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OF OSHIOMHOLE‘S EDO MILITARY WING

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Reprieve

By : Dr.Shadrack Omoregbe

The political events unfolding in Edo State, are getting clearer as the lines further diverge, rather than converge, towards congruence within the ruling party, All Progressive Congress, Edo State. The recent hoax around “attack” without bruises, on the National Chairman of the party and the immediate past governor of the state,Mr.Adams Oshiomhole highlights the worrisome situation. This hoax was capable of over heating the polity of the state, complicating the smooth functioning of the state security system, especially the police, and distracting effective governance as well as encouraging anarchy and lawlessness.

There is an unrelenting clash of interests, between the government, led by Governor Godwin Obaseki, and the entrenched economic interests that have been displaced. These entrenched interests are those that became too powerful as self-imposed revenue collectors, using coercion, crude and opaque records; as well as those politicians that want nothing short of business as usual, regardless of the grim financial realities of the state. Somehow, unfortunately though, these two sources of opposition have coalesced into a political movement with Comrade Adam Oshiomhole as their patron.

What we may ask, is what is wrong with the revenue war lords? They became too wealthy, at the expense of the elected government and the people, leading to concentrated raw political power, that undermines democracy and peace.  It is this entrenched tendency that portray participation in politics as high risk by civil, law abiding citizens with the skills as well as the character to provide, high impact public service. This aberration where thugs and cultists dictate who get elected and where they form a parallel enforcement channel with the constitutional law enforcement state agencies is the crux of the matter. Adam Oshiomhole called them his “infantry” or military wing, and said so during his address of the touts after the so called arranged attack on him. It is instructive that he was ” rescued from the attack” by this “infantry ” and not by the official police force. The state commissioner of police, caught up in this toxic political situation, had to rise up, very professionally, to explain that Adam Oshiomhole was accorded full security protection or cover throughout his stay in Benin. Moreover, and putting it factually, there was no attack, and perhaps no formal report to the police of a threat of any form.it was a hoax!

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Is it true as contained in a press statement by the Edo State government that Adams Oshiomhole does not inform the State APC chapter, or the State government of his visits, to his own state?  If true, this is preposterous and can only be compared to an oddity where a father, relocates to his neighbour’s house. It seem that Comrade has succumbed to the dissenting voices within the party, instead of playing the role of a neutral leader with the credibility to reconcile the contending forces. In all these, where is the public interest, the masses, whose purpose the elected government should serve. It is only by weighing the issues clearly, wearing the lenses of the party manifesto and of President Muhammadu Buhari’s stance on corruption, as well as, on the welfare of the masses that Adam Oshiomhole can rescue the situation. From all his actions and indices,for now, he has allowed himself to be captured by those within the party that cannot resonate with the public.

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The impasse at the state house of assembly runs on this same track, the coalesced opposition under the covert support or remote of Comrade.

 Comrade has earned his place in history but how he handles this Edo Situation will be the make or mar; he needs to return to his political main stream and allow the incumbent governor to stamp his style. The old ways must CHANGE to the NEXT LEVEL. Supporting touts, thugs, fake infantry, delinquent contractors and political parasites will only muddy the political waters; what is required are the type of civilized and transparent reforms that the award winning Governor Godwin Obaseki has courageously and skillfully embarked upon; this momentum cannot be reversed. Reinstating the Kabakas should never be contemplated.A word is enough for the wise.

 Dr.Shadrack Omoregbe is the convener of Public Accountability Initiative for Africa
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Opinion

EFCC Attempts to Balance Action with Fairness as it Sanitizes Nigeria’s Corporate Sector

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Fraud

 

By Adedayo Samson

While fighting corruption at all levels is a laudable effort, balancing action with fairness in the prosecution of justice remains pertinent in the operations of a law enforcement agency. Faced with such moral dilemma, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has ramped up its efforts to sanitize Nigeria’s corporate sector.

