PRESIDENT TRUMP SPITS FIRE: SAYS DON'T PUSH ME.

PRESIDENT TRUMP SPITS FIRE: SAYS DON'T PUSH ME.
"North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. As I said, they will be met with the fire and fury and, frankly, power." - President Donald John Trump. ICHEOKU says the Michelin Tire midget at Pyongyang is definitely courting trouble and messing with the wrong man. He probably thinks Barack Obama the redline president is still in office; but unbeknownst to him there is a new sheriff in town and his name is Donald John Trump and he does not mess around. Hopefully China can rein in the little man before he commits mass suicide with his North Korean people.

HILLARY CLINTON LOST THE ELECTION - CHARLES SCHUMER

HILLARY CLINTON LOST THE ELECTION - CHARLES SCHUMER
"When you lose to somebody who has a 40 percent popularity, you don’t blame other things — Comey, Russia — you blame yourself. So what did we do wrong? People didn’t know what we stood for, just that we were against Trump. And still believe that." - Senator Charles Schumer, Senior Senator from the State of New York and Democratic Minority Leader in the Senate. ICHEOKU says the statement spoke volume and it spoke for itself. Finally it seems the Democrats have finally turned the corner and are now ready to face up to their abysmal performance in the last presidential election by acknowledging that the American people indeed choose Trump over their Hillary Clinton. Thankfully, they will also now rest their "Russians Did It" cockamamie and find a message they can present to the people and for the good of the country.. Time to move the process forward is now as American people did not buy into the crap of a Russian collusion which they tried unsuccessfully to sell to them.

IT IS GAME ON: MAYWEATHER FIGHTS MCGREGOR

IT IS GAME ON: MAYWEATHER FIGHTS McGREGOR

ICHEOKU says August 26 is the day history will be made as two of the world's most interesting athletes square off in the ring. Boxing champion Floyd MayWeather and mixed martial arts champion Conor McGregor, will fight on August 26 in Las Vegas, Nevada. ICHEOKU says not in a position yet to place bet on who will win the fight. Salute


BIAFRA EXIT FROM NIGERIA: A CALL TO DUTY

BIAFRA EXIT FROM NIGERIA: A CALL TO DUTY
ICHEOKU says the time has come and the time is now for the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra to be allowed to choose their self governance and exit from Nigeria going forward.. A referendum on the future of Biafra is a legitimate demand of the people and it is their right to so do. The people of the Nation of Biafra want to of their own way because of the hostilities from other member nations of Nigeria. Let the United Nations order a referendum and let the people decide in their own Biafraexit.

PDJT ISSUES VERDICT ON ISLAMIST TERRORISTS


"There can be no coexistence with this violence. There can be no tolerating it, no accepting it, no excusing it, and no ignoring it. Every time a terrorist murders an innocent person and falsely invokes the name of God, it should be an insult to every person of faith. Terrorists do not worship God; they worship death. If we do not act against this organized terror, then we know what will happen and what will be the end result. Terrorism's devastation of life will continue to spread, peaceful societies will become engulfed by violence, and the futures of many generations will be sadly squandered. If we do not stand in uniform condemnation of this killing, then not only will we be judged by our people, not only will we be judged by history, but we will be judged by God." - President Donald John Trump.


BBOB: BRING BACK OUR BIAFRA

ICHEOKU says it is worth fighting for, self determination and it is not a crime for a people to aspire for self governance. Indigenous Peoples of Biafra are marching forward and hopefully they will soon get to the promised land. Viva Biafra.
#BringBackOurBiafra.




"When two raging fires meet together, they do consume the thing that feeds their fury. Though little fire grows great with little wind, yet extreme gusts do blow out fire." - William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew


WHAT REALLY MATTERS IN LIFE - STEVE JOBS

“I reached the pinnacle of success in the business world. In others’ eyes, my life is an epitome of success. However, aside from work, I have little joy. Non-stop pursuing of wealth will only turn a person into a twisted being, just like me. God gave us the senses to let us feel the love in everyone’s heart, not the illusions brought about by wealth. Memories precipitated by love is the only true riches which will follow you, accompany you, giving you strength and light to go on. The most expensive bed in the world is the sick bed. You can employ someone to drive the car for you, make money for you but you cannot have someone to bear sickness for you. Material things lost can be found. But there is one thing that can never be found when it is lost – Life. Treasure Love for your family, love for your spouse, love for your friends. Treat yourself well. Cherish others.” - SJ

EVIL CANNOT BE TRULY DESTROYED.

"The threat of evil is ever present. We can contain it as long as we stay vigilant, but it can never truly be destroyed. - Lorraine Warren (Annabelle, the movie)


ONLY THE POOR WISH THEY HAD STUFF?

“I’m not that interested in material things. As long as I find a good bed that I can sleep in, that’s enough.” - Nicolas Berggruem, the homeless billionaire.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

NIGERIA SUPREME COURT SAYS, YAR'ADUA IS LEGITIMATE?

