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    Matawalle’s Foreign Trip. The Effort and The Benefits



    YUSUF Idris
    Governor Bello Mohammed Matawalle has always been seen and described as God sent to the embattled people of Zamfara having unexpectedly been declared governor of Zamfara by the nation’s apex court after the 2019 governorship election where the then ruling APC was initially

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    My attention has been brought to the shocking and disturbing incident that occurred at the Ogun State High Court in Ilaro, where operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) invaded the courtroom and arrested two defendants, Fatai Isiaka and Samuel Oyero, during an ongoing trial.

    This egregious act of disregard for the rule of law and judicial independence is a clear affront to the very fabric of our democracy and deserves utmost condemnation.

    The defendants, Fatai Isiaka and Samuel Oyero, were standing trial for alleged arson related to the Obaship crisis in Agosasa town, Ipokia local government area. The trial was ongoing, with
    the honorable judge presiding, when the DSS operatives stormed the courtroom, disrupting the proceedings and causing chaos.

    The operatives, arrested the defendants and whisked them away, leaving the court and legal counsel in shock.
    This incident raises several concerns and questions. Firstly, the DSS’s actions constitute a gross violation of the principle of separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary.

    The courts are the bastion of justice, and any attempt to undermine their authority and integrity is a threat to the rule of law. The DSS’s actions demonstrate a blatant disregard for the judiciary’s autonomy and the due process of law.

    Secondly, the timing and manner of the arrest are highly suspicious. Why did the DSS choose to arrest the defendants during an ongoing trial, disrupting the judicial process and causing undue
    tension? Was this a deliberate attempt to intimidate the court, the legal counsel, and the defendants?

    Thirdly, this incident highlights the growing trend of executive high-handedness and disregard for the rule of law in our country.

    The DSS’s actions are reminiscent of the infamous invasion of the National Assembly in 2018, where operatives of the DSS blocked the entrance of the National Assembly, preventing lawmakers from entering. Such actions erode the trust and confidence in our institutions and undermine the very foundations of our democracy.

    The arrest of the defendants during an ongoing trial also raises questions about the DSS’s respect for the judicial process and the independence of the judiciary.
    In addition, this incident has far-reaching implications for the integrity of our judicial system.

    The DSS’s actions undermine the authority and integrity of the judiciary, and erode the trust and confidence of the public in the judicial system. If the DSS can invade a courtroom and arrest
    defendants during an ongoing trial, what is to stop them from doing the same in other cases? This sets a dangerous precedent and undermines the very foundations of our democracy.

    I’m also saddened with the silence of the relevant authorities, including the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Minister of Justice, who have refused to speak out against this egregious
    violation of the rule of law.

    In conclusion, I condemn in the strongest terms the invasion of the Ogun State High Court in Ilaro by the DSS operatives. This brazen act of disregard for the rule of law and judicial
    independence is a clear affront to our democracy and deserves utmost condemnation.

    I call on the relevant authorities to take immediate action to address this incident, ensure the safety and release of the defendants, and guarantee the independence and integrity of our judiciary.

    We must stand up against executive high-handedness and defend the rule of law, lest we slide into anarchy and chaos.

    I also call on the Nigerian Bar Association, the Nigerian Judicial Council, and other stakeholders
    in the judicial system to take a stand against this violation of the rule of law and defend the integrity of our judiciary. We must not allow the DSS’s actions to go unchallenged, and we must ensure that our democracy is protected from such egregious violations of the rule of law.


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    Tinubu has not fail to deliver




    By Kassim Afegbua.

    Hunger, melancholy and poverty are written of many faces everywhere one goes these days. And many times I hear people express regret that President Tinubu is in office. President Tinubu is certainly not one of the challenges confronting us. Not at all. He’s assuredly offering solutions to the chronic ailment, now manifest, that was embedded in the sands of time, which had been hopefully inadvertently crafted from the ashes of his predecessor’s governance structure. He was a man who lacked everything that was needed to run a country; and wisemen took advantage of him and his ineptitude. The backlash sadly, begun during President Tinubu’s time; and its impact now more obvious than ever before with a spiralling inflation and the tumbling of our currency to what we now witness. Economists, management accountants and financial analysts usually guide micro and macro economics, and thus economies using measures such as Future Values, Internal Rate of Return and their like. I very much doubt that these measures guided our former president. The country was run like there was no tomorrow. It was a borrowing and money evaporation jamboree. Now production and productivity have been crippled, as their prerequisites are not present, so now, every wise man and woman is hedging against the dollar; as man MUST wack.

