Monday, 5 October 2015

President Buhari's 100 Days: General scores as lone Noise Maker (aka Minister)

President Buhari's 100 days: 
The General scores as solitary Noise Maker (aka Minister)

By Kabiru M. Gwangwazo
(kamgwangwazo@yahoo.com)

"I have been a governor before and this question keeps coming. One hundred days in the life of a government with a mandate of four years is insignificant. There is always a learning period. You may say he was a military Head of State before but it is different. In military dictatorship there is nothing like the National Assembly; you give orders and nobody will question your orders. But the situation is quite different from a civilian government where you have to lobby. 

"So, I do not want to use 100 days to assess a sitting president. But so far, so good! What is going for Buhari is the perception of Nigerians that he is an incorruptible leader.

"The integrity and what he came with to government is what is helping him. If you go to the North and you mention Buhari’s name, ‘’Sai Buhari’’, they come like bees. 

"Some of them do not even know who he is. You can spend money and Buhari will not spend and people will trek 15 kilometers to support him. 

"That is the mystery he has built for himself over the years because people see him as incorruptible and straightforward. With this change mantra that they floated and anti-corruption as the vessel, people seem to believe what he is doing".

 - DSP Alamiseigha, ex-Bayelsa Governor (Vanguard newspaper interview, September 19, 2015). 



It is well past the first 100 days since General Muhammadu Buhari took the oath of office as President of the federal republic. 

With the testimony of one who has every reason to say ill of General Buhari and the APC Government that took over from his boy, Jonathan what more do we need to say on 100 days of the government? But then, write we must to keep a date with history.

So far the General, our freshly minted President has sent names of what he says are the first batch of his nominees for Ministerial appointments at the very last minute of his pledge that he will name his cabinet team before or by the end of September.

His studied silence on the issue of Ministers, his refusal to be railroaded by all of us interested in one kind of appointment or the other in Government has heightened tension among the Nigerian elite. But with the masses of the people and indeed many not so "massey" this added to the General Buhari mystique. 

While waiting with bated breath to authoritatively learn who and who are on the list next Tuesday October 6th a whole industry has sprung up on lists of supposed Ministers in the social media initially, and not to be outdone the mainstream media too joined in titillating the palate of an impatient and inquisitive clientele. Some post names that sound so authoritative that one tends to go with them. Many we would go with because they favour the choices we'd love to see around the General, either because we know them in person or in the media, or because we feel they are the type who are capable of assisting General to deliver on the hopes we have so pinned on him. Many we wistfully hope to see Tuesday at Senate unveiling of the list because of the roles we see they played in getting us the General to lead the Change we, the people have been hankering for for 30 and 16 or more recently 13 years that Buhari has offered himself for service as President.

Be that as it may, my reading of the national political barometer says so far, so good. That is no doubt the verdict from Change Advocates who have rooted for General Buhari and stuck to him for President even before Ministers are named. 

That is not to demean the huge role Ministers are expected to play when they eventually come aboard despite the General himself downplaying their immense role, as mere "noise makers", when he said in a media interview abroad that civil servants, the so-called technocrats (as if there aren't any among the political class, themselves recruited from the larger society like the techno-civil-servant-crats) do all the work (I guess he means groundwork, backgrounding etc) while Ministers merely make noise. Adding, that is what we all do, he said, encompassing himself indicating a remarkable but hallmark self deprecating humility. 

But then see the General's kind of "noise making" that has retuned the civil service, the police, the DSS, the EFCC, the CCB, the ICPC and the Nigeria Army. His kind of "noise" literally by only one man, the Oga at The Top, has changed the fortunes of NEPA. As I write now, well after 2am, Saturday (morning/night) I am enjoying NEPA and the comforts thereof. Simply because of the body language of this lone noisemaker we now enjoy the availability of fuel at N87 all over at petrol filling stations. 

And yet again much as we would like to see a more active involvement of the President's wife in matters that affect the broad constituency she was part of drawing in and attracting to vote for him and their concerns, women and children, this lone General's kind of noise has kept a tight lid so far on that front. He has stopped the initial indication of a high class First Lady blitz under his wife as was the tradition in the years the locusts ate. 

I am of the class of Nigerians who argue that General should not have a First Lady's Office if he had promised at the campaign that he won't but we, the people, still expect the Wife of the Pesident to come up with some valuable support to the General. Of course not quite like the Constitutionally questionable bazaar of the past, especially the recent past -- of illiteracy and divisive ethnic rascality of the 6 years of clueless dumbness under the Jonathan PDP or even the one we saw of the cabal that kept a sickly Umar Yaradua on seat and milked him for what he was worth. 

If the General is kind and considerate enough to the huge constituency his wife could serve and he suppresses his noisemaking on this home front he can still organise a more tempered version of the President's consort support group. 

He would be in good company here from a more positive historical past. Recall we were blessed with such cerebral women as Nana Asmau the daughter of Sheik Danfodio who was a valuable compliment to the rulers of the Greater part of what is now known as Nigeria and other neighboring states. We also had such great women as Mary Slessor of Calabar. And of recent there were the Ransome Kutis, the Gambo Sawabas, the Tinubu's, Asabe Rezas, Bola Ogumbos and even our own Najaatu. But with the coalescing of forces and power under the Wife of the President matters in this sphere that can only be so tackled will be so effected from the home front via the Wife. Of course not as the First Lady concept that had been so bastardized; and all this with the needed efficiency. At least General will be freed of the troubles from the home front so far stumped by his very strict and stern handling thus far with little "noise making" to talk of. 

His Senior Press and Media Assistant, Malam Garba Shehu was recently on hand to efficiently explain how the Wife of Mr. President and her Office will work recently when the heat on the matter forced a statement from the General. He outlined the basics of what seems like a workable plan that he says is being prepped, one that no one can fault. 

You never know with the General, despite all this he may decide to still retain the total public clamp on the Wife he seems disposed to. And it won't matter much to the mass of the people who asked him to lead them to a New Nigeria. Even if this may seem somewhat unfair, I must hasten. After all, it is the media and the opposition that deliberately and somewhat mischievously focused so much unwarranted attention on the Wife, using the experiences of the recent past as background.

Anyway, I digress way too much here. 

So back to the issue on the table. The issue of General doing what we see as so far so good even from the point of view of those who have no reason to say so. And he is the only "Noise Maker" (aka Minister) on ground so far. 

