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AA Zaura: Between Integrity and Representation

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AA Zaura

 

By Adnan Moukhtar,

The candidate of the All Progressives Congress for Kano Central Senatorial District, Abdussalam Abdulkarim Zaura, is facing criminal trial at the Federal high court sitting in Kano.

Zaura was first arraigned in court by the EFCC in 2019 when he was the gubernatorial candidate of Green Party of Nigeria alongside one Michael Edosa for allegedly defrauding Jamman Al-Azmi of monies amounting to $1.32 million with the intent to conduct a joint venture business together.

Though, Mr. Zaura was discharged and acquitted On 9 June, 2020, by Lewis Allagoa, a judge of the Federal High Court in Kano, found the defendant not guilty and discharged him on all counts.

Mr Allagoa ruled against the anti-graft agency that prosecute Zaura in court. He held that the prosecution failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

Breaking: Terrorists Abduct Mother Of Kano APC Senatorial Candidate, AA Zaura

Dissatisfied with the judgment of the lower court, the EFCC appealed to the Court of Appeal. A unanimous decision by the three-member panel of judges read by Abdullahi Bayero set aside the judgment of the high court.

Mr Bayero then ordered the defendant to be tried afresh by a different judge.

Now, the main issue is the absence of the accused in court despite a ruling by supreme Court that he has a case to answer. An accused person must always be present in court, since the beginning of the fresh charge, Zaura has refused to appear before the court to the extent that the Judge had to issue an arrest warrant that he should be arrested and brought before the court to answer the charges brought against him.

Despite these serious charges, Zaura was made the Senatorial Candidate of All Progressives Congress through a consensus agreement by party stakeholders.

Despite having two other credible aspirants with track record, the party turned on deaf ears to make Zaura its candidate.

This is not the first time that credible aspirants are sacrificed for people with questionable integrity.

How would a serious party drop Bashir Garba Lado, a former Senator that had done remarkably well in the red chamber, former Federal Commissioner of the Federal Commission for Refugees and Dissaster Management for AA Zaura who neither held any public office nor good track record to become saleable to the people of Kano Central?

A serious party would never work for a consensus that favours Zaura against Ismaeel Ahmed, a fine lawyer and eloquent speaker that has worked for All Progressives Congress and the defunct Congress for Progressives Change?

It’s obvious that the duo are more competent with unbeatable record than Zaura.

APC is in a serious dilemma in Kano Central. AA Zaura’s case is a serious disadvantage to the party in the general poll even though, an accused is innocent in the eye of the law until proven guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction.

The choice is now before the people of Kano Central, with Senator Ibrahim Shekarau withdrawing from the Senatorial race after dumping NNPP, PDP’s Nuhu Danburan/Laila Buhari who are not visible in the race and in court over the genuine winner of the ticket after a paraller primaries.

The seat no doubt is eyeing Senator Rufai Hanga, a former Distinguished Senator that represented the people of Kano Central from 2003-2007 succeeding the eloquent Kura Mohammed of blessed memory, Senator Mohammed Adamu Bello as his predecessor until in 2011 when Senator Bashir Garba Lado took over.

In the history of this seat, it’s never been repeated for second term but Senator Hanga riding under Kwankwaso’s popularity in the commercial hub, his platform, the NNPP, a second term is assured.

Adnan is a Political PR Consultant and a University Lecturer. He can be followed on Twitter @AdnanMoukhtar

Politics

2023: Media expert counsels politicians, journalists against heating up polity

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Isa Nasidi

 

 

A media expert, Mr Isa Nasidi has counsel politicians and journalists against overheating the polity, but instead promote peaceful conduct and civility in their engagements.

Nasidi made the call on Monday at the unveiling of his three books about legal frameworks for political expressions, media regulation and political campaign strategies and tactics in Kano.

He urged political parties, media houses and political radio actors (Sojojin baka) to do everything possible to sanitize the polity.

“You must stop overheating the polity. You must continue to promote peaceful conduct and civility in political engagements and electioneering. And you must stop your followers from hate speech and attack on personal privacy,” he cautioned.

Nasidi, who is a media and communication consultant and PhD student at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, added that the books would help politicians, journalists, activists, and media users both conventional and social media to understand the linkup between media, information and politics.

He said that the books would also help them to grasp how harmful information was circulated and the best mechanism for safe media use, Know the legal frameworks that guide political expression and advertising to avoid trespass.

The media expert further said that the aim of the books was also to promote political information and media literacy, sanitize political expression and promote creativity and professionalism in the production and distribution of political news and advertising.

“The books will help them to master the political communication strategies and tactics used for constructing political news and advertising so as to design attractive and effective media campaigns that would communicate ideas safely and efficiently,” he explained.