The Commission’s attempt to rid the country’s private sector of criminals and criminality through checks and balances has led to the investigation of some businesses across several industries and the imposition of fines on some. While top shots found culpable of economic malpractices are undergoing prosecution, companies and their executives hitherto scrutinized are being acquitted. In particular, the EFCC has scaled up its scrutiny of the telecoms and lottery industries.

One of the notable cases is EFCC’s investigation of telecoms giant, MTN in 2019 over alleged irregularities in the process of its listing on the bourse of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). In May 2019, the firm had listed by introduction, 20.4 billion ordinary shares at N90 on the NSE. In less than a week, the share price had risen to N131 as scarcity drives up its value. Many believed the company did not follow due process and had given insider information to some of its major shareholders, a move that led to artificial scarcity of the company’s shares following the announcement of the IPO. However, while acknowledging that it was under investigation by the EFCC, MTN reiterated that it had not been accused of any wrongdoing by the anti-graft agency. After further explanations from the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), MTN was let off the hook.

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Similarly, in January 2020, Premier lotto, Nigeria’s foremost and perhaps, oldest lottery firm became the subject of a routine EFCC inquest to investigate alleged tax evasion based on unsubstantiated accusations from a competitor. An Executive Director of the company and son of the founder, Segun Adebutu, who was incidentally at the Premier Lotto office on the day, was invited to the anti-graft agent’s office for questioning without detainment. After due investigations, and further clarifications from the company, the EFCC found no malpractices in the affairs of Premier Lotto and Segun Adebutu.  The matter was thereafter summarily dismissed, and the petition was closed.

In its bid to sanitize the lottery industry, the EFCC went into a partnership with the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) in July 2019. The deal involves agreement for support in the areas of information sharing, intelligence gathering, enforcement and prosecution. With the new agreement, it became easier for the anti-graft agency to detect cases of foul play in the hitherto opaque Nigerian lottery industry, which is reportedly worth about $70 billion. The partnership with the NLRC is already yielding some results as the EFCC recently announced the discovery of 35 illegal lottery business operators in the country.

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EFCC’s scrutiny of the telecoms sector revealed a boost early in the years, when the House of Representatives Committee on ICT revealed that commission will join the committee to investigate telecom providers, over alleged non-remittance of the one per cent annual turnover to the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA). According to the Reps committee, the telecom companies are owing up to N200 billion in pending remittance to NITDA for infrastructure provided.

While some people see the EFCC’s intervention in the affairs of the business world as being overbearing, others see it as a means of reining in some of the excesses of the businesses and protecting the consumers who are serviced by these businesses. Nevertheless, these moves have yielded some benefits. They have checked the excesses of the telecoms operators and brought in more revenue for government in form of fines.

Lastly, thanks to the cooperation of some key lottery operators, the EFCC has made the industry more transparent and accountable.

Samson writes from Lagos

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Making Sense Of Oshiomhole’s Reprieve

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By

abiodun KOMOLAFE

 

Once upon a sociopolitical space, there was an unknown ‘Edo Boy’, who came into limelight through the Textiles Industry, where he was a paid secretary of its Union. (Conventionally, paid secretaries are never made political heads. But Adams Oshiomhole became the political head of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, which, in itself, was an anomaly). The emergence of the Iyamho, Edo State-born politician as a leader in Nigeria was aided by the society’s sociopolitical milieu. Why? A quick look should suffice.

 

First and foremost, the society’s worldview was laissez-faire and regrettably assuming. The ruling paradigm, then, was that man was created noble, and his inner nature was inherently good. Not only that, the uncertainty in the country’s political firmament, and the little or no skepticism as a political virtue on the part of the masses, all met at the table to foist the former governor on the hapless citizens of Nigeria. Besides, the complacency as well as the faith of the majority in a benevolent God who cares for all, thereby lessening the burden of responsibilities of good governance on governments, and the pliability of the government, under which Oshiomhole served as Labour’s first citizen, also aided his emergence as a force to be reckoned with. In other words, though regarded as NLC president, somewhere along the line, ‘Comrade’ became a tool in the hands of the government; and ‘the rest is history.’