My point: General was in no way demeaning the position of Ministers seeing that he has written himself into the same "Noise Zone". And see what his kind of "Noise" has done these past three months or so. 

On the journey so far, What has the General done? Practically? Has he met our expectations? Has he fulfilled his pledges to us? What are our expectations? I don't think as a journalist I should be in the business of praise singing. Even if I also sport the cap of a politician that I cannot do without at all times. Even with the fact that General is a hero you can't fail to be starstruck with on associating with him even from a safe distance. 

Our expectations, the mass of the people's basic expectations are that he will start Nigeria afresh. That he will Hit the Reset Button ala then US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and Russia on a new foreign policy matrix. We expect that he will be the same man we have known all his public life: Mr. Clean, Mr. Integrity. That he won't ever condone corruption.

That as a non-nonsense soldier he will ensure the most basic concern that tilted the scales in his favour in 2015: security of lives and property. 

That he will halt the menace of terrorists making life miserable for us all from the North East, the North West, the Middle belt, the Niger Delta, the South East and the South West. The most public terror menace is of course the Yusufiyya Boko Haram (BH). But kidnappers too are as much an issue, as are the "Fulani" marauders and bandits adding to BH in the north west. So too the ethnic militias of the middle belt, the robbers of the south west and south east as well as the terrorists whose focus is oil theft and banditry in the Niger delta.

For now the General's focus on the terror scourge in the north east is on course. Thankfully there are no more cases of towns overrun by the terror group. Rearguard action of suicide and opportunistic bombings appears targeted to retain relevance for the group before the endgame catches up with them.

On the integrity call General has kept to his pledges. On Ministers some can argue he has fallen short here. Because he only sent in the first batch, whatever the number, before end of September. Will he send in the balance by the Tuesday date the Senate sits to unveil the names? Will he send in more by the time the screening starts? 

Still on his avowed integrity, on his being Mr. Clean, he declared his assets and made it public before his first 100 days as he pledged to so do, and his deputy too. 

The lean declaration confirmed what we, the people, expected and hoped for. 

No doubt most LG chairmen in the past 16 years, if not all of them, should be expected to declare a lot more than he did. 

We all know he was a former GOC, a former Governor of a state that gave birth to the six states in the North East. He was a former Oil Minister and founder of NNPC. He was a former head of state. He was a former head of half the federal government under General Sani Abacha when he served as chairman of PTF, the most effective intervention agency ever set up by any government in Nigeria awash with petrodollars. And he declared a mere N30 million. 

And the General who had declared assets at least four times has challenged Nigerian journalists to go and check his previous declarations for comparative verification. 

This brings us to the issue of tackling graft and whatnot in governance just as per the covenant he entered with the Nigerian people. He reaffirmed his saintly status in the eyes of the people by saying he had no beef with Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki. That he will expect him to sort himself out with the law. After all he has himself gone public with his own declaration of material assets and worth including his 270 heads of cattle as a bona fide Fulaniman. His deputy has done so too including his mortgaged flat in Bradford (or Bedford?). 

The number three is now under the microscope, even as politics and witch hunt are cited by those who want to sweep the issue under the carpet to obviously test the waters and see wether we will begin a gradual return to the era of anything goes. 

By General's actions thus far and his public stand of not seeking to cover anyone he has comforted us, the people who voted Change. 

He has comforted us the more by his 55th anniversary address when he said he bears no one any ill will over (the many ills done him and us, the nation) in the past. But that all who have any such cause to worry should be ready to face the ghosts of their past. 

That is fair warning that the fireworks will soon start in earnest. 

Exorcism can't work unless one faces the ghosts from one's past. 

This confirms General won't allow pilferage or deliberate misapplication of our resources, the peoples resources. As such we should expect there won't ever be a repeat of the misdirection, misrouting and deliberate rerouting and diversion of monies meant to secure us that made security a nightmare over the past few years of the worst maladaministration the PDP has afflicted us with. Remember, upto one-third of our petronaira budget was said to go to security these past six years or so. And we are told only recently by the nation's top soldier, Chief of Defence Staff, AVM Alex Badeh that no new tools of war needed to fight terror had been procured since 2006. He only made this scary revelation on the very day he was retiring and being pulled out of the Army. 

Of course the NSA Colonel Sambo Dasuki under whose direction billions of Naira were said to have been smuggled out to South Africa in a private pastor's jet claims otherwise. Even if the gallant outgunned fighting Nigerian troops and their wives in the North East Theatre of War say the NSA lied as they were regularly dumped for slaughter in batches infront of a better armed enemy with inadequate weapons. 

The northeast terror problem began in 2009. Yaradua took over from Obasanjo in 2007. And no worthy tools had been procured since Obasanjo's time in 2006 the CDS told a shocked nation. 

It is because of these and similar tales of inexplicable lunacy in governance that Nigeria cried for Buhari and his Integrity to kill Corruption before it killed the nation. Corruption had literally held us, the people, hostage. And it is in our names the rogues reign by their recycled devious electoral wins. 

Killing corruption will enhance security was the view of the Nigerian masses. Killing corruption will provide employment and quality education etc. Killing corruption will sanitize the electoral process. And today Nigerians enjoy a more secure life even with checkpoints gone.

By mere body language and a very few direct statements from the lone "noisemaker" on the block thus far Mr President, Muhammadu Buhari, our favorite General has unleashed an unprecedented frontal assault on corruption. This is the foundation needed to return our derailed nation back on track. 

We thus expect a serious set of "noisemakers" (Ministers, Special Advisers, especially and others) who will assist the "chief noisemaker" (Mr. President) with equal zeal and integrity. 

They are to firmly ensure the Reset Button in Nigeria works with as much or even more efficiency than the one that Hilary Clinton and Obama Reset in US/Russia relations. That Nigeria at 55 will, like the Phoenix, be truly reborn; after all we have been through the crucible, burnished and are all set and ready for our date with destiny. 

So, General, you are on course. Even DSP Alamisiegha (Alams), Jonathan's boss and sacked Governor of Bayelsa says so. But that shouldn't stop the antigraft train catching up with him if he is in its sights. 

That is our covenant with You, General Sir!, Mr. President Sir! Aye! Aye!, Sir!


Sent from my iPad

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

APC, General Buhari and Change: Saraki as test case



   APC, General Buhari and Change: Senator Saraki as test case

By Kabiru Muhammad Gwangwazo

(kamgwangwazo@yahoo.com)



" . . . I do not want to use 100 days to assess a sitting president. But so far, so good! What is going for Buhari is the perception of Nigerians that he is an incorruptible leader.