Nasidi who called for issue-based campaigns, warns against character assassination.

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Special Report:2023 And Issues That Shaped The Polity In 2022

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By Ozumi Abdul

Since the Nigeria’s transition to democracy in 1999, when the world black most populous nation retraced her path and signed a new pact with democracy after over 2 decades in the dudgeon of successive military governments from the 1980s, particularly when the then military president, General Muhammadu Buhari (now President Muhammadu Buhari) toppled the then democratically elected government of Shehu Shagari, every election has always come with its peculiar tidal waves of momentary frenzies, issues, narratives and counter narratives, political theatrics and frenetic hysterias.

So far so good, the 2023 general elections has not promised anything different from these eras of our fledgling democratic experiment and voyage, starting from the 4th republic of 1999 till date, as some issues already shaped the polity in the year 2022 preceding the proper election year of 2023; contenders, pretenders, spoilers and deciders are jostling for political positions, political relevance and importance, especially for the coveted seat of presidency as a heir to President Muhammadu Buhari who will by May 29 2023 be vacating the Aso Rock hot seat.

Rhetorics, propagandas, colourful slogans and politicking, smear campaigns, name-calling have all been prevalent in the polity, even though most political pundits and observers have often been ceaselessly expressed their worries about the paucity and sparsity of some really important myriad issues of national worries, such as terrorism, banditry, cultism, IPOB secessionists’ agitation, Yoruba Nation agitation, farmer/herders clashes and the ailing Nigeria’s economy from the major gladiators.

To this end, *Nigerian Tracker* take a look at the issues shaping the polity thus far:

*Electoral Act 2022 Was Assented*

The signing of the Electoral Act 2022 into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday, February 25 is considered one of the biggest political events of the outgoing year. This is because the new law is widely considered an improvement on the old one in many respects.

It provides a legal framework that empowers the commission to determine the mode of voting and transmission of results, as well as to review the declaration of election results made under duress.

The new act also empowers INEC to review the declaration of election results where it determines it was not made voluntarily or contrary to the law or guidelines. The review must be done within seven days of the declaration. This is to address the problem of the declaration of results made under duress.

However, INEC’s review is subject to judicial review. Section 65(2) also alters the timelines for the conduct of elections and creates new time frames for political parties to fulfil various requirements and activities concerning the nomination of candidates for elections.

*Tinubu Birthed the ‘Emilokan’ Word Into The Nigerian Political Dictionary*

The Yoruba word “Emilokan” which loosely translate to mean “it’s my turn” was birthed at an exultant, auspicious gathering of the APC party activists in Abeokuta on June 3, 2022, with Tinubu on the campaign trail to garner support from the delegates in the party’s primary.

Democracy Under Threat: Why the Security Risks to Nigeria’s 2023 Elections Must Not Be Overlooked

The obviously emotional Tinubu who felt surcharged politically decided to come out swinging, sharing some unpalatable truths with the audience about his role in the emergence of retired Major General Muhammadu Buhari as President. It was a gathering of his kinsmen; an arena of maximum comfort for him. He threw away all pretensions to decorum and political correctness and went ‘native’. He deployed the best of Yoruba idioms laced with biting sarcasm.

Tinubu did not only want his kith and kin to hear him, he wanted them to feel him from their underbellies with nothing lost in translation. He made revelations after revelations concerning the jostling for positions in APC, going back to its roots in the defunct Alliance for Democracy, and how he made personal sacrifices to help nurture and grow the party to become the juggernaut that it is today. In much the same way as he was instrumental in engineering the ‘o to gee’ (enough is enough) movement that toppled the Saraki political dynasty in Kwara State in the 2019 general elections, ‘emi l’okan’ has become Tinubu’s revolutionary rallying cry in his march towards the seat of power in 2023.

*Tinubu Emerges APC Presidential Flag Bearer*

After weeks of political intrigues and horse trading, the APC presidential primary was held on Saturday, June 9. It was an eventful one that was characterized by top contenders who brought in their A-game. Many of the presidential aspirants resisted attempts to shut them out of the primary through subtle pressure in the form of “screening”, “pruning down” and “consensus”.

The high point of the event was when National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu won the hotly contested ticket after weeks of high-wire intrigues and horse trading. He emerged as the party’s flag bearer, after a keenly contested election with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, former Transport Minister, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and Senate President Ahmed Lawan.

*Heightened Rambunctious Antics Of The Obedient Movement*

“Obidient Movement”, is a term coined from the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate’s name to represent a people that have pledged allegiance to his presidential ambition.