 

But, how did the situation between Oshimhole and Godwin Obaseki become so messy that the latter is now calling for the former’s head? That the situation between the godfather, who practically installed the godson as his successor, to have so worsened means that something fundamental must be wrong. Again, for Obaseki’s camp to have confessed that it was only following in the footsteps of Oshiomhole clearly spoke to how he who lives in glass house must not throw stones. But, if we may ask: what gives our former governors this impression that they must continue to have a hold on the states where they have once served, if not for the reason of corruption? Why can’t they emulate Kashim Shettima, who is now at peace with himself as a former governor? Nonetheless, the feud in Edo is good for the masses, because such will always bring out the best in a democracy.

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After Jimmy Carter left office as the 39th President of the United States of America, he confessed to a stunned world that, for the first time, he understood what ‘African leaders always feel when they want to leave office.’ Well, this statement might seem innocuous or harmless; but it was thought-provoking! The good thing about Carter was that he knew that he had no choice because that’s the Constitution; and Americans have a lot of respect for their Constitution! But, as far as the Africanness in us is concerned, the Constitution can go to blazes! That’s why former President Olusegun Obasanjo has the temerity to attempt a shameful 3rd Term ambition that adoringly placed a dent on what would, at least, have been an alluring legacy.

 

Let’s come back to the apparent lack of cohesion in the national All Progressives Congress(APC) and the notorious little foxes, such as Oshiomhole’sface-off with his state governor. Without doubt, these can spell doom for the continued success and sustenance of the ruling party, if not quickly and efficiently addressed. Yes, some forces may succeed in muscling Obaseki out of the 2nd Term race. But then, as long as Obaseki’s problem remains unsolved, Oshiomhole’s case will also remain precarious. Why? The governor is most likely to raise dust; and, if he does, that will be bad news for the party; no longer for President Muhammadu Buhari, but the party. After all, Buhari is already negotiating his way out of Aso Rock! The more reason the president must genuinely intervene now, even, when the waning nature of party supremacy in Nigeria dictates otherwise.

 

That’s not all! There is also an effect on the political participation profile of the masses. For instance, lack of cohesion in a political party is an indication that the party is disorganized. And, if it is, it will also yield itself to ineffective government. After all, nobody will want to put his or her faith in a party that lacks cohesion or effective organization. Not only that, discipline will become watered down, as nobody will be answerable to anybody. Talking about development, the masses are definitely going to be at the receiving end of this needless power tussle. Since needless marginalization in politics leads to economic insecurity, feeling safe, either at home or at work, will also become very difficult. Not even in a country where growing insecurity has manifestly become a diet.

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This also takes us back to the issue of party formation. Though political non-participation is just the resultant effect of the disarray that we now notice in the party system, party system becomes disarrayed as a result of the faulty foundation of the party in question. In other words, if we get it wrong at the level of party formation, the likelihood of such wrongness posing perennial problems is palpably high.

All things being equal, the brawl between Oshiomhole and Obaseki could never have been in good faith! Nonetheless, a virus that tarries for too long in a man’s life has the capacity to mutate and transform into aberrant, more hostile and vicious types. What we are saying here is: as an amazing Labour leader and politician, the APC National Chairman should realize that it is time to rethink his strategy and the endgame of his political ambition. Glaringly, the reprieve granted by the appellate court remains temporary until all pending cases might have been dispensed with. We also need to note that the aggrieved and the disgruntled have the option of ‘acting nPDP’, or going back to their vomit. This may be dangerous for APC!

