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Nigeria’s Fourth Republic: Politicians Who Accepted Defeat Without Going to Court Since 2003

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Dr,Goodluck Jonathan,Engineer Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and Dr Kayode Fayemi

 

Abbas Yushau Yusuf, Political Editor

As Nigeria’s Fourth Republic marks 24 years, elections were held in 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2019, and most recently, in 2023 for the offices of councillors, LG Chairman, State Assemblies, Governors, National Assembly, and the office of the President.

By the time the Independent Electoral Commission concludes the process, litigation follows.

Only in 1999 was there very negligible litigation at the courts. The presidential candidate of the joint defunct APP and AD alliance, Chief Samuel Olu Falae, challenged the victory of Former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999, but the courts dismissed his appeal.

The 1999 General elections were conducted by the military administration of General Abdulsalami Abubakar.

By 2003, civilians started to conduct elections, and litigations continued to follow unabated.

Analysts opined that the election season in Nigeria with the highest number of litigations is the recent 2023 general elections.

It is said that 95 percent of the defeated politicians are still in the courts.

Below are some of the prominent Nigerian politicians who congratulated their opponents without going to court or their political parties in 20 years.

Goodluck Ebele Jonathan

Former Nigeria’s President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, is the first Nigerian presidential candidate who did not go to court to challenge his victory after the Independent National Electoral Commission declared his opponent, Muhammad Buhari of the APC, in the March 28 General elections.

Even before the final collation of results, he congratulated former President Muhammadu Buhari. Goodluck Jonathan was Nigeria’s President from May 6, 2010, to May 29, 2015.

Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso

Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso was Governor of Kano state from May 29, 1999, to May 29, 2003. He is the only Kano politician who congratulated his opponent since the 2003 election, even though as an incumbent Governor.

Kwankwaso was defeated by Malam Ibrahim Shekarau of the defunct All Nigeria People’s Party. Kwankwaso did not only stop at that; he visited the Governor-elect at the residence with his cabinet and congratulated Malam Shekarau.

Kwankwaso staged a surprise comeback in 2011 after 8 years; he concluded his second tenure on May 29, 2015.

Dr. Kayode Fayemi

Dr. Kayode Fayemi was Governor of Ekiti state from 2010 to 2014 after the Supreme Court sacked Segun Oni of the People’s Democratic Party.

Ekiti state is one of the Nigerian states where off-season elections take place. During the 2014 Governorship election, Dr. Kayode Fayemi of APC was defeated by Peter Ayodele Fayose of the People’s Democratic Party.

Dr. Kayode Fayemi went ahead to congratulate the winner and did not also go to court. Like Kwankwaso of Kano, Dr. Kayode Fayemi also contested in the 2018 election and won, concluding his second term in the year 2022.”

Politics

Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf Is The Head of All Political Parties in Kano-Dala

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In a surprising turn of events following Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf’s recent victory at the Supreme Court, Anas Abba Dala, a former APC chieftain and a devoted supporter of the Governor, has declared that Governor Yusuf is now the de facto head of all political parties in Kano. This assertion includes the APC, the NNPP, and the PDP.

Speaking exclusively to Kano based radio station Freedom Radio, Anas Abba Dala expressed his conviction that Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf’s Supreme Court triumph has positioned him as a unifying figure transcending party lines. Dala, who was once a prominent member of the APC, emphasized the significance of the Governor’s victory in unifying Kano’s political landscape.

In the interview, Dala highlighted the historical context of Governor Yusuf’s political journey, acknowledging the Governor’s ability to garner support across party lines. He commended the Supreme Court’s decision, declaring it a victory for not only the PDP but for all political parties in Kano.

Anas Abba Dala’s statement reflects a shifting political narrative, as Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf’s leadership is perceived as a unifying force that transcends partisan affiliations. The Supreme Court’s validation of the Governor’s victory serves as a catalyst for a renewed sense of political collaboration and cooperation in Kano.

While this declaration is likely to stir conversations within the political sphere, it underlines the potential for a more inclusive and cooperative political landscape in Kano under Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf’s leadership. As the news of this assertion spreads, it will be interesting to observe how political dynamics in Kano evolve in response to this declaration of unity across party lines.

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Non-indigenes in Kano Unite in Prayer for Dr Nasir Gawuna’s Success at Supreme Court

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Honourable Seyi Olorunsola, a prominent APC stalwart and Opinion Leader in Kano, has mobilized the non-indigenous Christian community to fervently pray for the success of Dr Nasir Gawuna, the APC candidate, in an impending Supreme Court hearing. This legal battle arises from the NNPC’s appeal, led by Governor Abna Yusuf, challenging the results of the March 18, 2023, Gubernatorial elections in Kano State.

At a prayer conference organized by Honourable Seyi, the non-indigenous Christian community gathered to intercede for Dr Nasir Gawuna, seeking divine intervention in the pursuit of reclaiming his mandate. Honourable Seyi urged attendees to persevere in prayer until victory is secured and cautioned against potential interference, notably mentioning President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, emphasizing the need to remain unaffected by NNPP propaganda aiming to undermine the APC administration.