The ‘Obidients’ as they identify themselves are mostly young Nigerians, whose its large pool is mostly from the Igbo speaking South Eastern part of the country. They have been reported to be doing outlandish things to project their man in a way that reminds us all of what is called youthful exuberance. Mostly uncouth, aggressive on the social media platforms to dissenting political views and opinions from their own. For instance, One Abuja lady with twitter handle @jojoNitq reportedly dropped her boyfriend for refusing to see the light in Obi and preferring to remain with the ‘old order’.

Some have argued that the ‘Obidient’ uproar is merely social media braggadocio, while others are of the opinion that the movement has what it takes to rock the boats of the APC and PDP come 2023, and even stands a great chance of unseating the ruling party.

Since the 2015, the presidential election has always been a two-horse race between the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the major opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Several attempts by well-meaning Nigerians to form a ‘Third Force’ political movement that can wrest power from these two never yielded any positive result.

Even former President Olusegun Obasanjo tried to dislodge the APC and PDP through a Third Force movement in the 2019 general elections but failed. In 2018, Obasanjo, gauging the mood of the nation called for the establishment of a third force, which he called the ‘Coalition for Nigeria’.

This coalition, he believed, would wrest power from the two main political parties. In his ‘special statement’, titled ‘The Way Out: A Clarion Call For Coalition For Nigeria Movement,” he dismissed the ability of both the APC and the PDP, under which he became president and ruled for eight years, to change the fortunes of the country for the better. He also averred that President Muhammadu Buhari has failed Nigerians and urged him to honourably “dismount from the horse. The coalition soon collapsed before the 2019 presidential election and Buhari was elected for another term that ends in 2023. Peter Obi’s entry into the presidential race appears to rekindle the hope of the youths who are avidly in dire need of ‘Third Force’ when he announced his resignation from the PDP and joined the Labour Party (PDP). Obi, had earlier picked the PDP Expression of Interest and Nomination forms, and was planning to run on joint ticket with Atiku Abubakar just like they did in 2019 but, was vehemently resisted by PDP governors who demanded that Atiku must pick one of them as running mate if he clinches the ticket.

Obi’s entrance into the race elicited joy and acclaim from many youths who are already began a nationwide mass movement for his presidential ambition. His loyalists who described him as the authentic ‘Third Force’ said they are declaring support for him as the man with the track record to turn around the fortunes of Nigeria. These youths who tagged themselves as ‘Obidient Nigerians’ have vowed to use the power of their votes to enthrone him as president in 2023. To achieve this, they have been creating mass awareness calling on Nigerians to go get their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) so that they can exercise their civic rights in the 2023 presidential election. Many of them have replaced their social media photographs with that of Obi and the Labour Party logo.
Momodu, who appeared on a current affairs programme ‘Your View’ on TVC, had said Obi could not win the 2023 presidency in a local fringed party like Labour.

When asked if Obi would pull the type of votes Trump did in the US, which nobody thought existed or get many youths to vote for him in the general election, Momodu said it’s impossible. According to him, the first thing Obi would face is to fund the party because the party is not financially buoyant, and Nigerians do not make contributions.

He said, “For me, the two of the best in the PDP were myself and Peter Obi, and he had absconded. I was in Labour; I started my journey from Labour; the first thing Obi will face in Labour is to fund the party because the party does not have money, and Nigerians don’t make contributions.

“After I lost the first ten million, I started shaking because they said they were setting up a structure. You cannot win a presidential election from a fringed local party like Labour. Peter Obi has money, unlike me, but can he spend his hard-earned money on fighting Atiku and Tinubu if he emerges the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Party? He can’t.”

However, in his response to Momodu’s claim, Peter, in a series of tweets on Twitter, said that Obi might not have money and structure, but he has the youths and masses behind him, adding that masses will control the election’s outcome.

He tweeted: “With all due respect Sir, Mr Dele Momodu! Yes, Peter Obi might not have the money and structure! But he has the Youths, The Masses and The People now! The truth is that we, the people, are the structure. We are many, and we are powerful. We are Obi-don’t; we cannot be distracted.

You people don’t understand the hardship and abject poverty that will hit us if Peter Obi doesn’t win. It’s not about the North or South here; it’s about who will save us. The country is crumbling in all sectors, people are dying unnecessarily, and all this rubbish must stop. They intentionally create hardship for the people so that they can easily buy people over to support them in a time like this! Are you people not tired of suffering? Is Nigeria today satisfactory for you? Don’t fall for these same mind games again.

“Please, one more thing, Sir, Mr Dele Momodu, with all the money and structure that other political parties have, where has it taken Nigeria to? We need Pure Change! And Peter Obi is that change! And now a Threat to all of them all! Sorosoke.”