 

Well, controversy or not; provable or improvable, Oshiomhole has done his bit! Won’t his Achilles heels be the inability to leave the beat when the ovation is still ascending? On the other hand, ‘power’, they say, ‘corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.’ Will Obaseki learn how to ‘give honour to whom honour is due’, especially, those who once fed him? Lastly, who’s right on the Edo story and who will write the last chapter of the national APC conundrum?

 

May the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, grant us peace in Nigeria!

 

*KOMOLAFE writes in from Ijebu-Jesa, Osun State, Nigeria (ijebujesa@yahoo.co.uk))

 

 

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Opinion

God Hasn’t Revealed When Covid-19 Will Leave Nigeria-Primate Ayodele

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Emir

Primate Ayodele Elijah is regarded as one of the top five prophets in the country. Over the years, he has made prophesies that have come to pass. In the wake of the global coronavirus outbreak, he spoke with Lukmon Akintola, on the pandemic, and other issues.

There have been several opinions about the coronavirus pandemic, what is your take about it?

It is a development that I have prophesied about in the past. It is something that I have been prophesying about over the years. It has now come to pass. In my book ‘Warnings To The Nation’, specifically page 193, the spirit of God said: “there will be some natural disasters in the regions of the world. I foresee an outbreak of a disease that will be of an epidemic status, killings, and attacks which will trouble world leaders, governments of the world will be troubled as countries like the United States of America, China and the United Kingdom will be making various researches on the strange epidemic status.”  We have been saying it for a while. In my book, Warnings to the Nation 2018/2019, page 16, we stated that there will be a sickness which the World Health Organisation (WHO) will be troubled about and they will be looking for a series of solutions for it. In my 2020 prophesy, I also emphasised it on page three. I said that I see a global economic crisis which will be caused by a sickness that will make the whole world seek a solution.

What did the lord tell you about coronavirus?

The Lord has told me that coronavirus is meant to deal with the world.  It is a sickness that God wants to use to teach the world a lot of lessons. When the lord prophesied to me in October, he told me categorically that we should fast and pray in our church for seven Sundays and Seven Tuesday. He said that we should pray against a strange sickness that would come to disturb the world. It has come to pass now. Coronavirus is a pandemic which Nigerians will have to be careful about it. Nigeria must look into it very well because if we allow it to spread, I don’t want Nigeria to fall victim like that of Italy because it will generate a lot of problems.

It is a virus that appears to be affecting the rich as well as the poor, what do you say to this?

God is using it to punish the people who have disturbed and destroyed Nigeria. It will affect them one after the other, and that way they will know that the poor are suffering. It is a virus to punish the rich in Nigeria.

Some Pastors are known for their miraculous healings, why do you think they are yet to come out with their healing power?

If indeed there are pastors who heal people with viruses like this one, this is the time for them to come out.

What can we do about this situation?

We have not seen anything yet, and that is the reason why we need prayers to tackle this sickness. All the measures that the government has taken are good. I commend all of their efforts on this especially the Lagos State and the Federal Government. But all the same, we still need prayers.

What is your personal effort at combating this virus?

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God instructed me to do 10, 000 water and 10,000 anointing oil for free. He told me to disburse it to countries and states of the world where they have this virus. Anyone who is interested can come to my church to pick it, they don’t even have to see me. Just ask for it and it will be given to you for free. It can be taken to Italy where they can test it, and it will curb the spread of the virus, while those who use it will be healed. They can test it and they will see that this is just the work of God.

Is there a date that has been revealed to you in relation to the end of this pandemic?

There is no particular date that coronavirus will go. God did not give a date, but it will go. People should just stop permutating, it will go, but there is no date for it to go. It is not a virus that will just disappear, we just need to be focused on God and be prayerful to him, let us just keep begging him.

What advice do you have for the government about this virus?