    Even pastors I hear, now list their services in dollars. It isn’t a Tinubu factor. It is a Buhari factor. And I dare say that even we as a people didn’t do what we should have done at that time. That was the time for strike actions and protests!! Albeit many of us may not have had any inkling of the implications of his hare brained actions. The president we have now is actively trying to find the antidote to this stress that our economy is now burdened with. He didn’t import our current challenges. He’s been actively trying to generate ideas to confront these existential challenges home and abroad, he’s been trying to reposition a formless economy and put it in a new direction that will bring renewed hope for a prosperous Nigeria. It is not easy for us all. Not at all; and I bet not for him either. He has told us that the pains would be telling, but assures us that the end product will attract praise; as some will say, it will all end in praise. He has not abdicated his responsibilities at all. Has he risen to the occasion everytime there are concerns about certain aspects of our daily lives and broached the issues very well. He has exhibited the right courage to call a spade by its very name. Does he understand the challenges and is he propelling new paradigms in the affairs of the nation? Assuredly, yes!

    President Tinubu knew he was inheriting a country that was on a free fall. A country that was predominantly governed by a proxy; a kid, who in his inexperience steered the ship of State amok and terminated without dexterity, leaving us all to face the headwinds. The damage was done long before President Tinubu took charge. Indeed, during his campaigy for president, he knew that he would be inheriting a country tottering on the cliffhanger of debts and infrastructural deficit. He knew that Nigeria needed an urgent surgical operation that would birth a new road map for engaging developmental challenges in the country; and from what I have seen so far, the President is working assiduously to combat the present realities that stare us in the face.Additionally, he is emotionally intelligent each time the problems threaten to overwhelm us. He’s been very engaging and showing a rare understanding of what the issues are. For example, his courageous intervention in trying to fix the refineries is one right step in the right direction. His subsidy removal was another bold step to confront the elephant in the house with a view to arresting huge leakages that have held us down for a long time.

    President Tinubu shows the attributes of a president who understands where he’s taking his people. What we need from him now is for productivity and productivity to kick start and rise; and that should be our focus. Not how to rally unrest. He asked for the job, knowing full well what the demands were. He has templates to fit into different aspects of the problems to fix them. The results will soon ooze out in through short, medium and long terms routes, This is surely not a time to trade blames, but things must be put in perspective, lest an innocent man is hanged. After subsidy removal, more allocation is going to the states and local governments but even the stewards in charge at state and local government levels are hedging, rather than carrying on and out economic activities to keep their people alive and well. Buying of US dollars to store is not a source of income, or an economic stimulant or activity. Performance levels at the state levels are abysmal. Local Governments are almost exctint, but we hear of the FAAC disbursements; incongruity is my response! Nothing tangible is happening at those levels but labour unions cannot see this and stand and demand better accountability from their governors. Instead, what we often see is NLC threatening strike actions against the Federal Government. Will strike action speed up the works being done to stimulate the economy? Is it the right therapy for addressing the issues? What is the population of workers in Nigeria? Do they think that workers are the only people in Nigeria being affected by the current existential threats? The government is trying to get things going and even running. Let us assess our president by the things he has done so far; and we too should offer what skills or intellect we have in that regard.

    As a pro-democracy activist who struggled through the rocky planes of street protests, daring the military to retire to the barracks, President Tinubu surely knows the expectations of him by the people. In his leadership trajectory, he has shown grit, blazed trails and characteristically dialogues with his people. The Tinubu administration no doubt, IS WORKING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. The current actions of the government will augur well for us as a nation. That is the current difference from what we had before. Our future is not being put in a mess. Let us assess this government at the moment by first, how much action and success they have achieved in loophole blockages and secondly, by their actions to shore up production amd productivity and get them going. Let us be objective and constructive.