Expressing gratitude to the judiciary for upholding the rule of law, Honourable Seyi emphasized the crucial role of the judiciary in ensuring justice. He encouraged them to remain vigilant until justice is unequivocally served, highlighting the commitment to a fair and impartial legal process, free from external influences.

Addressing NNPP concerns about the legitimacy of the APC victory, Honourable Seyi reassured the public of the APC’s commitment to the democratic process. The call for prayers from the non-indigenous Christian community not only testifies to their faith but also demonstrates solidarity with Dr Nasir Gawuna.

The prayer conference also included appeals for peace and prosperity in Kano State and Nigeria at large, emphasizing a broader vision for a united and flourishing nation. The collective hopes extend beyond the immediate political context, envisioning a Kano and Nigeria where peace prevails, prosperity thrives, and democratic principles are upheld.

Honourable Seyi Olorunsola’s call for a prayer conference reflects not just the intensity of the political situation in Kano but also underscores the significance of faith and unity during times of uncertainty.

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“Kano/Zamfara Judicial Coup”. A Coincidence or a Conspiracy?

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Na'Allah Muhammad Zagga

 

Na’Allah Muhammad Zagga

I’m not a fan of conspiracy theories, but some conspiracy theories are so compelling to be dismissed with a wave of hand. I agree with those who argue that the judiciary coup in Kano and Zamfara Zamfara States are not mere coincidences; they are part of a larger plot to conquer or recapture the North West in 2027. The Muslim/Muslim ticket has turned out to be the biggest political fraud of all time in our recent history. Muslims voted enthusiastically in the mistaken belief that it’s the formula for permanent political conquest of the Christians. And Christian, worried by this sinister agenda, voted massively for Peter Obi to neutralise or defeat this agenda. In the end, both Muslim and Christian voters have been made to look foolish on account of the consequences of subsidy withdrawal.

Unfortunately, the Nigerian voters(both Muslims and Christians) didn’t realize that the Muslim/Muslim ticket had nothing to do with the passion for Islam. Our politicians are not driven by the passion for religion; they are motivated by the passion for power. They merely and selfishly exploit religion religion to attain power.

The total withdrawal of petrol subsidy without any remedial measures to cushion the adverse effects of the policy on millions of ordinary Nigerians has put Muslims and Christians in the same boat. A bag of rice is over N70,000 today and Muslims are not buying food at lower prices for blindly voting for the Muslim/Muslim ticket. Our North Islamic clerics are seething daily at how they have been used and manipulated by politicians. And these clerics have vowed revenge in 2027 in order to teach APC a lesson.

The APC leadership is silently unsettled by the widespread resentment against the party as a result of the current excruciating hardships in the country. The North West is critical to the survival of the party in 2027 and beyond. So, taking over Zamfara and Kano States by any means necessary is part of the 2027 strategy by the party.

Unfortunately, using the judiciary to achieve this agenda will backfire. The will of the people is superior to a standing army, so said a famous thinker. Our conservative judges have given more prominence to technicality at the expense of the will of the people. They’re punishing the voters over trifling legal issues at the expense of the substance of the justice and the will of the people.

Just look at the case of Ahmed Lawan who was imposed on the people by the Supreme Court, despite the fact that he was neither a candidate nor participated in the election that produced Machina as Senator-elect? Then look at the case of Governor Uzodinma, another Supreme Court candidate. This is worse than a military coup. As Lincoln said, no man has the right to rule another without their consent. But it’s happening in Nigeria through our courts.

However, trying to take back Kano and Zamfara States by force through the judiciary will produce political consequences they can’t handle in 2027. Given the current deep-seated resentments against APC in the North West on account of the its betrayal of the voters in the name of the so-called Muslim/Muslim ticket, I don’t see how the strategy of judicial intimidation would mollify the voters to trust the party again, much less expecting to retake the North West. The defeat will be so comprehensive that not even armoured tanks can save the party from being crushed.

The same religious clerics that they had used in the 2023 election will be their own undoing. These clerics are openly angry and they ready to salvage their reputations in the eyes of the people. So, I don’t know how APC can recapture areas or zones where its popularity has depleted to zero. There are limits you can use the judiciary against the will of the people.

The conspiracy against Abba Yusuf and Dauda Lawal will ultimately backfire. It’s naive to mistake people’s silence in the face of political chicanery as acquiescence to injustice. Just imagine how a court would have the luxury to declare a duly conducted election as inconclusive in order to dismantle the mandate of Governor Dauda Lawal by using federal might. This was what they did against Abba Yusuf in 2019, using federal might to rig the election. They even removed a neutral police commissioner Mohammed Wakili and sent a DIG to intimidate voters. But despite the federal might, Abba Yusuf staged a formidable come back in 2023. Now they are determined to force him out by any means through the judiciary. Unfortunately, for APC, its popularity its popularity is at the lowest point. So, I don’t see how party facing haemorrhaging goodwill can recapture areas where the voters are inconsolably angry and waiting for a payback time in 2027.

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