The problem is that the government doesn’t listen to prophets like us, they believe that anything we say is political. Either it is political or not, a prophecy is a prophecy. It is to warn the leaders, if they had listened, they would have cautioned this virus before now. It has happened because our leader don’t take to warnings, they underrate God, and that is why God is now showing the world that he is supreme, he has supreme power over everything on earth. Doctors have been disappointed because it is beyond their own reasoning. I said it two years ago that Nigeria will still have a second economic recession. This economic recession is what we are about to experience now.  We have not seen anything in Nigeria, our economy is going down, and need serious prayers.

Where do we need to focus our prayers?

Let us pray against famine, we need to also pray against austerity and inflation. And besides this, I said it early this year that there will be a lot of confusion in the government, and I also said it in one of my prophecies that a strange illness will enter into the villa. It has happened now. They did not listen, the government did not listen to instruction, the government failed to follow God’s directive, and that is the reason we have all of these problems.

Can we do a review of your prophesies that have come to pass this year?

I have made a series of prophecies that have come to pass. I made prophesies such as the dethronement of the Emir of Kano, Emir Sanusi, the travails of Adams Oshiomhole, the earthquake that happened in Russia, this very virus ravaging the world, death of footballers in Nasarawa and Rangers FC. Also, the recent Boko Haram attack. I even mentioned the month of March. I also said that not all the Senators will finish their term. The removal of the Kano State Speaker is a confirmation of this prophecy. I also said that the Lagos State Speaker will have some challenges. The challenges have come now, and he should pray so that he can overcome the crisis. He should not take the crisis with kid gloves. I also spoke about the death of some journalists, a petroleum price crash which has happened. I am saying this now, there is a lot that the government needs to look into for them to succeed, for them to control this coronavirus. It is a serious matter.

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Can you be futuristic with your prophecies?

In 2023, if PDP wants to maintain the lead, they should look in the direction of the present Chief of Staff of Delta State, David Edevbie. This is because the All Progressive Congress (APC) will bring all of their arsenals to take Delta State. But it is a move which will not be possible. The present crisis in APC which we have foretold has happened now, APC is in serious trouble. I still maintain the fact that Adams Oshiomhole will not lead the party to the Promised Land. He is still going to have problems, they are still going to battle him, we are still going to see so many things in Nigeria, we are just sitting on a time bomb, our own crisis has not started. Nigeria’s crisis has not started, when it starts, we are going to see what will happen. In Anambra State, APGA should use Soludo as their gubernatorial candidate if they hope to win the next election. If APC wants to make headway, they should get ready to use Senator Andy Uba. If PDP doesn’t strategise very well, if they don’t put their house together, they might not get their bearing in Anambra State. Anambra State APC must also be careful because they will break, so PDP must seek divine intervention to pick the right candidate. Apart from this, Uche Secondus is going.

Take us to an international level.

In Ghana’s election, Mahama must be very focused, and put things right in their party. Mahama will unseat Nana Akufo-Addo. In the Benin Republic, I am seeing a small crisis. The opposition will not be allowed to make any positive impact and this will cause a lot of troubles. Cote d’Ivoire will hold a new election soon, the likely contenders, if the incumbent president does not contest, are Amadou Gon Coulibaly, Gbagbo, and Guillaume Soro. Gbagbo has more chances and he is most likely to win if only he strategises properly. Guillaume Soro can only win and become president if he works with people at the grassroots level.

What about Nigeria’s security situation?

The days of Ibrahim Shekarau are numbered. The Service Chiefs should also start packing their luggage because their time is up.

Tell us something about the forthcoming American presidential election

I have said it before that  Joe Badin will be given a ticket in the democratic party, but he will have to work very hard to unseat Trump in this five states Ohio, Califonia, Washington, Pennsylvania, and Colorado. These five states are where he will need to work hard if he wants to defeat Trump.

Can we look into the business sector?

Why not? Some banks will crash, while NNPC will experience a major crisis that will see the sack of some staff. Some states will go into economic troubles, economic recession, and they won’t be able to pay the N30,000 minimum wage.

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