    I campaigned vigorously for President Tinubu when he indicated interest in the presidency, in 2023. I was convinced in my heart that he stood a good chance and had a good understanding of the issues at hand and was astute. I saw him as a Nigerian, determined to confront the challenges we faced, without minding whose ox is gored. My confidence in the ability and capacity of President Tinubu to address the numerous challenges facing us is based on his antecedents and his character. The journey and remedy may be tortuous but the outcome will be cheering news for the nation. The floating of the naira seems to be the tip off that has rendered the economy somewhat stalemated, with inflation eating up the value of the currency, but there will be a silver lining at the end of the tunnel if we can up the ante in our production sector, of course with safety and security brought under control. Also, we all need to show some more confidence in our own!!! We need to let go of this hedging mentality!! The government too may have to seek other ways and means to arrest the free fall of the naira. For instance, we can adopt the Kuwaiti model, of ensuring that purchase of our oil is done in naira and not dollars. Insisting on the naira as our preferred currency in our oil transactions will shore up the naira. Kuwaiti government insists on Kuwaiti dinar in their oil transactions to instill confidence in their local currency. Nigeria could do the same. Naira must be made our number one choice in payment for our oil instead of dollars. If we take this step in addition to other initiatives presently being applied by the CBN, there will be some cushioning in the system.

    Personally, President Tinubu has proven that he means well for this country, to all intents and purposes. Those who are constantly asking for strike action ostensibly as the solution to the challenges facing the nation, are the ones who do not mean well for the nation. They are the enemies of our country. I know some Nigerians have dual and or multiple citizenships, but most of us have only our Nigeria to call home. We must all join hands to build our nation, and not allow ourselves become porns in the game of selfish bulls. The governors need to show confidence in our capacity, economy, and currency and stop converting their allocations to dollars to stockpile as we hear they are doing. There is so much allocation to the state governments presently through increase in Federal Allocation as a consequence of the subsidy removal. One expects the state government to respond to the growing hardship through palliative measures that would abate the realities, and also embark on local economic activities. Governors should stop heaping the blame on the federal government. If President Tinubu succeeds, Nigeria succeeds. If he fails, the impact will bear on us all. We must therefore, try as much as possible to ensure that we exhibit uncommon patriotism at this trying time and be more patient with Government to allow all the interventions yield the desired results. Many countries across the world are going through serious economic problems too, so Nigeria is not an exception, but the difference is that we have a president who has shown tact, courage, gravitas and grit in confronting the challenges head-on without equivocation. I am very confident that all this will soon pass away, and time will usher in a sweet harvest of all the current interventions .

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    Scrubbing Off Isaiah Usifo’s Jaundiced Accusation Against Julius Abure (Part 2)



    By Erasmus Ikhide

    I should have allowed Isaiah Usifo his grieving rights and his band of mourners, to continue to have their days in the sun, but for their primitive equivocation; banna sense of fraudulent entitlement and sanctimonious dabbling, that tends to signpost the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi and Comrade Barrister Julius Abure as fraudulent entities.

    I have also read a terse piece from a designated prostitute; a ‘common entrance’ with smelling sewage tank, and a debased moral squalor – going by the name Blessing Agho, adding her gruff – raspy voice unto Isaiah Usifo’s bargain. Duelling on this impish creature of mere surfaces with multiple failed marriages, would be an unwarranted distraction to this all important subject of nation building.

    I read Isaiah Usifo’s off-line musing to my well articulated response to his mottled and muffled scripted article, ladened with transactional motives, reeking of silly entitlement, dishonesty and hypocrisy against the President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Joe Ajaero, the Labour Party (LP) leadership and Comrade Barrister Julius Abure.

    “Infantile write- up without addressing the subject matter of criminal allegations against Julius Abure and his strange gang in the national working committee of the Labour party.

    “Insults on Isaiah Osifo, insults on the Judge that restrained Julius Abure and his strange fellows from functioning in the National Working Committee of the Labour Party, and false accusations of the ruling APC are not responsible answers to whether Julius Abure forged a court affidavit, his crime against Labour party members, his crime against the Constitution of the LP and his crime against the Constitution of Nigeria”, Isaiah Usifo quipped.

    Two things must have happened to Isaiah Usifo: it is either that he has a problem with comprehension or he has sold his soul for what is already known; namely, to ensure that Nigeria sabotage continues, and the resolve of the masses to extricate themselves from total paralysis and colonial asphyxiation, remains forever elusive.

