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PARTY CRISIS, BAD LEADERSHIP & ‘GHETO STYLE’ OF IMO POLITICIANS

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IMO 2019 GUBER
In the words of Joe Paterno, “Success without honour is an unseasoned dish. It satisfies the hunger, but doesn’t taste good”.
Day in day out, the masses cry for true leadership under an egalitarian and just party structure with undivided zoning arrangement, but none has boldly stood up to question how this obnoxious system is changed for the betterment and “blossoming of democracy” the media and other compatriots hoped for? It is possible to change the obnoxious system but the tiny minority of the political leaders during their tour of duty takes advantage of the putrid system and after leaving office joins others to savour the sour grapes of impositions of candidates thus becoming helpless victims.

But why is it difficult to change this system? The answer lies in the fact that a majority of the elites that control political power in Imo State were and are still largely bereft of any philosophical foundations and so could not design a workable political system for the state apart from few. And issuing from the above, they are largely ignorant of the dysfunctionality of the system that has failed the state since its creation. Being so ignorant of what constitutes their enlightened self interest, they fail to access the knowledge available from other good and functional systems elsewhere for changing or reforming the system.

 Party politics means different things to different people in Imo State and Nigeria at large. To the civil society, it ought to be a vocation of service through which political leadership of the state is recruited and harnessed. But to the average Imolite, political party is an occupation or business channel through which one makes a living and/or profit. Secondly, it seems to afford one a possible participation in the distribution of political patronages otherwise called “dividends of democracy” for the benefit of one’s family, village, community, local government or state in that order of importance.

 Politics and its practice in Imo State has had a chequered history and despite its seeming openness to the general public, it is still a puzzle and arcane to the outsider. Apart from the issue of intractable corruption, and current security challenges, politics remains the main staple upon which the Nigerian media feed. It is more so in an election year. So, almost all the media were, and are still sufficiently concerned with the political issue of the day, which is parties’ nomination of candidates for the elections.

 Nigerian political parties suffer vicarious dysfunctionality that flows from the aboriginal dysfunctionality of the Nigerian state and its political and legal order. Thus our political parties are poor copies that have no cultural substance to sustain them. A typical Nigeria political party is structured in such a way that nobody is endued with moral authority as the leader. Its leadership inheres in the group of people exercising political authority at that particular point in time and a coterie of other members belonging by way of grant of access to the prebendal patronage of the electoral booty in form of government contracts, land allocations, political positions and other privileges.

In most cases, the membership is so structured in such a way that its inclusion revolves around family members and such friends adjudged harmless enough and in most cases circumscribed to be incapable of rocking the boat. Under the tenure of the incumbent occupant of the Governorship position in Imo State, every decision by way of anointing of a candidate for any election issues were from him who may not be charitable enough to seek the input of other stakeholders. This is indeed the ‘Gheto Style’ of ‘mafianistic’ leadership in Imo State.

 It is usually difficult to question or challenge the decision of a Governor in matters of anointing of candidates for party primaries because by the very nature of the political structure (i.e. the state resources or privileges concentrate in his hand and the party formation deliberately structured and controlled by him) any disputation or challenge from any opposing quarter is easily countered and silenced, or sometime, labeled anti-party. Though, a Governor cannot counter God’s decision if he chooses otherwise, Imo, Benue, Bauchi, Akwa-Ibom, Oyo, Osun, Ogun and Anambra states including as case studies.

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 It is perhaps necessary to explain the peculiar structure of the Nigeria political party that makes it practically difficult for any outsider to comprehend its practices and praxis. The Nigeria political party, quite unlike its United States counterpart, is an association given a clear and unambiguous constitutional recognition by the 1999 Constitution. This constitutional recognition is further seasoned by the provisions of several statutory measures, principally the Electoral Act. By these statutory measures, the parties are registered and recognized by law and its operations are guided by law stricto sensu.

 On the contrary, the United States political parties were not the creation of any statutes or the constitution as they originated from the political evolution of the people, which is founded on the United States’ foundation based on the republican ethics and values.

 In this wise, the United States’ political parties were creations out of the people’s mores and convention. For instance, at the formation of the United States in 1776 and the adoption of the constitution in 1787, the founding fathers otherwise called the ‘Patriots’ administered the country on zero party basis. It was the complex and controversial socio-political and economic issues arising from the controversies and struggles for the ratification of the 1787 US Constitution which polarized the Patriots and caused a sharp division into the ‘Federalists’ led by Alexander Hamilton and the opposing force dubbed ‘Anti-Federalists’ later renamed Democratic-Republican and led by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison that grudgingly resulted in the formation of political parties in the USA in the 1790s.