February 2023 would however tell if Peter Obi possesses the political clouts or weights to wrestle power from the ruling APC, or he is mere political wannabe, while the “Obidients” are social media nuisances without decorum.

*PDP Lingering Crisis And The G5 Umpteenth Demand*

Wahala no dey stop. If there is anything close to this Nigeria local parlance axiomatic expression, it is that of the lingering crisis in the main opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The ‘wahalas’ in the PDP throughout in 2022, especially after the party’s presidential primaries be in succession and layers, that if one thinks a particular layer of the wound is healed, sooner, the party starts nursing another fresh wound from the next layer to the already healed one. If it’s not the PDP’s presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar against the Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike, then it’s Wike versus the former Jigawa state governor, Sule Lamido, or the party’s national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu or even the former national chairman of the party, Uch Secondus.

In fact, the ‘wahalas’ are back to back, and already handing the party a short end of the stick in the race for the 2023 presidential election because of how widened the cracks in its walls have become.

An unsettled home of course is an easy target for an enemy or enemies from outside to wreck havoc, and this appeared to be one of the All Progressive Congress (APC)’s tactical jigsaw deducing from the London Safaris between its presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Wike in October, as well as the G5’s rumoured ongoing discussion with the APC in view of striking agreement, a rumour the APC’s vice presidential candidate, Kashim Shettima admitted yesterday would be a “game changer” if the party can get Wike to work for it in 2023.

The crisis in the PDP to which had grown into many layers began since Wike lost the party’s presidential primary in June. After he lost the presidential ticket to Atiku – which he and members of his G5 camp believe was because of a decision by Sokoto governor, Aminu Tambuwal to step down late in the race, Wike accused the party of betraying him and breaching its constitution.

Efforts made by the two men to meet, either in person or through emissaries, were either stalled, deadlocked or not entirely fruitful. The meeting of 25 August did not have a different outcome.

In the interim, there seems to be no clear solution about the party’s in-house problems, looking at the last meeting between Atiku and the Wike camp. This is because while demands were made and resolutions were reached at the meeting, one (Atiku) is still making consultations as to how to meet the demands while the other (Wike) appears to be adding fuel to the fire he started as he dances, literally, and basks in the attention he is getting from political suitors.

One of the G5’s demands is that for the purpose of fairness and internal democracy within the party, Ayu should step down as the party’s national chairman, while a Southerner takes up his position since the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar is from the same northern region (North East, Adamawa) as Ayu (North Central, Benue).

This demand endeared Atiku to promise the Wike camp that he “consult and get revert to them”, even though there was no fixed promised date for Atiku to report back to the group, and it is now over two weeks and there appears to be lack of progress regarding that.

With this demand, the Turaki Adamawa is no doubt has been boxed into a political tight corner, that he is in a limbo of how to sort such difficult puzzle as demanded, to have Mr Ayu – one of his loyalists step down.

In what has the semblance of salt in the already swollen wound, is harsh and rash exchange of words between Ayu and Wike.

In the past months, Nigerians have been needled with the duo’s argument over who is more mature or who is guilty or who uses vocabulary better, among others.

After Wike’s meeting with Atiku, the call by his supporters for Ayu’s resignation did not cease, as a way to broker peace in the party, and in a terse response, Mr Ayu dismissed the people asking him to step down as “children”, maintaining that he was elected for a tenure of four years and had not even completed one.

“I co-founded the PDP in Nigeria and some boys who don’t know how we struggled and what we went through can’t cause problems for the party. When we started the PDP, we did not know those boys, they are children, they don’t know why we founded the party. We will not agree with one person to come and destroy our party,” Ayu said.

Typical of Wike, many Nigerians knew this reply would be responded to and it took him less than 24 hours to prove them right.

In Wike’s response, he called the chairman arrogant and an ingrate. He said the people Mr Ayu had called ‘children’, brought him from nothing and placed him in the position he currently occupies.

“Somebody said those of you who said the right thing must be done are boys; they are children…You can imagine how ingratitude…how people can be ingrates…Dr Ayu said we are children. Yes, the children brought you to be chairman of the party, the children brought you from the gutter to make you chairman. You were impeached and sacked. Arrogance cannot take you anywhere.”

Mr Wike also challenged the PDP chairman to prove himself as a man of honour and fulfil his promise to step down should the northern region produce the presidential candidate.

Although Mr Ayu has said he will no longer comment or respond to Mr Wike, the existing feud between the two men is also being felt by the presidential candidate who, obviously, needs both men – everybody – on board as parties gear up for campaigns.

