- ‘ Cases of rape rise to 84% in Nigeria’
- Dana air crash update: 23 aircrash victims’ families yet to receive compensation
- Mimiko inaugurates new Mother & Child hospital today
- N4.56b pension scam: Female accused hospitalised,trial stalled
- Construction workers hail FG’s decision on Lagos-Ibadan expressway
- Senate adjourns plenary for 1 week, dissolves to Appropriation committee.
- Blackout looms as Egbin power plant breaks down
- FMBN, NEXIM, BOA, IB lose N47bn in 6 months - CBN
- FirstBank wins Nigerian Bank of the Year award
- PDP tackles ACN over Tukur’s comments
- Electricity workers threaten strike over Wamakko
- ‘NDIC prosecuted 55 directors, staff of micro finance banks in 2011’
- Judgment in Oni’s appeal stalled, re-fixed for Jan 8
- Slain banker: Deceased had only 3 wounds -Accused’s father
- Appointments: S/West not marginalised —FCC
Now that the election tribunal has ruled
THREE things are of interest here in this piece. One, the Presidential Election Tribunal verdict which affirmed the victory of President Goodluck Jonathan and Vice-President Namadi Sambo in the last presidential election; two, the appointment of Senator Ben Obi and Dr Mariam Ali as special advisers to the president, and three, the impudence of Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State who, for whatever reason, decided to vent his spleen on the vice-president while Sambo was his guest in Osogbo recently.
The tribunal verdict did not come to many as a surprise, given the free, fair and transparent reputation of the election that was challenged in court by the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and its presidential candidate, Major-General Muhammdau Buhari. That election, which was acknowledged worldwide as the best the county ever had, followed the avowed commitment of Jonathan to ensure a clean break from the past. The president never ceased to tell skeptical Nigerians that he was determined to superintend over a credible election, even when he was a candidate. Even with his appointment of an unbendable Professor Attahiru Jega as the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), there were still many Nigerians who were not convinced that it was possible to have a presidential election that would not be skewed in favour of the incumbent. But Jonathan was true to his words and the good conduct of the election was clear for all to see, except Buhari and his co-travellers in the CPC.
However, now that the tribunal has given its judgment and affirmed the will of the Nigerian voters, it is time to move on. It will, therefore, serve the interest of all concerned if Buhari and his party heed the plea of the president to accept the verdict as triumph for democracy and an affirmation of the sovereignty of the Nigerian people. Buhari has nothing to be ashamed of because it was within his right to contest the outcome of the election in the court and, more importantly, his action was an attestation of his faith in the rule of law. But now that he has lost the case, it will be a mark of a statesman for him to accept the verdict and congratulate Jonathan.
The president recently went into the camp of former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, a man that is supposedly his main rival in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to appoint as one of his special advisers, his former running mate and former Director-General of the Atiku Campaign Organisation, Senator Ben Obi. Who would have forgotten the spat between Jonathan and Atiku in the heat of the PDP presidential primaries? All of that appears to be in the past now. Jonathan also swore in Mariam, wife of former National Chairman of the PDP, Ahmadu Ali, as a special adviser. While Obi was given the portfolio of Special Adviser to the President on Party Affairs, Ali got that of the Special Adviser to the President on Inter-governmental Affairs. Two others appointed with them were Ahmed Gulak and Professor Tamunopriye Agiobenebo who were given the portfolios of Political Adviser and Special Adviser on Economic Matters (Vice President’s Office) respectively. Gulak, it must be recalled, was one of those who started the push to draft Jonathan into the presidential race and coordinated a national movement for the cause.
The appointment of Obi came to many pundits as a surprise, but given the disposition of Jonathan towards the running of an all inclusive federal administration, the appointment of opposition figures into his inner circle is not completely unexpected. Jonathan justified the appointments as necessary to give strength to the political base and create the necessary environment for the economy to thrive.
Finally, Governor Aregbesola showed how not to be a governor in the past days, as he completely dumped stately etiquette for motor park tout behaviour. He disrespected Sambo, his guest without regrets. This is un-African and it suggests that Aregbesola is not quite prepared for the position he has found himself. No wonder, in spite of his “democratic credentials,” he was hardly able to put a cabinet together for nearly a year. If he continues in his impudence, he will certainly cut out himself as a one-term governor.Share