Connect with us


#AsoRockRace 2023: Bola Tinubu faces The Battle of His Life




Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a former Senator, and former governor of Lagos State, a State considered generally a “mini Nigeria”, because of its heterogeneous composition, a political battle-toughened politician, wild strategist, National Leader of the All Progressive Congress (APC), since its formation in 2014, should not suddenly become a greenhorn, when confronted with political shenanigans, and other power game mischief, but since he picked the party’s ticket to contest the presidential election come February 25, 2023, be would have realized that his nebulous role as the “National Leader” and hegemonic control of politics of Lagos State, were just a relaxation time on a swivel chair under a low-temperature air conditioner; a most comfy life.

Since he was pronounced the winner of the primaries ahead of thirteen other solid contestants, including the sitting vice president, Senate President, and high-ranking cabinet members, he has been climbing one inhibitive logjam or the other. Indeed, he has been literarily transversing through huge thorns and sharp bends.

By Nigeria’s peculiar political configuration, a presidential ticket is never considered balanced unless it satisfied the Ethno-religion fundamentalism of the people.

The North-South political dichotomy, and the Christianity-Islam divide, must be factored in and satisfied fully to the fullest of the acceptability gauge of the irredentist fundamentalists. This is not even a straightforward narrative, anymore. Among the Christians, there are some odd five pillars upon which the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) was built. Also, there is the micro Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) too. And in between these is the Catholic denomination that has since pulled out of CAN and does not belong to the PFN. There is also the Jehovah’s witness schism that does not align with any of the Christian fraternity. Islam has its own internal schism too. The Ahmadiyya sect, and the others, but generally they all accept the flat categorization of Christian and Muslim.

Bola Tinubu emerged as the candidate and needed to select a running mate. There was a committee headed by Mr. Babachir Lawal, a former Secretary to the Federal Government (SGF) and staunch Bola Tinubu’s campaigner. The committee, checks by revealed recommended that for the party, APC, to capture the huge Northern votes, Tinubu should pick a popular and influential person, which turned out to be a Muslim.

Tinubu checked round, consulted widely, and eventually settled for another former Senator and governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima. Immediately he was unveiled, lakes of fires erupted within and outside the party. The crises are still being diplomatically and politically managed to date, and perhaps, may fester till the eve of the election.

The Wike’s Phenomenon Puts PDP on The Edge

The Christian community, both in the North and South, felt slighted and hurt by this decision. They did not suck in silence. They cried out very loudly. Not even the sound explanation that “competence and capabilities were the yardsticks used in arriving at the choice” seemed to move the angry Christians. For Babachir Lawal and Yakubu Dogora, no pleadings, no explanations could placate them. Mr. Babachir Lawal, who incidentally chaired the Committee that had earlier recommended Kashim Shettima, as a winnable and suitable candidate, suddenly became a turned coat. In league with Hon. Yakubu Dogora, a former.Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, he formed an amorphous group, the APC Northern Christians Group to raise dust over the stunting of himself and Dogara, particularly, and selection of Kashim Shettima as the running mate.

The furore generated by the selection of a running mate had not petered out when the North West Caucus of the party table what a source within the party described as “unimaginable demands” to Bola Tinubu if he want their assurances of a healthy block voting.

Sources close to the caucus told that Bola Tinubu was shocked to read their demands. But last weekend, he was said to have eventually struck a deal with them over the sharing of juicy positions if he should win the presidential election in 2023. sources confirmed that the APC North West caucus had earlier demanded the running mate slot just before Tinubu announced Senator Kashim Shettima from the North-East.

Other requests by the North West caucus allegedly include the positions of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Defence, Finance, Works, Agriculture, Federal Capital Territory, and Interior Ministries. The North West caucus is asking for these positions in exchange for its support for Bola Tinubu to win the 2023 presidential elections.

They also demanded that they should be given some other key political and strategic appointments, especially including the office of the National Security Adviser and the headships of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA); Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA); Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL); Bank of Agriculture (BoA); Bank of Industry (BoI); Department of State Services (DSS), and Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN).

In the presentation of a document detailing their demands, the caucus noted that these critical positions should be reserved for the zone following their importance to Tinubu’s electoral victory. The APC North West caucus also demanded that the Tinubu administration address security issues decisively, especially banditry and kidnapping in the region.