How Atiku intends to appeal to an already angry Mr Ayu and at the same time, appeal to Mr Wike is a puzzle many Nigerians wait to see how it is solved, as time is fast running out to right all the wrongs in the party if they really want to stage a serious fight to unseat the ruling APC.

*Senator Adamu’s Emergence As APC National Chairman*

Another major political events of the year is the emergence of Senator Abdullahi Adamu as the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC). He emerged at the party’s national convention held at the Eagle Square in Abuja, the nation’s capital, on Saturday, March 26, about a year and nine months after the Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC) was dissolved.

Adamu, who was a serving member of the Senate representing Nasarawa West then, is President Muhammadu Buhari’s choice for the job. He was returned unopposed. He had gone into the election as the consensus candidate, following the withdrawal of his co-contenders from the contest.
He took over from Yobe State Governor Mai Mala Buni who had served in an interim capacity. Buni’s headship of the party had generated mixed reactions within the party and beyond.

*Tinubu Emerges APC Presidential Flag Bearer*

After weeks of political intrigues and horse trading, the APC presidential primary was held on Saturday, June 9. It was an eventful one that was characterized by top contenders who brought in their A-game. Many of the presidential aspirants resisted attempts to shut them out of the primary through subtle pressure in the form of “screening”, “pruning down” and “consensus”.

The high point of the event was when National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu won the hotly contested ticket after weeks of high-wire intrigues and horse trading. He emerged as the party’s flag bearer, after a keenly contested election with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, former Transport Minister, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and Senate President Ahmed Lawan.

*Biodun Oyebanji Won Ekiti Governorship Election*

The Ekiti State governorship election was held on June 18. Biodun Oyebanji, the anointed candidate of former Governor Kayode Fayemi won the election. Oyebanji who contested on the platform of the APC secured 187,057 votes to defeat his closest challengers, Segun Oni of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) who polled 82,211, and Bisi Kolawole of the PDP who scored 67, 457 votes.

*Adeleke Won Osun Guber Election*

After losing out in 2019, Adeleke Ademola won the Osun gubernatorial election.
The Osun governorship election was held on July 16 in the 30 local government areas of the state. The chief returning officer, Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, declared the PDP candidate, Ademola Adeleke the winner of the election in the early hours of Sunday, July 17.

He won in 17 of the 30 local government areas, while former Governor Adegboyega Oyetola won triumphed in the remaining 13 local governments. Adeleke garnered 389,984 votes in the overall results from local governments, while Oyetola who ran on the platform of the APC polled 360,500.

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Analysis:2023,Why Bola Tinubu May Not Win Kano

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2023 Presidential candidates

 

From our Political Desk

 

With the commitment of President Muhammad Buhari to conduct a free and fair election on 25th February this year ,and with Kano as one of the swing states,The APC presidential candidate may have a hard nut to crack before getting the required 25 percent.

There are many factors that will not favour Nigeria’s ruling party candidate in having an easy ride to the Presidency with Kano’s large chunk of votes being courted by many Presidential candidates.

The factors that may work against the APC candidate are as follows.

Kwankwaso factor

With former Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso in the presidential race for 2023 under the NNPP banner and with his cult following in Kano,millions of voters have decided to go for him on February 25 barring any last minute change.

Kwankwaso is regarded as grassroot politician who call the ace in Kano grass root politics ,the youth in Kano and there parents are also after his candidature, in 2019 with unless with the inconclusive arrangement his anointed Governorship candidate was ahead of Governor Ganduje .

The Buhari Factor

Political analysts are of the belief that ,its the first time in 20 years when President Muhammad Buhari will not be in the ballot,since 2003 general elections President Muhammad Buhari has never lost Kano state .

Therefore apart from Kwankwaso who is expected to get a lion share of the state’s votes, other Presidential candidates including Asiwaju Bola Ahmad Tinubu,Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi have to work hard and lure the electorates before campaign closes on February 23 this year.

Ganduje Factor

Another odd that is expected to work against Bola Ahmad Tinubu’s Presidential Election in Kano is the lack of popularity of the state Governor Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje,since the return to Democracy in 1999 the Governor is not as popular as his predecessors like Engineer Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and Malam Ibrahim Shekarau,the duo of Shekarau and Kwankwaso pull much political weight than Governor Ganduje,therefore his political structure is not enough to make the APC Presidential candidate have an easy sail.

Undecided Voters

With President Muhammad Buhari preparing to hand over the baton of leadership to his successor on May 29,there are millions of unserious and undecided Voters in Kano,to those millions of Voters there political Ayatullah will not participate,therefore its a moment of vacation,there dream have been fulfilled of because President Buhari has held sway for 8 years.

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