"The integrity and what he came with to government is what is helping him. If you go to the North and you mention Buhari’s name, ‘’Sai Buhari’’, they come like bees. Some of them do not even know who he is. You can spend money and Buhari will not spend and people will trek 15 kilometers to support him. That is the mystery he has built for himself over the years because people see him as incorruptible and straightforward. With this change mantra that they floated and anti-corruption as the vessel, people seem to believe what he is doing". 


- DSP Alamisiegha, ex-Bayelsa Governor (Vanguard newspaper interview, September 19, 2015)



The merger that led to formation of All Progressives Congress (APC) and ultimately earlier this year swept away the anything goes Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that had held Nigeria and its treasury hostage for 16 years was a baby of Change. It was given birth by the desperate desire of a majority of Nigerians to see a new way of doing things in Government at all levels, that is determined in the top down Nigerian polity by the disposition of the central government.

APC's Change victory at the elections was primarily determined by three things. The unprecedented popularity of General Muhammadu Buhari among the voting public; the smart proactive adoption of the General by the most effective of the Yoruba elite led by Jagaban Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; the revolutionary introduction of the permanent voters card and card reader technology by Professor Muhammad Attahiru Jega led Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). At the core of all this it bears repeating is the desperate desire for Change, change from a totally bastardized and corrupt polity that has allowed unfettered access to Government for murderers, kidnappers, terrorists and all manner of crooks.

The Change Desire is to have a government that will not allow such brazen and untrammeled corruption that no matter your crimes all you need to do to escape the law is to join the government party and lo and behold, like the NICON Insurance advert of old says: "you are covered!".

Of the three primary reasons why we witnessed the Change we have been fighting for since General Buhari joined us in APP even before the party morphed into ANPP 13 years ago, the final tally of the votes at the last presidential elections confirms Buhari is the most important and valuable of them all. The facts are his votes were upped from about 13 million in the 2011 elections to 15 million. Every 4 year election cycle since 2003 when he first made the attempt to become president in ANPP the General had always got an added 2 million votes. As the candidate of Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in 2011, a party that did not have any LG Ward Councillor, LG chairman, State, National Assembly member or Governor he was able to garner almost 13 million votes. The fixation of the Nigerian masses on Buhari presidency has had to do with  their expectation that he will not run an "anything goes" government of the type PDP afflicted us with.

It is the integrity that even enemies of Change agree General Buhari brings to the table that is the key to the tsunami that swept PDP away in March. It is General's unassailable integrity that did them in.

That is why Nigerians at the lowest levels of the strata are pleased with the General thus far. For those who don't live with the people, like I do, they won't understand the extent of satisfaction we feel whenever we look around and see us in a new Nigeria. A Buhari type Nigeria where all who matter should be men and women of integrity. That is what I am talking about.

Where I live at Gwangwazo right inside the old walled city of Kano with the year round pestilence of Mosquitos and our open drainages and the squalor of the inner city, where we live with the "Almajirai" that Dame Patience Jonathan said she had no business with we are ok with the General. We and our almajiris who troop out in our thousands whenever the General passes through Kano, are eminently satisfied. One hundred days of the General are much more peaceful and comforting for us than all the 16 years of Jonathan and his PDP 'parents', Yaradua and Obasanjo and their local lackeys. We now pray in our open court mosques with no fear of gun toting or bomb blasting murderers who blend with us and wreak mayhem without any hope of succor from the government that seemed to enjoy our suffering and even claim with utter mischief that the murderers are after all our own people!

Since the return of the General we can now peaceably stay up late not just because of the blazing Streetlights we have all over Kano these past few years, courtesy of Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso (RMK), the rebel PDP Kano Governor who joined us in our quest to form a party for the General, even if he did try to do us in by his  burning ambition when he schemed for the presidency himself in ill advised direct contest with the General. Of course he got his fingers well and truly burnt at the Lagos APC national convention.

Because of the enhanced security, we are out on the streets and lazing in front of our homes even at night. In addition we now so enjoy the blissful revived NEPA plus the use of our fans and fridges in the heat of the day on account of a new way of doing things across the spectrum of Nigerian officialdom with Buhari, our General in charge.

The masses are quite happy with Buhari as are most of our rational elite, minus the negligible fraction that suckled on our misfortunes in the past 16 years, or if you extend it, 30 years since Buhari's last headship of Nigeria.

Added to this, his first vow of tackling insecurity that he has been doing with efficient commitment, his second vow to stop corruption dead lest it kills us all is well on course. The third of his only three pledges is to do all he can to get our youth gainfully employed. His deputy Osinbajo, the no doubt upright Christian man of God, told the world recently in Kano that the General's APC Government is working out a formula to place as many as 25 million vulnerables on an allowance of N5,000 per month. The General's target of jobs for those who need them is sure to be actualised in view of the first two already well on course in under 100 days. And all the while without ministers, using the Jonathan PDP infrastructure, the same bureaucracy, the same security and antigraft agencies and their chiefs, minus one or two here and there, as it were.

Now with the full blast media-celebrated pursuit of an untouchable, Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki, by both the Code of Conduct Tribunal and the EFCC that dragged in his wife it is obvious the chattering classes will argue the chase is political. That it is a witch hunt. It may well be if it were under another type of President. But certainly not Buhari. A man who won't even tolerate breaking of his own set rules with his family as severally reported by the media. Not many would situate this issue appropriately as part of the Buhari and APC Change package they sold that we, the people, bought.

Therefore what we all need to look at here is, are the issues in this case seen as "The Saraki and APC Change" test case factual?

Do the processes involved conform to the rules of the game or the rules of the law?

Is the Senate President exempt from, or above the law?

At a time, as Governor, he was deemed exempt because of the immunity clause in our constitution.

After leaving the immunity zone he was smart enough to keep the long arms of the law off of him using the many loopholes in our iniquitous legal system. Ours after all is a system that doesn't bat an eyelid on jailing a poor villager for stealing his neighbor's cat, fowl or goat while giving blanket immunity to Governors and the like. Such a villager may with luck only get a one in a hundred chance of a pardon by a bigger and more public thief covered by immunity during Independence or New Year media events to show the cynically merciful side of an elite that can always steal you blind and use the Law to hide forever.