    In my yesterday’s response to his trash of allegations against Comrade Julius Abure, I wrote that the Nigeria Police Force; with documentary evidence(s) controverted itself for asserting in their report that they did not hear from the Labour Party or the National Chairman, before the report was concluded and released to the public. Police certified through copy of the report painfully revealed that it can’t be heard liable for the report. Isaiah Usifo is aware that the police authority has since invited the Labour Party Leadership, alongside Barrister Julius Abure for interrogation.

    “Even the police report dated March 9th, 2023 and signed by Junaid Bukar, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Special Enquiry Bureau (FCIID) Abuja, upon which this order was made by Justice H. Mu’Azu reads thus: “Note that this report is issued purely for information purposes. The Nigeria Police shall not be held liable for any action whatsoever which may emanate from the use of this document”. The police report in question indicted police authority by saying that the Labour Party leadership and Barrister Julius Abure were not giving fair hearing as they could not make themselves available for interrogation”.

    “On the issue of the propriety or otherwise of the Abuja High Court jurisdiction, I stated in the same article thus: “Apart from enjoying the voyage of judicial hysteria and legal impunity, an FCT High Court Judge and his Court should not have interfered over a matter of Comrade Abure’s purported suspension carried out in Esan-North-East in far away Edo State, when there is a High Court of justice in Edo state”. My submission above were the points and answers I provided for Isaiah Usifo’s infantile article yesterday, which he deliberately refused to read and comprehend.

    By the way, what is Comrade Barrister Julius Abure’s purported offence, if we may ask? Over the last two decades, he has been nurturing and flowering the tree of Labour Party, singlehandedly and selflessly while opportunistic politicians like Isaiah Usifo has been lurking around the corner to grab the fruits from the tree he planted and tended to maturation. From the position of Assistant Secretary of Edo State Labour Party chapter, he rose and became elected as the State Secretary. From there, he became Deputy National Secretary, National Secretary and, ultimately the National Chairman.

    Except for characters like Isaiah Usifo and his condescending lazy laybacks; burdened by devious envy, loathing progressivism that would deride unequalled and enviable contributions to the stabilization of the Labour Party (LP) in Edo State, Nigeria and the global community. The most disturbing trend in all of these is Edo citizens’ penchant and obsessive instincts to always put down one of their own, once stardom is attained. What else would have motivated a band of loafers to congregate against one of their best, having sprung the labour Party from zero to hero?

    Outside the APC rigging machine; the widespread maiming and unmitigated killing of electorates who refused to vote for their party – the whole world attested to the fact that another Edo man, like Tom Ikimi, Tony Anenih, John Oyegun, and Adams Oshiomhole, once again midwifed the Labour Party from the blues and won over 15 states, fair and square, to the admiration of forward looking global community – but to the agony of political jobbers like Isaiah Usifo.

    Now this: anyone familiar with Isaiah Usifo’s arrogant proclamation to superior analysis will not condone his affronting strategy the moment he is at the loosing end. Repudiation of characters like him anywhere they are found is the actual interrogation that can propel nations to higher levels, away from the savagery and criminality which is our default setting.

    In proper qualification, Isaiah Usifo’s article against the Labour Party and Comrade Abure is the computation of the elect consensus with insidious intention to have the Nigerian masses glue to the past. One point Isaiah Usifo missed terribly as a despondent Edo man is the fact that what he could not achieved in private recesses with Barrister Abure can’t be obtained via overt animosity, hostility and uncontrollable rage in form of enemy’s patronizing bellicose articles.

    Nigerians know the undesirable brood of politicians and their political parties that must not be allowed access to the seat of power; Labour Party and Comrade Abure are not one of such categorization. Isaiah Usifo should have been educated enough to know that collective bargaining far outweighed his selfish and antidiluvian interpretation of forgery and justice.

    Isaiah Usifo’s cessation to unnecessary embroilment with his benefactor, Comrade Julius Abure and the Labour Party, in the state and at the national level would be more beneficial to him in the long run. Struggling for the centre of the bed with just one person would amount to being found in bed with deprived scoundrels!

    Erasmus Ikhide can be reached via:

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