Sources close to the meeting confided in that Bola Tinubu looked lost, and seemed trapped by the demands, but when he considered the political importance and voting strength of the Region, he conceded to them.

Bola Tinubu has moved a lot up North, both West and Eastern flanks. He has visited the former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida retd, he is also said to be embroiled in deep talks with Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, a former governor of Kano State and also a former Senator. He has Mallam Nasir El-Rufai in Kaduna State to lean on, and so is the acclaimed popularity of his running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima in the North East.

But as the North West’s power mischief was deep in play, perhaps, the South West Elders and Youths were watching Bola Tinubu’s moves across the upper regions of the country, they came out forcefully on Monday (14 August) making some bone-crushing demands on the presidential aspirant in an exchange for their voting support. This surprised many observers, as the group claimed to be supporters of the candidate, Bola Tinubu.

The group numbering over 500 stormed the streets of Lagos to protest the party’s Muslim-Muslim ticket, calling for a Christian to be incorporated.

The pro-Tinubu protesters, under the aegis of the Coalition of APC Stakeholders Network and South-West Supporters of Tinubu, began their peaceful walk from ShopRite, Ikeja to the State House, Alausa.

According to them, the only obstacle between the former Lagos State and the presidency in 2023 is the negative baggage of his running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima, being a fellow Muslim.

In a prepared address read by the group’s President-General, Elder Arokoyo Samuel, they described Tinubu as a “political colossus and astute political strategist” who has successfully built an enviable foundation for the party.

“He has also been crucial in the nation’s democracy being an important figure for almost four decades, hence his emergence as APC’s Presidential candidate was perceived as a breadth of fresh air”.

“Being known as a lover of peace, tolerance, and exclusivity”, he said it was, however, “surprising that Tinubu opted for a fellow Muslim as the APC’s vice-presidential candidate.

Rejecting the same faith combination, Samuel said “as a multi-religious and multi-ethnic country, any attempt for one religion to dominate the political structure could only widen the gap of mistrust and destroy the delicate sense of tolerance cultivated over the years.

“Hence, the choice of Shettima was not only ill-timed but also a total disregard for the diversity of the country, crushing the bridges built to connect the religious differences and promote ethnic harmonious co-existence”.

The Coalition of APC Stakeholders Network and South-West Supporters of Tinubu said it is using peaceful protest to urge the party’s presidential candidate to drop Shettima.

“We want the best for the nation and the Muslim-Muslim ticket isn’t. this will set negative precedents for future generations. we must not fail our children.

“In place of Shettima, Tinubu should pick a Christian from the North-Central. Doing so will assure the APC of a higher chance of gathering more votes from the North and across the country.

“The North-Central dominated by Christians played a vital role in the 2015 and 2019 presidential elections. as popular as PMB is in the North, the only times he succeeded were when he won this zone, despite always dominating the Muslim-dominated North West and North East in his previous three attempts.

“There are a good number of Christian voters in the following Northern states, Kogi, Kwara, Plateau, Nasarawa, Benue, Taraba, Kaduna, Adamawa, Gombe, Borno, and the FCT, whose votes can be harvested to about 70% if we have a Northern Christian running mate on the ticket.

“Tinubu will write his name in gold should he make this bold decision. He will become the toast of Christians. Imagine the kind of momentum our leader will gather should he get the backing of almost 50 million Christians in Nigeria.

“It is our prayer that Tinubu will look beyond the surface and make this bold decision. we anticipate his timely action”.

No matter his level of political savvy, or sagacity, the pressure being piled on him is horrendous. He has managed to navigate the landmines planted by the North West caucus, and he is now facing the heavy tidal wave of the South West Caucus. Those asking for a change of running mate might just be preparing the ground for the real masquerades to come out. This is because, from their nuances and attitude, they looked more like hatchet men sent to prepare the ground. The real fire stokers in the region are still coming. The various elder forums, leaders, and very influential traditional rulers and market women are all vital in the final endorsement of a candidate in Yorubaland.