 George Washington, the first President of USA governed the new country on zero-party basis and history records him as having a virulent opponent of party politics, and most of the founding fathers shared his concerns. It was after his tenure when John Adams assumed leadership 1796 that the party system took shape as a result of the aforesaid schism between Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.

 As stated earlier, the Nigeria political parties are associations governed by the constitution and statutes. Its operations therefore are strictly governed by law. These being so, the politicians with the means to finance its establishment and operations take advantage of the ordinary members who, like ordinary shareholders of publicly quoted limited liability companies take advantage of the insignificant voting powers of the said members to exploit the system to their own benefit.

 As in the said public liability companies likewise the political parties; the actual owners are the rich men who contribute significant amount to the establishment and financing of the party operations, and by so doing invariably acquire controlling shares in the control and operation of the party as it were. Where the party has public officials such as Governor, President or Chairman of councils or such other elective or appointive offices, these public officials jointly finance the party. But the bulk of the financing and operational logistics fall on the Governor due largely to the enormous resources available to him for dispense as political goodwill and patronage. But, have we asked who is the sole owner of these resources the Governors are lavishing to remain relevant politically?

 On accession to power, the Governor, having been the humble beneficiary of the party goodwill by virtue of the anointing by his predecessor, which clothes him with garb of a vassal promptly deploys his incumbent power to hijack the party structure to shake off that encumbrance. And in accomplishing this strategic political act, nothing is spared in realizing this object, including deliberately sidelining and rubbishing his erstwhile benefactor or godfather including all those related to him except they buy into his new power calculus.

 The control of the party structure leverages the position of the Governor in many ways; the most important being that during the party primaries, the members of the Executive Committee at the Ward and Local Government Levels are members of the congress for the election of the chairman, if a local government election.

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 For the state congress for the nomination of the governorship candidate of the party, the delegates consist of all the wards’ chairmen, secretaries, the three-man delegates, local government chairmen, vice chairmen, secretaries, youth leaders, woman Leaders and the organizing secretaries are statutory delegates. So, it is the electoral value of these party officials during primaries that make the control of the party structure from the ward to the national levels a prized possession in the political kitty and arsenal of any political leader.

 In control of the party structure, the Governor remains impregnable except there arises a force of greater or equal control of resources (money and goodwill from the presidency or high echelon of the party apparatchik) and in that case, a challenge could be sustained against his interest. It was the rise of some forces and the control of resources equal or greater to that of the various governors or senators and others that gave rise to the electoral misfortunes of some of the governors, senators and so on which created the impression of change in the electoral culture of the parties, Imo State as a typical example of external political power both in APC and at the 2019 general elections that cut the incumbent Governor in the state to sizes.

 Meanwhile, the presidency and the national party office had weighed their relative political relevance and credit worthiness in their respective states and discovered a startling find: they are largely paper tigers relying largely on the structures of government and its resources for relevance. So they are dispensable! It was as a result of this finding that the presidency and the national party office looked the other way or allegedly connived with some other critical stakeholders in the states to seize the party structure from them. As a result most of them lost either their personal ambitions to migrate to the senate or to nominate their prospective successors or both.

 However, it has to be noted that the successes of the winners of the various party primaries were not as a result of any credible, free and fair contest where the parties were afforded equal opportunities. Nothing as such happened.  What transpired was that during the filing of nomination forms for the election of the various delegates to the party congresses and convention, each faction prepared a list of its own delegates and obtain forms for them. At the end, it is the list accepted and validated by the national party office that wins. So, once your list of delegates is not accepted by the national office of the party you are as good as a bad loser.

 What remained for you was to make as much noise as possible and perhaps explore the avenue of utilizing the various judicial remedies such as injunction or declaration to harass the party and your opponent. This in a nutshell is what happened. But to the unwary public ignorant of the various processes, these results from the party primaries felling the giants constituted a clear departure from the sordid past of imposition of party candidates by the godfathers. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The old system reigns in a different design and circumstances.

It is in the light of the foregoing that we appeal to the media to collaborate with the hapless society by not allowing false impressions put forward by the parties or their officials to be relied upon to paint a picture of the political system that is clearly contrary to the reality or to celebrate an obviously flawed political system and its failed electoral processes in Imo State. But rather, it should seek out enlightened and knowledgeable Imolites in various parties to help in educating the people and to spearhead the political change we need in our state. In this wise, we shall proffer solutions in our next edition.

Ikenna ONUOHA is a Media and Public Relations Consultant

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Opinion

New Height For Communications Guru, Olusegun Fafore

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Olusegun Fafore
Executive Assistant New Media and Public Relations to the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu

 

The line “Seest thou a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before Kings; he shall not stand before mean men” is a popular one.