We all hear of the two term PDP Rivers state Governor, Peter Odili, and how he got a perpetual injunction from a court not to be asked any questions about his Father Christmas "dash-dash" of his state's resources.

And this Odillian type of dalliance was clearly on display by our forum shopping Senate President these past week or two. And this of a distinguished Senator whose party, APC came in to rescue Nigeria from brigands sloganeering that it was the party of Change.

He would as his mates who were from the PDP and those used to the PDP way of doing things argue he shouldn't be asked any questions on this "small" code of conduct issue where he is alleged to have undeclared foreign bank accounts and some 12 other claims of not-done's.

He would say as was the way of the elite in years past that the Attorney General's office should keep quite or "be made" to keep quite as well as the Code of Code Tribunal and the EFCC. After all, he was instrumental to the party of Change's victory. Yes, he was. But he would need to read the earlier parts of this epistle to realise the error of his ways if he is this complacent. I did draw attention to the three main issues that determined enthronement of the Buhari APC Change Government. Yes. Without Saraki and his stout support for Buhari even from within the APC it may have been a lot more difficult to get the party ticket.

But then who would Saraki and anybody else who had burnt his bridges from the PDP or any other party and angling for a national presence have supported? No one, but Buhari, if they wanted to return to power. Believe me.

Would they have supported Atiku Abubakar, a perennial losing candidate for the Presidency who has yet to connect with the masses even in his home state of Adamawa? His chosen candidate for Governor was defeated despite his huge war chest. Senator Bindow Jibrilla, the current Governor and one time Atiku Boy flattened his campaign machine in his presence at the state APC selection process.

Who else? Our Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso (RMK), who despite doing so well as Governor of Kano is still seen as politically "belonging" solely to Obasanjo? And anyway in 2011 he only defeated the dummy presented for Governor by Shekarau with less than 60,000 votes to become Kano governor with tacit strategic support of some Buharians in Kano after been out in the wilderness for eight years since he was chased out of Government House by Buhari who had presented Shekarau to the Kano voters in the first SAK political tsunami in 2003.

No serious politician needing to win will refuse a General Buhari. None will dare the General's ballooning votes that keep growing by a regular as clockwork 2 million.

None will dare drop Buhari's 13 million for any of the non starters who can't deliver their home states with any degree of certainty.

And if they did dare by now they would have been long locked up by the merciless PDP they bucked and broke. Because any but the General won't have had the mass support the North gave which was the decider at the 2015 polls. And PDP and Jonathan would still have been around with Dame Patience doing their thing, and Sambisa still a no-Ho forest.

Any but General won't have elicited the universal confidence of being a well known clean candidate that all Change advocates can relate to nationally and internationally.

I am not saying what you don't know, any candidate but the General won't have gotten the confidence of the Yoruba political machine that had tried all types over the years and not gotten access to Aso Villa. At a time they every lost many of their states to the treachery of Obasanjo's wicked PDP.

So, in essence those who want to argue that Saraki or any other person with serious public cases to answer should be exempted now because they had helped the General would have missed the object of the Change the APC and the General promised Nigeria and Nigerians.

The mass of Nigerians are clear in their minds what contract they entered into with Buhari. They want a cleaning of the Augean stables.

They want to see such stomps by the antigraft agencies reach their logical conclusion. They would not take kindly to any attempt at halting the trundling train of change that is gathering momentum. That is why they, we went for Buhari.

If they wanted an all comers mess they would have stuck to the PDP that has failed to provide us our most basic need of security. This due to the extreme corruption that was the system in its days as confirmed by the Jonathanian defence chiefs who told the world as they were leaving no new stuff had been bought to fight the terror we faced since the days of Yaradua in 2006. Yet over one third of the national budget in trillions of Naira was spent on security. Unbelievable!

The only thing that may be acceptable in the Saraki saga or any of the type would be a normal state pardon by the president as a sign of magnanimity for those who helped his cause in the build up to the 2015 elections. But that will be only after the due process of the law has been allowed and any pilfered monies returned.

Doing the right thing is why the delegates at the APC national convention and later the Nigerian voters listened to General.

We still recall his sincere assertion at the Lagos convention saying, "I don't have dollars or Naira to give you, even if I did I won't . ."

This still rings in the ears of Nigerians. It reverberated the more when he declared his assets posting what many Local Government Chairmen in the past 16 years of mass plunder of our resources will consider as being far below their acquisitive dignity to declare. So why should he change a winning formula.

It did reverberate again when he named his service chiefs, and his SGF known to be a fellow traveller of the General's in terms of his scrupulous principles and ascetic lifestyle. So too do we expect it will yet again reverberate to the high heavens when this morning of Tuesday 29th September or tomorrowWednesday 30th, the last day of September as the General sends in his list of Ministers to the National Assembly for screening and adoption.

I should be surprised if he sends in a list of persons who have any significant "rattling skeletons" in their cupboards that can be used to stump his "Ministerial Cabinet of the Righteous" (no mischief meant).

As such there is really no need to bother and expect him to interfere with the rules of the game and to return us to the PDP way of doing business.  He shouldn't even need to lobby the NASS for his appointees. We are going into a new Nigeria, where quality and merit speak for you.

That is our covenant with Buhari. If Saraki is able to convince the Tribunal and other processes of the Law he has issues with and they declare him clean, I would be the happiest of persons.

Especially as I still recall his stout support for the General prior to the national convention. It don't matter even if as suggested it may have to do with enlightened self interest.

If he fails to get juridical clearance at Tribunal then after all the due process I should expect the General to grant him amnesty. May be at the next independence or new year day celebration. That will have fully paid off the General's and our debt to a son of the PDP, even if some would say he was merely an opportunistic Change agent.

Come to think of it though it would be best for Saraki to simply resign the Senate Presidency as is done in other civilized climes when one has such a burden to contend with to more squarely face his challenges. I sincerely hope he sees things this way and acts accordingly. This will allow the NASS and democracy to grow in this season of change. And he may even get to ultimately keep his Senate seat even if he is found to have stepped out of turn by the Tribunal.