Oluwo of Iwo calls for unity in Yorubaland ahead of 2023 polls

However, the regrettable experience of the region with another former President, a high chief-son of the region, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo might affect the sweeping endorsement of Bola Tinubu. The off-handed treatment meted to them may not allow the region’s elders to treat Bola with kid gloves. Then the leaders of the socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere at the time had gone to meet the then President in his Ota, Ogun State, farmhouse. It was the time the group was at the apogee of its influence and powers. But sadly, the group had just lost its deputy leader, Bola Ige to the assassin’s bullets, confusingly, they had headed to the Ota farmhouse, led by late Pa Abraham Adesanya. They couldn’t ruffle any feather, nor rock any boat, but just to align with the Obasanjo’s presidency. They were caught in the cold. And it’s shown in their demeanours. They naively conceded all grounds to a wily Obasanjo, believing being a Yoruba Chief he would treat them with due respect. They were sorely disappointed when Chief Obasanjo started unmasking his real self.

The present Afenifere has no definable leadership. Efforts to get Pa Ayo Adebanjo or Chief Olu Falae to comment were not successful. Pa Adebanjo has been the lone voice of the group for quite some time now. And his opposition to a Yoruba presidency is legendary.

But, in the race towards the 2023 presidential election, investigations across the region revealed some good hopes for candidate Bola Tinubu. The Oluwo of Iwo Kingdom, Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi only Tuesday (15 August) came out in a press statement to subtly pushed for open endorsement of Bola Tinubu. He pleads with the politicians and leaders in the region to unite and seek a common goal ahead of the 2023’s presidential election. He urged the candidate, Bola Tinubu to settle all disputes between him and the elders.

He also advised Senator Bola Tinubu, to establish a rapport with all aggrieved Yoruba leaders and politicians for genuine reconciliation and compromise ahead of the elections. While noting that the appeal became necessary to have a united Yoruba house ahead of the 2023 general election, he maintained that forgiving themselves would bring a colourful outing in favour of a Southern presidential candidate.

In a statement made available by Alli Ibraheem, his Chief Press Secretary, Oba Akanbi charged them to write a new history for Yorubaland by promoting political unity and understanding among themselves ahead of the 2023 general election. “I call on Yoruba leaders, stakeholders, and politicians to write a new history of hope, brighter future, and positive promises by forgiving each other. Without forgiveness, relationships will not give birth to promising children. I’m making this appeal with my crown to endure, entertain each other’s differences, and cut the political curse on the Yorubas.

“The late sage, Obafemi Awolowo tried. Then the late business tycoon, Moshood Kasimawo Abiola made a trial and won democracy for us. The same mistake must not be repeated. This is not about political parties. It is natural to offend each other but divine to forgive”, the influential monarch admonished the Yoruba people.

In line with the Oluwo’s admonitions, Bola Tinubu Wednesday (16 August) visited former President, Olusegun Obasanjo was all fanfare and glamour. He had in his entourage encouraging personalities. Pa Bisi Akande, former governor of Osun State and one-time National Chairman of both AC and APC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, a former presidential candidate of the Action Congress (AC), two former governors of Ogun State, Chief Gbenga Daniel, Segun Osoba, Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker, Federal House of Representatives, Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, and several other key leaders were in the entourage. Aside from this, all the roads leading to Obasanjo Presidential Library home were parked full of enthusiastic supporters, singing and dancing.

Obasanjo did not, however, give out much during the visit. He was later quoted as telling his august guests that “I am very much aware that it’s the turn of the South to produce the next President of Nigeria. I was part of the meeting when the agreement was made between Northern and Southern Leaders. I am even surprised PDP gave her ticket to another North candidate”.

He continued, “It will be an injustice to the South if the North retains Power after 8 years of rule. We will do the right thing when the time comes”.

The warm reception by the former President is an added boost to Bola Tinubu’s confidence. His obvious disdain for a candidate of Northern extraction is also a further boost, politically. The candidate can now lounge fully into mobilizing the South West flank into his political narrative.

If the South West can do a self-re-organization, the South East and South-South might not. The South East and South angle might need an extra dose of political and diplomatic manoeuvring to build a comfortably voting nest.

But while the candidate is busy shuffling the nation, looking for soft grounds to harvest votes, his home base, Lagos State is not totally settled. To say, it is in disarray is an understatement. Aside from the flanks that have pulled, a major block, the Rauf Aregbesola, his former Commissioner for Works, is dangling, swinging.

Now the Interior Minister, after a tumultuous eight-year governorship in Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola is known for his deep influence in the Alimosho area of the State. His acolyte, Alhaji Enilolibo holds the forte of the area for Aregbesola in proxy. Enilolibo was also the shorted lived leader of the Mandate Group, a political machine Aregbesola formed to help his mentor.