It is also a line which Olusegun Fafore, a versatile communications professional with expertise in public affairs, issues, and crisis communications, public relations, stakeholder engagement among others can identify with.

A man of very high worth, Fafore has blazed many trails in the image industry such that there are but a few men and indeed women in the business who can stand toe-to-toe with him.

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Known for his insatiable hunger for creating narratives for brands and institutions, his footprints are still in the Corporate Affairs department of Access Bank where he was a communication strategist, Nest Oil where he held sway as Corporate Communications Manager and even Leeds University where he was a Graduate Student.

An Alumnus of Rutgers Business School and London School of Public Relations Croatia, the appointment of the Consultant-In-Chief of Reputation Plus Limited as the Executive Assistant New Media and Public Relations to the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu is indeed a new level of achievement.

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ECOBA Lagos Present Prizes and Awards to deserving Students of Edo College

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The Lagos branch of Edo College old boys Association, ECOBA has presented nineteen prizes and awards to deserving students and teachers of Edo College, Benin City at the 2019 graduation and prize-giving ceremony of the institution.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony for one hundred and forty-three students, the chairman of the occasion, Mr. Isaac Ehiozuwa, Edo state Head of Service commended the staff of the school for maintaining the excellent standard of the school.

According to the Head of Service, who was represented by Mr. Edwin Oaikhena Edionweme, a director of administration and supplies, a lot has been done by the school authorities, but a lot still needs to be done.

He advised the staff to continue to ensure that the right discipline is inculcated in the students which would bring joy to every parent.

“We are all aware of the steps the Edo state governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has been taking in the education sector. It is therefore good to key into the mission and vision of this administration,” he added.

The National President of ECOBA, Dr. Reuben Osahon who thanked the old boys of the school for their numerous contributions to the development of their Alma-Mata enjoined the new graduands to find the nearest branch wherever they find themselves and join the association.

“The law states that after two years of graduation from the school without being expelled you are qualified. If you have benefited from the institution, it is your responsibility to contribute your quota to the development of the school that is 82 years old,” he noted.

During the presentation of prizes and awards from the Lagos branch, the ECOBA National President gave the best mathematics SS3 student award to Efosa Illoware Eghenayamose, sponsored by Senator David Dafinone Foundation; The best English Language SS3 award sponsored by Mr. Sunday Airrue Uaboi to Odiase O. Micheal; the best SS3 Economics award sponsored by Senator David Dafinone Foundation to Elaigwu Augustine Ugbede-Ojo; The best Accounts SS3 award sponsored by Senator David Dafinone Foundation to Izekor Jefferson and the best SS3 Physics award sponsored by Engr Edward E. Iyamu to Emina Attah Emeka.

The Benin branch chairman. Barrister Peter Oibor made the presentation to the best Fine Arts SS3 award sponsored by Micheal I. Omo Osagie to Elaigwu Augustine Ugbede-Ojo; the best Agric Science SS3 award sponsored by Osazenaye Osarenkhoe to Ofuase Kikachukwu Oluwatimilehin; the best Biology SS3 award sponsored by Mrs. Hilda Gregory (AKA Edede Edo College) to Oghagbon Osasenaga; the best Geography SS3 award sponsored by Omaha Endowment Fund to Ikilo Eghosasere Evidence and the best sport person SS3 award sponsored by Uyi Akpata to Isreal Edosomwan.

Other awards presented by the ECOBA Benin branch Chairman were the best mathematics SS2 award sponsored by AVM Joe Ehigie (Rtd) to Iyase Eghosa; the best Athletics SS2 award sponsored by Madam Ofure Akpata to Egharevba Blossom; the best mathematics JS3 award sponsored by Godwin Ize-Iyamu to Agas Eseoghene David; the best English Language JS3 award sponsored by Mrs. Omokhuwe Alegeh to Aiwehoe Osayuki Gabriel; the Best French JS3 award sponsored by Amb. Vincent Okobi went to Abiodun-Mudasiru Moyosola Marcel while the Best JS1 French Class award went to JS1c and the Best teacher in Geography award sponsored by Omaha Endowment Fund went to Mr. Aghedo B.O.

Other awards presented by the representative of the Head of Service include the outstanding teacher in English to Mrs. Theresa Ehigie, the best N-power outstanding award to Evance Erhabor and the principal of the school, Mr. Samuel Ogbebor also presented the principal award to ECOBA for their contribution to the overall development of Edo College.