- Kabiru M. Gwangwazo a politician and journalist writes from Gwangwazo, Kano city

Sent from my iPad


Sent from my iPad

Monday, 17 August 2015


 

To kill Corruption is all we ask of Buhari


By Kabiru M. Gwangwazo

(kamgwangwazo@yahoo.com)

Buhari must be reminded that the power centers’ "pilgrimage" to the "Rock," most probably to wrest concession from him not to go the whole hog, or at least give some people, if not some on the entourage, some slacks in his war against corruption, are among a group of very powerful people that tried in his previous attempts—even in the last presidential election—everything humanly possible to shut him out of the presidency, even by foul means. The president must not lose sight of the fact that these people hardly wish him and his administration well, because his presidency happened in spite of them.

-          Femi ODERE (Media Practitioner, as published on Sahara Reporters online., August 16th,  2015) in “Buhari and his August Visitors”

This is a very pithy and apt reminder for General Muhammadu Buhari on the one hand and Nigerians as a whole who voted him to fight Corruption. Corruption has been identified by Buhari since 1983 as the nation’s major problem. Since his transmutation into a civilian politician he has all of the past 13 years continued to wage an unrelenting war against the scourge whenever he got the opportunity to speak to Nigerians.  

His anticorruption stance is explicit and has always been in full public view. He has always tried to be on the side of honesty, truth and fairness; and protection of the underdog, protection of those placed under his charge, and standing up for Nigeria. That was what got him into trouble with the Shehu Shagari government when as GOC, he personally, flew in a helicopter from his Jos base to Maiduguri’s extreme border and lead his troops to chase away rogue troops that had crossed into our borders at the northeast most axis and killed some five soldiers. For him, “loyalty is two-way”. For Buhari, the archetypal military General, his troops who believe in him and go to war whenever he orders them to, must enjoy his 100 per cent loyalty too when they need him to “have their back”, to protect their backs as it were.

That stance of standing by truth and fairness is what got the attention of Northerners, especially Muslims, riveted on him when he denied the lies that the PDP Government of President Olusegun Obasanjo asked Vice President Atiku to tell the world. The Obasanjo Govt had claimed that all members of the national council of state (NCS) were unanimously agreed to revert to a supposed “status quo ante”, to reverse application of Shariah, a legal and constitutional right of Muslims, for Muslims alone.

That sense of fairness was what almost got him in trouble again when the 1983 coup plans leaked. He had agreed to the putsch to throw out the drifting Shagari government that had forced itself back to power in a rigged 1983 landslide against all odds, a government that was so patently corrupt, a status only surpassed today by its successor, the PDP Nigeria has suffered for 16 years. Such distaste for corruption was also said to have earned him the boot from the post of head of state. His colleagues threw him out and dumped him in jail when he insisted on applying the rules even when it was revealed to him he needed to soft-pedal on a particular case at hand, of an officer who allegedly used the proceeds of corruption to help finance the coup that brought him in. He had not consolidated his hold on the levers of power, allowing other more sophisticated and less scrupulous colleagues to undermine him.

At a very mature age of 72, despite having nothing to lose on account of his advancing age, this time around as President, General Buhari has mellowed down considerably. In dispensing the rules he is more tactical. Much as he apparently still has the same distaste for corruption that he has always had he was more circumspect about his plans for the anti-corruption war in the work out for the 2015 polls.

This is quite unlike the build up to the 2011 elections. I do recall the bombshell he dropped in his hometown of Daura when we accompanied him to pick his CPC party card. He told the hundreds of thousands of us massed to watch him pick the card that he will get all stolen monies returned to Nigeria’s treasury. It was such a bombshell because we felt he had become more electable with the greater national spread the Buhari movement had then attained.

Along with members of our team, the Coalition Committee for Buhari Groups (CCBG), I was worried that he would be stopped by the team of Nigeria’s corrupt and looting politicians having stated his mind yet again in public. We thus appealed to him to change his tune and in fact extend a hand of fellowship to all types so as to get to the Aso Rock Villa, first. We appealed to him to suggest that he would draw a line and ignore issues from the past when he wins the elections. And thankfully he agreed. On this, we appear to have been in good company with many other good governance activists on his trail in the CPC and many more who have been rooting for a return Buhari presidency since his time in ANPP and his tenure as head of state in 1983/85 beautifully amplified by his stint at PTF as chairman. The merger of the three political parties, ACN, ANPP and CPC ahead of the 2015 polls used the Buhari appeal to rally all anticorruption forces to form APC and finally provided the pan national platform for a more realistic chance to get the General into Aso Rock.

Looking at the General’s votes in 2015 and recalling the extent of commitment and consistent support of the Nigerian people it is obvious Nigerians decided to entrust General Muhammadu Buhari with management of their lives for the next 4 years simply to fight corruption. He became President exactly 30 years after he had been ousted from power, for the simple reason that they most voters are comfortable with his one consuming passion. 

For Buhari to fight the HYDROPUS (“. . . a hydra-headed monster and octopus combined aptly coined by Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinkaas quoted by Femi Odere) that corruption has become is the one and only task Nigerians ask of him. It is all they need to set their affairs right.

It is obvious that the corruption that sent our hapless soldiers to the warfront without adequate arms and ammunition needed to be killed if we are to kill insurgency and see the back of BH. It is obvious that we need to have Buhari kill stealing that used to not be corruption under PDP if igboland is going to have that bridge they had been clamouring for all of the past 16 years of PDP rule.

Killing Corruption before it kills Nigeria the more is the only solution to divert Nigerians monies from huge estates by former top political and service office holders, many of them serving or ex-generals to pay soldiers the living wage needed to secure our nation.

To kill corruption is a task that must be done if we are to give agriculture the monies needed to become the centrepiece for provision of jobs to the 60 million plus youth who are now locked in a hopeless state of anomie, with no education, or half education, no jobs, no hope for the future, no skills and for many no-sense as drugs have been introduced into their lives by the corrupt failure of the system to tackle the drug traffickers. With our porous borders and the corruption that keeps them open to all forms of evil imports the petty trades and things the youth get into are swamped by useless imports.

Now, is anyone in doubt that fighting corruption is all we need of Buhari for everything to be shipshape on our shores?

The thieves in the system should be thankful that Buhari appears to have softened from his previous incarnation. He is not insisting on jail for theft of Nigeria’s resources. Plea-bargaining as detestable as it is, is now acceptable to him. That anyone who returned whatever he had cornered needed not fear jail.

In the past it was 100 or 200 or even 300 years for what many then considered a minor infraction. In those days corruption had not really matured. Many docked for allegedly cornering a few tens of thousands of naira got hundreds of years in jail from the military tribunals. Of course much later we got to learn that in his 1983/85 term General Buhari as head of state had to insist on jail rather than summary firing squads that was the general consensus of his colleagues among the military top brass.