In May 2020, the leaders of the Mandate Group, headed by Aregbesola, had resolved to re-organise and restructure the group ahead of the 2023 elections and other permutations that would go with the polls. It was that resolve and the need to get a young and vibrant politician and activist to lead the group that led to the choice of Enilolobo.

Enilolobo it must be noted, is the alter ego of Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.

This move angered Bola Tinubu, who through the instrumentality of the Governance Advisory Council (GAC) moved against the group, as well as others. He got GAC to disband the Mandate Group, Justice Forum, and the Bola Ahmed Tinubu Campaign Organization (BATCO).

Even since there has never been a harmonious relationship in the Tinubu Camp in Lagos State.

This is one of the issues that led to the electoral misfortune that befell the party, APC, in Osun State during the July 16, governorship election in the State. Aregbesola was rumoured to have mobilized his supporters to align with the candidate of the rival Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Nurudeen Ademola Adeleke, who was later declared the winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Investigations by revealed that the Aregbesola’s tendencies in the Alimosho area of Lagos and beyond have started mapping out plans to hurt the party’s electoral fortunes during the next general elections in February 2023.

The battle to win in other zones may not be as tougher as in the South West, Yorubaland, if the festering tendencies in most states are allowed to degenerate further. Oyo State is having its own battle between Senator Teslim Folarin and Mr. Adebayo Adegoke. The case of Oyo State is as ironic as dramatic. The party had picked the former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Adelabu as its candidate for the 2019 election. Senator Folarin was not happy. He dumped the party for Accord Party. With the party’s votes now split, the duo lost to the PDP’s candidate, Engr. Seyi Makinde, now the sitting governor. This time around, Folarin has won the ticket, and Adegoke too has dumped the party for the Social Democratic Party (SDP). There seems to be no meeting point, although both claim to be Tinubu’s supporters.

Ogun State, aside from the courtesy call on Obasanjo, is presenting a different scenario. The party has split down the line in the State between the former governor, and now Senator, Ibikunle Amosun, and the governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun. All efforts to reconcile them have proved futile. When Bola Tinubu visited Ogun State Wednesday, (17 August), the face of Senator Amosun was consciously missing from the various pictures shown online.

Personally, Bola Tinubu has a lot of points to prove in his quest for the presidency. There are damaging rumours of poor health that just refused to peter away. There is also the ultra focus on the minutest details of his eight years stewardship of Lagos State, his role in the ascension to power of President Muhammadu Buhari, and even the hard-to-swallow rumour of his action or inaction, in the #EndSARS forceful stoppage. He still needs to disprove the negatives and affirms the positives from these avalanche of allegations and accusations. But in all of these, like a phoenix, he rises after every debilitating allegation. He simply soldiers on.

The coming 2023 presidential election, actually may be the main battle of the political life of the man his supporters and admirers alike, liked to idolize and give various superlative adjectives as pet names. If all variables are well sorted out, by February 2t, it may be the time of “Emi l’okan” king! (C 2022)


Tinubu’s Bold Moves Against Poverty, Insecurity



The President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu got cranky late Friday (9 June, 2023). He has been working at breathtaking speed all week long. He had held strategic meetings, focusing mainly on how to resurge the flailing economy. He summoned the Security Chiefs to the Presidential Conference Room in Aso Rock to look also at the worrisome state of insecurity in the country. He surely means business.

His task is well defined. He too blurted out at the inaugural dinner later in the day after the swearing-I ceremonies: “Please do not pity me”. He is focus on revving up the economy, stem the dangerous tide of insecurity across the country, bring the spiralling inflation and bring back the laughter and smiles to the faces of the over two hundred million traumatized Nigerians. 

He pledged defiantly at an interactive session with the Royal Fathers under the aegis of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria (NCTRN) at the Aso Villa, Friday (9 June) that “any roadblock in the way of the progress of the Nigerian people would be removed by his government”.

The President for the umpteenth time justified the removal of fuel subsidy, saying that the country cannot continue feeding smugglers and acting as Father Christmas to neighbouring countries, saying “the decision to remove fuel subsidy, improve security, create jobs, and sustain the environment”.