“The laudable contributions of ECOBA to the overall development of Edo College cannot be over-emphasized. The old boys have played key roles in activating the core values of the college, its physical environment inclusive, management is extremely grateful to the class set of 92 that built and commissioned a basketball court. By so doing, they have revived the spirit of sportsmanship amongst students,” he added. 

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IGP Must Read This: Shocking Details Of How Police Allegely Manipulated Rape Victim

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Kidnapper

A 19 year old lady simply identified as Oyindamola, was allegedly drugged and gang raped by her boyfriend and his friends at a party in the Alagbado area in Lagos state on June 30th.

 

The older sister of the victim, Mrs Afolabi, in an exclusive interview with LIB, said the victim who was a virgin, was invited to a birthday party by her boyfriend, Roy Arinze, who drugged her, took her away from the party while she was unconcious and raped her alongside two of his friends.

 

On the 30th of June, my sister Oyindamola went for a birthday party with one of her best friend called Roy Arinze. Arround 6pm, Roy invited her to a birthday party which was celebrated by one of his brothers. On getting to the party, Roy brought beer for my sister to drink  and she had never taken beer before. He begged her to drink it so she collected it from him and she drank it. After taking the alcohol, she said she doesn’t know what is happening to her. The next thing, she found herslef in Roy’s house.  Roy took her to his house. She was unconcious. When she woke up, she saw three guys packing blood. She was like what is going on here? What happened. Roy responded that he just fingered her.  She was like you just fingered me and I am seeing three guys packing blood. Roy responded that they came to her rescue.

 

She said she wants to start going home. She woke up around 9.30pm. During that period, she had switched off her phone. We have been looking for her.  They asked her to sleep over but she said no that she cannot wait that she has to go back home. They put her to a bike and she went home.

When my sister got home, she went straight to bed. She did not inform anybody. The next day, my mum went out and she called me to say she wasn’t feeling alright. She said she was feeling pains in her vagina. I asked her what happened and she told me that she went to her boyfriend’s place yesterday and that he told her that he fingered her and that since then, she hasn’t been feeling okay. I was thinking maybe normal tears, maybe the guy slept with her and disvirgined her and she had a few tears. I called a nurse who told me she can take Ampiclox and then sit on warm water.

 

Oyindamola was in so much pain that she couldn’t walk. So she wanted to go and buy the drugs which is Ampiclox. On getting to the pharmacy which was in our neighboorhood, the pharmacist saw the way she was walking and was like what happened to you Oyindamola? She responded that she is having pains all over her body and that she wants to buy drugs. The pharmacist was like you are having body pains and you want to buy Ampiclox? The pharmacist forced her to come closer to see what was happening down. She bent and opened her vagina for the pharmacist.

The pharmacist was shocked and was very suprised. She directed her to    Fumbi Medical Center hospital in our area. She went there and she was admitted. Because my mum wasn’t around and I wasn’t around as well, , she called Roy to tell him she was in the hospital.  The guy came down to the hospital. The doctor asked them to pay N38, 000 to stitch it for my sister. I think the doctor did not know it was something big.

 

Later on,  my mum got in touch with her and asked her ”where are you?’. She said she was in the hospital. When she got to the hospital, my mum was very surpised. She rushed down to the police station  on AIT Alagbado to report. She got there and at the counter, met a female police officer who accompanied her to get Roy arrested.

On getting there, they saw Roy and the doctor discussing. Roy was promising the doctor that he will pay extra N25, 000 to take care of Oyindamola as well as beg our mother on his behalf.

Roy was immediately arrested and taken to the police station. When they got there, the policemen were asking my mum to pay N5000 to open file, another N5000 for transport and another N5000.  They were just asking her for money. She was like money for what? Is it a crime for me to come and tell you that something happened to me and you can’t come to my rescue? (sic)  The police woman told my mum if she cannot pay the money, then she should forget about the case. My mum was surprised and was like why would she say such a thing? She left for home and returned with N5000 which was all she could gather. Before she returned to the police station, I think the police woman and Roy had discussed. Roy asked her to please help him beg my mum  and that he is going to settle the woman.

 

The police woman told my mum that she come so they can settle the matter because she knows she doesn’t have money. She told my mum that if they go to court, she would lose because she doesn’t have money.  She was like you don’t have money to pay N5000 for  transport. My Mum was like why would she say such a thing. She told my mum that she should provide the remaining money asked for as soon as possible otherwise she would release the suspect, Roy.

My mum did not have much with her. She rushed down to the church and called upon the brethren that they should please come to her aid. My mum and the church members visited the police station on Wednesday July 2nd. They went straight to the DPO’s office as the female police officer was not on sit. The DPO wasn’t aware of what was even happening. The DPO said he was not even aware wasn’t even in the cell.