The firing squad was Ghana’s preference that got to stabilize the country faster than Nigeria. With the current national consensus against corruption and Buhari’s more mellow approach to punishment merely seeking return of stolen goods as restitution we need a little more. That such a plea-bargain stratagem gets a built in legal framework to stop the bargainers from ever getting a chance to handle our national resources, again. Any that get caught with their hands in the cookie jar even under Buhari should have similar treatment.

Indeed in the case of future thefts, for corruption or whatever it is Nigerians and their leaders care to call it a jail term needs to be factored in as standard procedure. That is in our law books, as it has always been. The current crop of spill-over thieves and corrupt Nigerians now littering our political landscape, with huge mansions, fleets of jets and bulletproof cars, many in prominent leadership positions with unaccountable tonnes of naira and dollars they can’t explain are a “lucky lot”. Why? Because they have the luck of neither jail, nor sanction.

They merely return what they stole to cause all the mess they force us to live with today. The mess that has made our education a mess. The mess that has made our economy a mess. A mess that has made our health services a mess.

A mess that has left us beholden to leaders we are forced to cheer for “granting” us “dividends of democracy”. Leaders who steal us blind and use such proceeds of crime to continue to recycle themselves back to power in sham elections within political parties that translate into general elections that prove much worse.

We now know that such types stole our money in NDDC, N180 billion plus of it, meant for amnesty payments for restive Delta youth and development of the Niger Delta. Such types stole our funds in multimillion barrels of oil and multi billion dollars and naira. And they sold off many, many of our national assets to themselves, from hotels that are so commonplace to sophisticated telecoms, to our national power assets; and all paid for with funds from opportunities they got by being our representatives, our servants; presumed public servants.

Buhari can afford to look all of his colleagues, our thieving top elite, in the face to say: “come, what madness possessed you, to steal so voraciously, so rapaciously”.

He can do this comfortably because he has always been comfortable with his cows and retired military general’s pension that we are told (true or false) he had even so asked to be reduced to a manageable level of N2 million plus, rather than the N30million plus other ex-generals and ex-heads of state get paid. He could stick to his fight against corruption in public and in private because he has always been comfortable with his people, the common-men, the youth whose lives, whose “tomorrows” they (the leaders, our leaders) eat up “today” while in charge of our affairs.

From the reaction of Nigerians to the war on corruption by General Muhammadu Buhari it seems he is on track. It seems the President is on the same page with a majority of the people who voted and stood by him all these past 13 years. He appears to be firmly fixated on the same page with Nigerians tired of the state of insecurity that has afflicted them because of corruption.

He is no doubt on the same page with Nigerians who forced the hands of our leading elite to break ranks from the established politics of the past 16 years and come join the anticorruption champion, the General. I can’t stop referring to him as the General. After all he is up there to fight the war we, the people of Nigeria, engaged him to lead as only a General can.

The amazing thing is that so far all the action and the operators wreaking so much havoc with the guilty are from stuff exposed by staff from ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s time. When our General gets going with his own appointees in charge of such fireworks how much more focused and effective the anticorruption war will be, and how exciting I leave you to judge.

One thing that is certain is: what we ask of the General is that he kills corruption dead, so that Nigeria returns from the dead.

Kabiru M. Gwangwazo (kamgwangwazo@yahoo.com) a journalist writes from Kano city. He is Publisher/CEO, Pyramid Media, Kano (www.pyramidnewsng.com). He writes on: www.kmgsampling.blogspot.com
Monday August 17th, 2015
 

 

   

Friday, 14 August 2015


The Triumph Newspapers story:

What we met, what we did  (I)

By Muhammadu Kabiru Gwangwazo

Triumph MD/Editor-in-Chief,

June28,  2011 – October 3, 2012


On 28th of June when Kano state Governor Muhammadu Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso asked me to work with Associate Professor of Mass Communications, Farouk Umar Jibril to revive the Kano State owned Triumph newspapers and publishing company I would never have believed that he would in only one year and four months ask me to go send all staff home and shut the company down. To my utter amazement and the obvious shock of my commissioner Dr. Farouk Jibril that was exactly what he did at the State Executive Council meeting he chaired on Wednesday October 3rd, 2012. I had been invited to attend and was asked if I had any views, to which I retorted, “what the owner wants, is what the owner gets. .”
Kwankwaso had before then told all who cared to listen that he was pleased at what we had done to bring the company back from the dead.  A number of my informants (including a Special Adviser and DG on Security, Special Services) reported hearing this from the horse’s mouth as it were.

Happily endorsing our efforts was the cover photo on the colourful loose leafed Triumph company calendar with Kwankwaso proudly waving a copy of The Triumph at his first 100 Days Town Hall meeting at BUK’s Aminu Kano Mambayya House.  What is more at the State Executive Council it was Governor Kwankwaso himself who asked that we be asked to assist the ministry of education with advise on how to procure a printing machine for the state KERD considering we had gotten one for the company. And this our commercial and special duties directorates did apparently with distinction.

Yet again the fact that we decided not to overburden government with what we believed was a wasteful investment of putting up money to the tune of hundreds of millions of naira to buy another printing machine we thought was a wise decision to conserve state resources. The plan that we were working on right down to the day the company was shut down was rehabilitation of the one bought in the 1999/2003 tenure of Kwankwaso. It was part of over N300 million that was then spent on the company, a situation we thought to find an alternative to. And we had contacted and gotten the Indian manufacturers and their local representatives to try to crank it back to life. Parts were went out for rehabilitation. Rollers that are key to the printing machine’s operations are now back from a re-do at some in-country local technicians workshop in Kaduna and Lagos.

That we had redesigned the newspapers and introduced a brand new sports publication was a plus we thought would further impress the people of Kano and their representative and company proprietor, the state Governor and Government. That we only asked for a mere N120 million to refurbish some of the machines that are rundown and buy a state of the art computer to plate (CTP) to cut down on time wasted and improve quality we felt was reason enough to give us more support. But we got only N50 million, less than half of our tightly scripted budget. We thus had to scrimp and save and top up to include purchase of some needed working tools, including newsprint and allied production stuff.  When we shut down a sizeable stock of such stuff were in the store. In fact we even had a brand new motorcycle we had just bought for our operations in Abuja. A similar plan was in the pipeline for other states.