In between all these, he was able to squeezed in time to meet the newly elected  parliamentarians, both at the Upper and Lower Chambers of the National Assembly, to moderate boiling tempers over the zoning of the Principal Officers of the National Assembly. Behold the hurricane Asiwaju is on the prowl.

After the meeting with the newly elected parliamentarians, Hon. Amobi Godwin Ogah, a newly elected Labour Party member to represent Isiukwuato/Umunneochi Federal Constituency, Abia State, was aghast. He could not hide his admiration for the President. He told newsmen: “I never knew Tinubu is so intelligent” 

He went further: “This Is my President,  Today is my best day. After listening to him speak today. President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is so intelligent and is prepared to serve this country. I saw the love and hope today”

The President’s avowed determination to frontally combat and crush the twin issues of poverty and insecurity holding down the country by the jugulars. He surely meant business. This crusade he had started with the inaugural address to the nation. He had simply declared: “Now that the subsidy is gone”. He also went further to vowed that that he intended to unify the exchange rate.

The reverberating effects of that simple declarations quickly resonated across the four poles holding the country. it simply jerked everybody up from their lethargy. He had since met with both the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN), Emmanuel Emefiele and the Managing Director of the NNPCL PLC, Mele Kyari to discuss modalities for achieving these targets.

However, it is not hyperbolic to state that Nigeria’s economy is on the edge of the precipice, if not down there already. This trend, the newly inaugurated President Tinubu fully takes cognizance of in his inaugural address to the nation. The need to revamp the economy is urgent, and pressing. He has started the revamping by halting further subsidies of fuel, a move that have trigger multi-dimensional responses across the country.

Part of the President first step was the call on the members of the European Union to assist Nigeria and Africa in strengthening its security and economic development to alleviate poverty in the continent. The President spoke during a telephone conversation with the President of the European Council, Mr. Charles Michel.

According to President Tinubu, Nigeria and the whole of Africa would require the help and partnership of her friends and development partners like the EU to address the excruciating poverty in the continent.

 While requesting the EU to look at specific areas of security challenge like the Lake Chad and coastal areas, the Nigerian leader promised to remain in contact with the European Union and other member states.

 He said poverty and insecurity were priority areas for his administration and he would do all that is required to address them.

Also, the President has expressly directed the National Economic Council (NEC) led by Vice President Kashim Shettima to device an approach and begin the process of working on interventions to mitigate the impact of subsidy removal on the Nigerians.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPCL) confirmed in Lagos during the week that “once the Dangote Refinery starts pumping out refined petroleum products from late July or early August, the Corporation will cut down on its imports of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol”.

NNPCL is currently the sole importer of petrol into Nigeria, a task which it had shouldered for several years. Other oil marketers stopped importing the product due to their inability to access the United States dollars at the official rate.

The NNPCL also owned 20 per cent stake in the Dangote Refinery. The 650,000 barrels per day single line, crude oil processing refinery was inaugurated on May 22, 2023 by former President, Muhammadu Buhari, who described the facility as a “game-changer” in the World’s oil market.

The promoter, Aliko Dangote stated at the occasion that the refinery would start delivering refined products to the Nigerian market from late July or Early August this year.

When contacted by our correspondent and asked about what would happen to the NNPCL fuel imports programme once the Dangote Refinery began to push out products in August, the national oil firm’s spokesperson, Garba-Deen Muhammad, said emphatically that this would change.

According to him, “NNPC Limited is bringing in products from outside Nigeria as a matter of necessity, not as a matter of choice. We would have preferred that we produce here, refine here and we sell and provide the energy security that the country needs.

“Because of the circumstances that surround our refineries, we cannot allow the country to be grounded. So we have to buy wherever we can get and sell. So if Dangote products are available, why should we not buy from Dangote?

“There is absolutely no reason. And that is the reason why we are interested in the Dangote Refinery. We are co-owners, shouldn’t we do business with our partners rather than do it with other people?”

While President Tinubu faces these hydra-headed demons head-on, certainly heads must roll. There must be scape goats from the mess of the past. After days of speculation, the hammer eventually fell on the CBN Governor, Emefiele Friday (9 June, 2023). The man was on his seat all day, held meetings and closed for the long weekend, Monday (June 12, 2023) being a public holiday, was headed for home. He had hardly settled down when he heard the news of his immediate suspension. 