 

He begged my mum and church members.  Some people hinted us that we should call humanright activists that they are ready to fight for us and can take up the issue. We got their number and called them that same Wednesday. We called and Mrs Fola from Ikeja spoke to us. She came on Thursday July 3rd. She met my sister in the Hospital and asked her questions. She also met with doctor. The doctor told Mrs Fola he did not see any sign of penetration and that he doesn’t understand the case and that she should just take it easy.

Mrs Fola then said no that she will not take it easy and that it must be charged to court. That Thursday, the doctor gave us a bill of N55, 000 and asked us to go and pay. My sister all through this period couldn’t urinate by herself. They had to pass a pipe through her body. Unfortuately we don’t have much, we are very rich. We didn’t have much with us. We tried to run helter skelter to raise the money. We didn’t have much because my dad has not been feeling fine for a very long time. He cannot walk. We have been spending much on my dad. This Oyinda own coming suddenly made us weak.

Before then, Roy’s family members have been coming down to the hospital, begging us that we should settle this matter because they are Igbo, we we are Yoruba (sic).  They said they will pick up the bill and that they will give  us some amount of money and that anything we want we should ask for. I personally said no because  this guy is not telling us the truth because after he injured my sister, he cleaned her blood with his clothes and white handkerchief. We even asked for the clothes he used to clean her blood but he said he had burnt it. We don’t even know what he used the blood to do.

 

The police just put him in their custody. They did not question him nor ask him We were also surprised because my sister said they were three when she openned her eyes. They left the remaining two guys. They did not interrogate them.” she said

 

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Speaking further, Mrs Afolabi said the Humanright activisit insisted that Oyinda must be examined at the Mirabel Medical center within seven days as the test will not be able to detect anything after seven days.

On Saturday July 6th, the humanrights activist came to take Oyindamola for the test but the doctor denied her access because we had not paid the hospital bill. The doctor said she cannot release Oyindamola unless the hospital bill is paid. We pleaded that she should just allow Oyindamola to go for the test and come back to the hospital. We were like we will try and go to church on Sunday and gather something. The doctor refused.  Thank God for Mrs Fola. , she spoke with the doctor who pledged to ensure Oyindamola returns to the hospital.

At the end of the day, Mrs Fola left with Oyindamola and my brother to Mirabel for the test. Me and my mum we were there at the hospital. They brought her back to the hospital. On Sunday we got to church and  we were not able to gather anything. We were just tired. Later we agreed that Roy’s family should pay the money because it is their responsibility because they are the ones that caused everything. They paid the bill and we went home.

 

On Monday  July 8th, I went to the police station to find out what is happening and they said they have not made any arrest because they have not seen any evidence. They asked me to take a sheet of paper to Mirabel to collect the result. On Tuesday July 9th, we went down to Mirabel.

 

On that Saturday when they went for the test in Mirabel, they met with one Dr who enlightened Mrs Fola that it was a gang rape. He said from what he saw, it was a gang rape. He said the result will come out in 7 days. He said they raped her through her vagina and through her anus . The doctor was so sad.

 

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According to Mrs Afolabi, on Monday July 15th, the police called for a meeting between her family and Roy’s family members. On getting to the station, Oyindamola and her mother were shocked to see Roy arrriving the police station on a motorbike. They never knew the police had released Roy. A few minutes later, the police informed them that the meeting had been postponed to the next day.  Oyindamola accused the police officer of wasting her time as she was meant to be at the Mirabel medical center for further treatment but had to cancel it because of the meeting.

 

Mrs Afolabi said that to her family’s suprise, the police officer accused Oyindamola of being rude and locked her up in the cell. She said the police threatened her mum that she will also be locked up if she isn’t careful.  She was detained in the cell till the next day July 16th.

 

In the night, the policemen were interrogating her again. They told her that when they get to court, she should tell them that she was not sleeping when Roy was having sex with her. They were collecting another statement from her again.  They did not give her food or medication.

The next day, my mummy came and they said they want to go to court because they have collected another statement. They said they were going to court that morning which was yesterday. She called me and I was surprised. I was angry because the police decided to go to court now after forcing my sister to make another statement. The police officers collected my mum’s phone so she could not be able to talk to me, forced her into a vehicle with Oyindamola and they drove to the court” she said

Mrs Afolabi said Roy was in the court and his lawyers asked the court to grant him bail.

 

The Magistrate court adjourned the case to September 26th.

 

Mrs Afolabi says all her family is demanding is justice for her sister, Oyindamola.

 

Culled: Linda Ikeji

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