That we had started a total restructuring of the company, introduced a new Business Services Unit under a newly created Special Services Directorate was an innovation meant to re-launch the company into a more competitive state. That we had reawakened the commercial services directorate, gingering it with the newly carved out Special Services Directorate, whose main focus was sharpening the business end of the organisation was an exciting opening that we felt was beginning to lead Triumph out of the darkness it had fallen to the light at the end of the tunnel that I envisioned when I started my stewardship as MD and editor-in-chief.

Our regime of identifying talented professionals from within the company and encouraging them to bloom, our scouring and scouting about for new ones from outside had started to yield results such that the newsroom and indeed the other sections of the company had literally began to come alive.

We had returned the fuel dump set up since the 80s and began to stock diesel for our operations with the reawakening of the commercial press. We had with the grant of the meagre funds repaired and recommissioned the huge Bielomatik exercise books making machine.  So too did we retune and commission the faithful printing machine at Commercial press that was first used to print the Sunday Triumph as a broadsheet.

Youth corpers were properly accommodated on site at rehabilitated circulation offices turned hostels. With the circulation challenges we met whereby vendors refused to display the company newspapers we bought bicycles and started a style of direct circulation with dedicated vendors, ensuring that the public got to see our papers. Our vendors were conspicuously adorned with Triumph jackets. Our staff in operations, printing, composing and lithographic rooms as well as drivers and circulation got overalls, a return to the good old days of the Triumph.

Throughout my tenure, all 16 months of it, every day was a beehive of active. On looking back I got to wonder how many hours I made of the daily 24 hours available along with those who toiled patiently and enthusiastically to retrieve the Triumph Dream. It was in that period I got to rent office accommodation for the Triumph in Jigawa state, in Kaduna and Abuja. It was then we re-established daily circulation in Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto and Bauchi. Much as we weren’t able to attain the level of circulation we expected we were able to ensure a presence. We returned our Lagos outlet as a means of re-accessing the rich advert belt that papers can only hope to enjoy from Lagos.

And all along as a political appointee of the Kwankwaso Government even if an ally from the General Buhari Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) I was also perforce involved in quite a handful of Government and political activity of sorts. What is more I began to write a column. Rather than return my RIPPLES Column of the 1980s and 90s or the more general TALKING IT OVER Column I penned ENCOUNTERS.

And still the Triumph flourished. Yet it was shut down on the pretext that Government wasn’t keen on continuing to pay to keep the company going. But then to its credit the Kwankwaso Government did absorb all staff into the mainstream civil service, including the many casuals we employed. Such casuals and some contract staff were my way of beginning a gradual replacement, easing out those who weren’t ready or able to fit into our more modern and faster pace. The thought was to get them back to government service and retain only those we needed and can afford. This was not to be as all 103 of the 104 casuals and a few of the 44 contract staff are now full time workers doing quite well at new and for many of them, much more appropriate posts in the mainstream. 
(TO BE CONTINUED)        

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Can mere words stop election fraud?

Can mere words stop election fraud?

Asks Kabiru Muhammad Gwangwazo

Journalist and Politician, former ANPP Kano State
Chairman Kabiru Muhammad Gwangwazo reviews submissions
by top politicians on ways to stop electoral fraud at the Arewa Media
Forum held September 8th, 2007 at the Arewa House.
He asks: Can mere words stop election fraud?