According to a terse press statement by Willie Bassey, Director of Information Office, of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Emefiele was directed to immediately hand over the affairs of his office to the Deputy Governor (Operations Directorate), who will act as the Central Bank Governor pending the conclusion of investigation and the reforms. 

The suspension, according to the statement is “sequel to the ongoing investigation of his office and the planned reforms in the financial sector of the economy”. 

But in a dramatic twist, minutes after his suspension as CBN Governor, the state secret police (DSS) was alleged to have him. He was said to have been arrested by the men of the DSS late  Friday. 

But prior to CBN’s suspension, the DSS, on December 7, 2022, in an exparte application with reference no: FHC/ABJ/CS/2255/2022, sought an order of the Federal High Court to effect his arrest.

The security agency had accused the embattled CBN Governor of financing terrorism, fraudulent activities and economic crimes of national security dimension.

The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice J. T Tsoho, however, refused to grant the application of the DSS. The court said such an application should have been accompanied with the presidential approval because of the grave implications for the Nigerian economy if the CBN governor is arrested and detained. But late Friday, he was sent on indefinite suspension and then the arrest.

But on Saturday (10 June, 2023), the service tweet that “currently, Emefiele is not with the DSS”.

While the CBN’s Governor unfolds on, there are also strong speculations about the safety of the job of the Chief Executive Officer of the NNPCL, Mele Kyari at the weekend. It was speculated that the President intended to clean the old rot and refocus and reposition the economy, especially the financial and oil sector.

Later Saturday afternoon the Service released another tweet confirming the arrest of the CBN Governor. 

According to the Service, the DSS has finally confirmed that the suspended CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele is now in their custody.

A tweet from the agency reads: “…DSS hereby confirms that Mr Godwin Emefiele, the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, is now in its custody for some investigative reasons.

Meanwhile investigations across the country revealed that in less than a fortnight after putting an end into the fuel subsidy regime, reports across the country indicate a mixed reaction by the generality of the people. 

The major hope is that once the Dangote Refinery starts production late July or early August, prices of fuel is expected drastically since there wont be need for US dollars exchange in transactions any longer.

© 2023


Continue Reading


Democracy Day 2023: Full text of President Bola Tinubu’s address



Fellow Nigerians,

  1. It is exactly three decades today that Nigerians went to the polls to exercise their inalienable right to elect a President of their choice to lead the transition from military dictatorship to a representative government of the people.
  2. The abortion, by military fiat, of the decisive victory of Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola of the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the June 12, 1993, presidential election, up to that time, the fairest and freest election in the country’s political evolution, turned out, ironically, to be the seed that germinated into the prolonged struggle that gave birth to the democracy we currently enjoy since 1999.
  3. In rising to strongly oppose the arbitrary annulment of the will of the majority of Nigerians as expressed in that historic election, the substantial number of our people who participated in the struggle to de-annul the election signified their fierce commitment to enthroning democracy as a form of government that best ennobles the liberty, the dignity of the individual and the integrity as well as the stability of the polity. The fierce opposition to the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election and the unrelenting pro-democracy onslaught it unleashed was the equivalent of the battle against colonial rule by our founding fathers that resulted in the gaining of Nigeria’s independence in 1960.
  4. Just like the anti-colonial movement, the pro-June 12 vanguard demonstrated, once again, the enduring validity of the 19th century historian, Arnold Toynbee’s eternal postulation, that civilization and societies experience progress as they are forced to respond to challenges posed by the environment. The unjust annulment of a widely acknowledged free and fair election was a challenge that elicited resistance by a resurgent civil society, leading ultimately to the attainment of our ‘second independence’ as exemplified by the return of democratic governance in 1999.
  5. Fellow compatriots, we celebrate a day that has remained a watershed in our nation’s history, not just today, but for every June 12, for the endless future that our beloved country shall exist and wax stronger and stronger, generations of Nigerians will always remind themselves that the democracy that is steadily growing to become the defining essence of our polity was not gifted to us on a silver platter.
  6. We can easily recall the sacrifice and martyrdom of Chief MKO Abiola, the custodian of the sacred mandate that was so cruelly annulled. He sacrificed his life in unyielding, patriotic defence of the ideals of democracy as symbolized in his choice, by his fellow countrymen and women, as their duly-elected President. There was an easier choice for him. It was to forgo the justice of his cause and opt for the path of ease and capitulation in the face of the tyranny of power. To his eternal credit and immortal glory, Abiola said no. He demonstrated the time-tested eternal truth that there are certain ideals and principles that are far more valuable than life itself.
  7. Everyday, on this day, down the ages we will recall the several other heroes of democracy such as Kudirat Abiola, wife of Chief Abiola, who was brutally murdered while in the trenches fighting on the side of the people. We remember Pa Alfred Rewane, one of the heroes of our independence struggle and Major General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua (rtd) who were silenced by the military junta while in pursuit of democracy. They gave their yesterday for the liberty that is ours today.
  8. The point is that we must never take this democracy for granted. We must forever jealously guard and protect it like a precious jewel. For, a people can never truly appreciate the freedoms and rights democracy guarantees them until they lose it.
  9. We have traversed the dark, thorny path of dictatorship before and those who experienced it can readily testify to the unbridgeable gap between the dignity of freedom and the humiliation and degradation of tyranny. True, rancorous debates, interminable wrangling, ceaseless quarrels, bitter electoral contestations may be perceived by some as unattractive features of democracy. But they also testify to its merit and value.
  10. This year, we held the seventh in the cycle of elections that have become sacred rituals of our democratic practice in this dispensation since 1999.


