFF national spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said the changes were not in the best interests of South Africans. “No one, with the best interests of South Africa today, could have Malusi Gigaba, Nomvula Mokonyane [and] Bathabile Dlamini as Cabinet members and ministers.”

On Monday night Ramaphosa announced significant changes to his Cabinet, including the return of Nhlanhla Nene and Pravin Gordhan, among others, and new additions to his Cabinet.

Ndlozi said Ramaphosa, instead of getting rid the former social development minister, had given her a promotion.

“Bathabile Dlamini has essentially been rewarded with a promotion into the Presidency regardless of the fact that she nearly collapsed the social grants system for the poor.”

“Above all is Gigaba, whose state capture crimes come close to treason as he facilitated the handing over of state institutions to foreign nationals in the form of the Guptas.” Ndlozi said to keep such ministers was a direct rejection of the Constitution. “Gigaba lied under oath, in a court of law,” he said.

“Ramaphosa has bowed to factional pressure in the ANC, proving that he is presiding over a kleptocratic collective that cannot be saved. His inability to dispense with individuals implicated in corruption is evidence that no one can save ANC from corruption. It is entangled for good.”

Ndlozi said: “We call on the people of South Africa to reject the entire ANC and vote it all out in 2019. We warned that Ramaphosa is only interested in careerism, and has no demonstrable history of integrity and fighting corruption.”

He welcomed the changes in the ministry of finance, saying the appointment of Nene as minister was a reaffirmation of confidence in black and African leadership. ref: news24

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Forced to Resign? South Africa President Zuma’s fate to be decided today

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Johannesburg (Reuters) – The ANC will decide President Jacob Zuma’s fate at a special meeting on Monday, the party’s new chief said, in what could be the most serious bid yet to unseat a leader damaged by corruption allegations.

 

Zuma was replaced as leader of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa in December and no longer holds a top position in the party.

The meeting of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC), which has the power to demand that Zuma step down, raises the prospect of a decisive showdown between the 75-year-old allies and those who want Ramaphosa to take over from him now as president.

The remarks by the 65-year-old Ramaphosa were his most pointed yet over the handover of power, although he did not mention Zuma by name. Zuma’s tenure as president officially runs until mid-2019.

“The National Executive Committee of the ANC will be meeting tomorrow to discuss this very matter, and because our people want this matter to be finalised, the NEC will be doing precisely that,” Ramaphosa told a rally in Cape Town on Sunday.

The ANC leader said on Wednesday he and Zuma were holding direct talks over the transfer of power.

Zuma has not said in public whether he will step down voluntarily. His spokesman could not be reached for comment.

The rand has tended to strengthen on signs that Zuma could be ousted before his second term as president ends next year, and might firm more if the NEC demands that he go.

Zuma survived calls last year by some members of the NEC for him to quit. But analysts say this time around a bigger section of the party wants him out.

In 2008, shortly after taking the party’s helm, Zuma engineered the ousting of Thabo Mbeki from the presidency.

Since Zuma became president in 2009, he has been dogged by scandal. He is fighting the reinstatement of 783 counts of corruption over a 30 billion-rand (now $2.5 billion) government arms deal arranged in the late 1990s when he was deputy president.

Some within the ANC and the opposition say the Gupta family, friends of Zuma, have used their links with the president to win state contracts and influence cabinet appointments. The Guptas and Zuma have denied any wrongdoing. By James Macharia

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