Frustration is so apparent in the manner they presented their papers. The three main submissions were well and evenly distributed. One was from a top cop and former Assistant Inspector-General of Police, the other the nation’s one time chief federal administrator as SGF and the last one an ex-chief legislator at the head of the national assembly. Chief Olu Falae, former secretary to the federal government was represented by first elected Kaduna state governor, Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa impeached by his state house of assembly over irreconcilable political differences and Aminu Bello Masari, immediate past Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives. They all delivered great addresses to seek out ways of stopping electoral fraud.
            They delivered fine speeches at the Arewa House under the auspices of the Arewa (Northern) Media Forum. But the frustration in their submissions was so clear; it was so thick you could almost cut it with a knife, as it were.
All were agreed there is hardly anything anyone could do about election fraud. That didn’t stop them from making suggestions and pontificating that it wasn’t right. That in Nigeria electoral fraud peaked at the 2007 elections. That it was not only at the level of the central government or with the PDP rigging machine or INEC that electoral fraud started and ended. That even states held by parties other than PDP were as guilty; just as all parties were guilty of running closed primaries.
What struck me at the Arewa Forum’s parley on election fraud is the surprisingly low turn out recorded. The meager turn out makes you wonder for whom the event was meant. And it is about the masses and there fate that the conveners ostensibly were said to be so agitated. The masses however apparently have other more important things in Kaduna that day. As for the political elite who turned up, it appears only those who couldn’t get an in, in the current dispensation were about.
Chairman of the event which held on September 8th was ageing retired Justice Anthony Aniagolu who rose to fame in Kano as chairman of a judicial panel that probed the Maitatsine Disturbances of 1980 while PRP’s Muhammadu Abubakar Rimi was Kano state Governor and NPN’s Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari was President of the Federal Republic.
I don’t know much about the service of AIG Albasu. All I do know of him is the fact that he was one of the prominent Kano elite who supported our successful bid to get ANPP’s Shekarau and Buhari to win the 2003 elections. Even if there were some who claimed he was found to have served both sides, ANPP and PDP in the heat of the elections, subsequent events confirm he was firmly planted on our side. He is a lawyer apart from being a retired police top gun. He was thus part of the legal team that volunteered their services for Buhari at the 2003 election petition tribunal. He is still a firm supporter of the ANPP and Shekarau despite all the ups and downs that literally dismembered the party since the party’s clear and undisputed victory of 2003 in Kano..
As for Balarabe Musa in the case at hand he was just a representative. Falae was expected to submit the lead paper. An incident at his country home was what was said to have stopped him from attending the Kaduna event, leaving his paper with Balarabe Musa. Balarabe has impeccable credentials as a politician and elder statesman to speak on fraud in whatever form. That would be quite difficult for his principal in this lecture, Olu Falae. I am not going to cast my mind back to his days as SGF of Military president, General Ibrahim Babangida’s Government. I won’t recall SAP or the multiple bans on old breed politicians creating the new breed for that government’s convenience and leading us into the subsequent degeneration of politics. Or the allowance for money politics made by IBB with Falae as SGF. For now I remember how Falae was imposed on us as a contrived candidate in APP for the 1999 presidential election when he wasn’t even in our party.
I recall the heartache we suffered when Senator Mahmud Waziri then APP chairman and some agents of the Nigerian establishment working for the PDP and its puppet-masters led by Falae’s ex-boss led us APP national delegates on a wild goose chase at the APP national convention in Kaduna. I was one of Kano’s delegates to the convention that did not hold where Ogbonnaya Onu, a former civilian governor in IBB’s transition was simply picked by the Mahmud Waziri clique even when he was not a prominent contestant for the party’s presidential ticket.
This paved the way for the unexplainable marriage between APP and AD bringing in someone who had not contested for anything at all, Umaru Shinkafi, a former security chief to serve as Vice Presidential candidate to Falae of AD. At that time APP had more than twice the number of states AD controlled. Now a beneficiary of that unprecedented fraud was asked to deliver a paper on election fraud. I’d say with this, ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo and his INEC boss Maurice Iwu do qualify as well as Falae. Of course he made all the right noises. But why should we listen to what he says? Should his words have any meaning when his actions were/are so far off the mark?
In the case of Aminu Bello Masari, a veteran of the establishment in Katsina who had served severally as a commissioner in the state he was said to have become a member of the Federal House of Representatives in very controversial circumstances in the first term. APP’s candidate had to be courted and lobbied to allow for smooth sailing for Masari in the national assembly. In his second term I understand it was the same story again. In fact he had to sweat and squirm through the purgatory of his colleagues when a story came up about his qualification for membership of the House in the first instance. He was only saved by the Obasanjo PDP machine that always gave cover to those with doubtful credentials for their blackmail value.
Whether or not he was in the House with a plumber’s certificate, or none at all for that matter, didn’t matter for the rest of his tenure as Speaker after Obasanjo had flexed his muscles in his favour. Masari only became a true democrat when he had fallen out of favour with his Master. It was then that the restive House he headed discovered and found its voice with the help of Vice President Atiku Abubakar and the hundreds of millions of Naira he was alleged to have mustered and strategically deployed in the hallowed lawmakers’ chambers to check his estranged boss, President Obasanjo’s third term bid Naira for Naira, dollar for dollar, pound sterling for pound sterling and indeed euro for euro.
Now, I am not against the laudable effort by the Northern Media Forum to seek out ways to stop election fraud. It would only benefit people like me who have been on the political terrain for almost three decades insisting on true democracy and averse to any form of electoral fraud within political parties and the more observed and reported types outside the parties because of their more public and general appeal and observance. 
The highest form of election fraud at all the levels, within parties in the first instance giving birth to the more devastating and pervasive type at general elections has been the norm in Nigeria since 1998 after General Abacha had transited to heaven. When the then three political parties, AD, APP and PDP set up after Abacha in 1998 held their no-convention conventions they gave us an indication of what we should expect at the general elections. They were more fraudulent than any ever held before then in history. I remember how the most transparent electoral fraud of the set took place in Jos, the Plateau state capital. It was widely covered by the media. The apparent excuse for turning a blind eye then was the haste to hand over to a democratically elected civilian government after the Almighty had mercifully truncated the efforts at Tazarce by the late strongman of the Nigerian military, General Sani Abacha.
Respected retired northern bureaucrat, Chief Sunday Awoniyi was chairman of the PDP’s Jos convention. In the spirit of haste to transit to what they believed would be better days Awoniyi and his co-travellers then in PDP allowed the fraud that the Party’s Convention and selection process was.
They all forgot the most basic lessons of morality, religion and history; that when the source of any matter was rotten the end result was bound to be worse. Bags of Ghana Must Go changed hands publicly getting Obasanjo his controversial win leaving the only other money bag contestant Alex Ekwueme, a prominent founding father of the PDP from its take off as G34 in the lurch. This was despite the fact that he was said to have had bank bullion vans at his beck and call to service PDP delegates at the convention. Neither Ekwueme nor Obasanjo, the other money bag candidate was banned. And Obasanjo, the lucky one anointed in Jos was only playing civilian politics for the very first time. That is if you’d agree with the thesis (which I for one don’t!) of some politicians that politics is a game. Older politicians who wanted the coveted position were edged out by the fraudulent handling of the PDP convention, the party they formed. Abubakar Rimi whose war chest was much leaner, whose only qualification was the years of experience as a practicing politician wasn’t enough in the new dispensation was totally routed and neutralized. That was fraud unprecedented. 
That is why I have a feeling with the current set of politicians in charge of our affairs who at one time or the other have benefited from or participated in enthroning fraud it would be very difficult to convince other Nigerians to stop fraud and go for proper electioneering. Those involved who are now pontificating will have to stop mere words of condemning fraud because they have been outdone today. No. They should first of all confess to their crimes no matter how far back in history. Then they can come to equity with clean hands. Then the Good Lord may touch the hearts of other Nigerians to join them and work with them and all those Mai Gaskiyas, including Buhari and Yar’adua to a better Nigeria. I put Yar’adua and Buhari on the same footing here because while Buhari is acknowledged as Mai Gaskiya, Yar’adua has surprised everyone by confessing that his election was fraud riddled.
That is a good start, especially when you consider his set up of a review of INEC and election rules under former chief judge Justice Muhammad Uwais. Whether the Uwais panel works or not what Yar’adua has done by confessing is a sound beginning to ensuring more truly representative and less contentious elections. The next thing is for all those who had been involved to also confess and seek Allah’s forgiveness and the forgiveness of Nigerians and agree to work towards proper elections in future.
Mere words condemning the fraud of others and ignoring their own roles will not help politicians. The people will not, do not believe or trust them collectively. The people just see them as some clowns whining over their failure to rig or have the process rigged in their favour. To make any real impact they would have to pool together with all contrite and truly honest politicians who detest fraud to fight it. And sooner or later they would emerge winners. And even when they lose elections it would only be a momentary loss. In the long run they will win. For God is always on the side of the truth. But truth requires strength and strength is only possible in numbers; in working together. Words alone of the type I heard and saw in film clips of the Arewa Media Forum event aren’t enough. No. At least not from the losers I saw on the clip. Sorry to say so: losers who are now democrats simply because they lost. Not because they don’t approve of the procedure. They would have applauded it had they had been declared winners.
Kabiru Muhammad Gwangwazo (kamgwangwazo@yahoo.com) writes from Kano City. He can be reached on 0803-4511721.