  1. That the polls were intensely contested is in itself positive evidence that democracy is well and alive in our land. It is only natural that even as those who won and experienced victory in the various elections are elated and fulfilled, those who lost are disenchanted and disappointed. But the beauty of democracy is that those who win today can lose tomorrow and those who lose today will have an opportunity to compete and win in the next round of elections.
  2. Those who cannot endure and accept the pain of defeat in elections do not deserve the joy of victory when it is their turn to triumph. Above all, those who disagree with the outcome of the elections are taking full advantage of the constitutional provisions to seek redress in court and that is one of the reasons why democracy is still the best form of government invented by man.
  3. For Chief MKO Abiola, the symbol of this day, in whose memory June 12 became a national holiday, democracy is eternal.
  4. It is about rule of law and vibrant judiciary that can be trusted to deliver justice and strengthen institutions. It has become imperative to state here that the unnecessary illegal orders used to truncate or abridge democracy will no longer be tolerated.
  5. The recent harmonization of the retirement age for judicial officers is meant to strengthen the rule of law, which is a critical pillar of democracy. The reform has just started.
  6. The democracy that will yield right dividends to the people who are the shareholders means more than just freedom of choice and right to get people into elective offices. It means social and economic justice for our people. To the winner of June 12, democracy offers the best chance to fight and eliminate poverty. Thirty years ago, he christened his campaign manifesto, ‘Farewell to Poverty’ because he was convinced that there is nothing divine about poverty. It is a man-made problem that can be eliminated with clearly thought out social and economic policies.
  7. It is for this reason that, in my inauguration address on May 29, I gave effect to the decision taken by my predecessor-in-office to remove the fuel subsidy albatross and free up for collective use the much-needed resources, which had hitherto been pocketed by a few rich. I admit that the decision will impose extra burden on the masses of our people. I feel your pain. This is one decision we must bear to save our country from going under and take our resources away from the stranglehold of a few unpatriotic elements.
  8. Painfully, I have asked you, my compatriots, to sacrifice a little more for the survival of our country. For your trust and belief in us, I assure you that your sacrifice shall not be in vain. The government I lead will repay you through massive investment in transportation infrastructure, education, regular power supply, healthcare and other public utilities that will improve the quality of lives.
  9. The democracy MKO Abiola died for is one that promotes the welfare of the people over personal interests of the ruling class and one where the governed can find personal fulfillment and happiness. That is the hope MKO Abiola ignited throughout our country in 1993.
  10. On this year’s Democracy Day, I enjoin us all to rededicate ourselves to strengthening this form of government of free peoples that has been our guiding light these past 24 years. In particular, those of us who have been privileged to be elected into public offices at various levels in both the executive and legislative arms of government must recommit ourselves to offering selfless service to the people, and delivering concrete democracy dividends in accordance with our electoral promises.
  11. On my part and that of my administration, I pledge anew our commitment to diligently fulfilling every component of our electoral pact with the people – the ‘Renewed Hope’ agenda.
  12. We shall be faithful to truth. Faithful to equity. And faithful to justice. We shall exercise our authority and mandate to govern with fairness, respect for the rule of law, and commitment to always uphold the dignity of all our people.
  13. On this note, I wish us all a happy Democracy Day celebration and pray that the light of liberty shall never be extinguished in our land.
  14. Thank you all and may God continue to bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Continue Reading


Governance Grounded in Ondo State as Akeredolu Refuses to Hand Over to Deputy 



Governance and all Governmental activities seemed to have grounded to a standstill in Ondo State since the State Governor, Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu (CON, SAN), became indisposed. He has also refused to transmute power to his deputy, despite several pleadings.

The Governor is said to be holed up in his private home in Ibadan, Oyo State capital since he was moved out of Abuja, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), where only his trusted aides have access to him.

The Governor according to reliable sources in government circle in Akure, Ondo State was rushed to Germany towards the end of last year for an undisclosed illness. He was said to be in Germany for about two months, before coming back to the country early this year. Upon returning to the country, he was said to had been headed straight for Abuja, where he was said to be “resting”, before moving to Ibadan.

Sources within government circle told that since he was hurriedly driven out of Akure, towards the end of last year, all governmental activities have come to a halt. His close circle was said to be against his transmuting power to his deputy, as stipulated by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).

The Deputy Governor, Lucky Orimisan Aiyedatiwa, is said to be in a quandary about happenings in the State Government. Sources disclosed to our correspondent that he had gone to see the ailing Governor in his Ibadan home several times, but was not allowed by the Governor’s aides to see him. Several files needing urgent attention by the Governor are said to have piled up on his table in Ibadan unattended to.

For over a week now there have been some cold rumours circulating in hush tones about the health and condition of the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu.

The absence became more noticeable when State Governors of the federation had the inaugural meeting with the President, Bola Tinubu in Aso Rock last week at State House, Abuja. At the meeting, it was only the Ondo State Governor that was conspicuously missing. The deputy could not attend. checks in Akure, Ondo State revealed however, that the Governor has refused bluntly to transmute power to his deputy, despite being aware of his health conditions since last year. Sections 189, 190 and  191 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) clearly stated with the Governor should transmute power to his deputy. 

The man popularly called “Aketi” has been out of circulation since March, immediately the general elections were done with. He was first reported to have gone to Germany for medical attention, but upon return, he made straight for Abuja. He was later said to have been moved from his abode in Abuja to his private home in Ibadan.

These conflicting reports about the condition of the Governor however, took a dangerous turn Saturday (3 June, 2023) when a news blog published reports of his death and someone also circulated a viral picture announcing his death. The State Government however, moved swiftly to dispel the rumours of his death as carried by a news blog.

But learnt that the Governor, according to some very reliable sources very close to him, is said to be in ‘a very critical condition in his private home in Ibadan’, capital of Oyo state. 

His close aides spoken to refused to give more on the ailing condition of the Governor, other than his condition has worsen since last week Friday (2 June 2023) evening. He is said to have become almost incapacitated. 

The Governor, was born on 21 July 1956, known widely as Aketi, is a vibrant lawyer and politician has been in office since 24 February 2017. Another Governorship election is due in October 2024. 

Responding to the rumours of his passing, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Richard Olatunde released some video clips of the ailing Governor praising God.

In one of the videos, the Governor was seen dancing and singing. The lines of the lyrics showed governor Akeredolu who was joyous and full of praises to God for keeping him alive

Governor Akeredolu, left the country for Germany shortly after the APC convention in March. When he came back, he relocated to Abuja, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), ‘to rest’, before moving down to his house in Ibadan, Oyo State.

He officially wrote the State House of Assembly to take permission before embarking on an annual leave.

His adopted prefix is “Arakunrin”, while his nickname is “Aketi”. He is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) who became president of the Nigerian Bar Association in 2008. Akeredolu was also a Managing Partner at the law firm of Olujinmi & Akeredolu, which he co-founded with Chief Akin Olujinmi, a former Attorney General and Minister for Justice of Nigeria. On 21 July 2020, he was declared as the Ondo governorship candidate after the primary elections under the platform of the APC. He is the current Governor of Ondo State and doubles as the chairman of Southwest Governors Forum.

© 2023


Continue Reading