It was a lost chance to save democracy, so said Abubakar Atiku. Renowned human rights lawyer, Gani Fawehinmi assessed it that Yar’Adua has lost moral right to govern Nigeria. Muhmmadu Buhari summarized it as a great disappointment and a miscarriage of justice. Stating that "by this judgment, the Nigeria Supreme court have forced a giant camel to pass through the eye of a needle. That the international community will be shocked and scandalised that an election, which they themselves held as deeply flawed, a fact conceded on several occasions by the President himself, had been upheld by the Nigerian judiciary. Continuing, Buhari said that this judgment is overtly perverse because it was agreed by all parties in chambers in the lower court that depositions would be accepted without oral testimony and now that the Supreme court turning around to conclude that there was no evidence is squalid in the extreme." Tam David-West apprised it that Nigeria now has a bifurcated presidency with the legal part of the presidency resting in Yar'Adua while the moral component lies with Buhari. Icheoku says that the Supreme court of Nigeria led by Justice Idri Legbo Kutigi, pictured here above, lacked the courage to right an apparent wrong.

A wrong which the entire world observed was perpetrated upon Nigerians in the 2007 election by Olusegun Obasanjo and Maurice Iwu led INEC. Believing that the Thailand Constitutional court would have provided these men at Nigeria's Supreme court with the moral compass and impetus needed to give the much anticipated and awaited befitting verdict, Icheoku has waited excitedly for today's verdict, annulling the 2007 charade of Olusegun Obasanjo, but surprise, surprise our weekend is now doused! The underlying muted reasoning of the Supreme court to keep the peace of the graveyard in Nigeria is not sufficient to assuage the disappointment felt by the whole world; a world which has been waiting in heightened anticipation for this verdict to right all the wrongs of the 2007 selections called "elections". Further the argument that the PDP would have won anyway, despite the wrongful conduct of the election, because the opposition is not well organised is not a tenable argument either; and assuming it is probable, Icheoku has a beef with their margin of winning and the spread in states. Olusegun Obasanjo ran a failed government and for his party to have returned to power with such a very high percentage of votes and states-spread, is an aberration; and this the Supreme court failed to address with their decision today. How could the PDP win in Adamamawa, home state of Atiku? It is a complete balderdash, a bull-crap!
As was wisely articulated by Atiku, the Supreme court's verdict was not a personal loss to him but a collective loss to all Nigerians who were prevented from freely choosing their leaders in that 2007 election. Wondering aloud, Atiku queried how the Supreme Court could uphold the election even when the beneficiary, Yar'Adua, himself, had admitted that the exercise was characterized by "irregularities and flaws." Yaradua immediately after his election, while attending the G-8 meeting in Germany, had told the entire world that his election was'nt free and fair; but now the Supreme Court says otherwise. Icheoku asks, can the Nigerian Supreme court be more catholic than the pope? In other words, why did the Supreme court of Nigeria decide to cry more than the bereaved? The disappointed were the millions of Nigerians who had looked forward to the Supreme Court as the final arbiter to salvage Nigeria's faltering democracy, which was shamelessly mutilated through the scandalous conduct of the 2007 elections by Maurice Iwu's INEC under the supervision of Olusegun Obasanjo. Nigeria's democracy is the real loser because of increased apprehension that desperate politicians would become more brazen, emboldened by the verdict to continue rigging future elections with increasing audacity.
In a split decision of four to three Justices of the Supreme Court, decided not to upset the apple-cart but choose to leave Umaru Yar'Adua as the "president" of Nigeria. The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Idris Legbo Kutigi, Justices Iyorgyer Katsina-Alu, Niki Tobi and Dahiru Musdapher gave Yar'adua a lifeline while Justices George Adeshola Oguntade, Aloma Mariam Mukthar and Walter Samuel Onnoghen followed their conscience that there was admission even by Umaru Yar'Adua that there was substantial non-compliance with the Electoral Act 2007. To Justice Tobi's argument that because Nigeria is a vast country made up of so many diversities in terms of tribes, cultures, sociology, anthropology and many political parties there must always be irregularities, Icheoku says that Nigeria cannot be more diverse than India, yet India does not experience as much irregularities as was witnessed in Nigeria 2007 elections. The argument that sensitized Icheoku so much was Oguntade's "an invalid ballot paper cannot yield a valid vote", strict interpretation of Section 45(1) of the elections Act, 2007 which substantially affected the result of the election. The implication of such purposeful oversight was that each of the candidates at the election scored zero as no valid votes were recorded for any of them.
In conclusion therefore, Icheoku affirms that the Nigeria Supreme court cannot be the only sighted entity in a blind world. They cannot be the only one in Jerusalem who has not heard that Jesus Christ has risen from the dead? The whole world cannot be wrong and the Nigerian Supreme court is the only one right! Something does not definitely smell right with the conclusion reached by this apex court, judging from what transpired under Olusegun Obasanjo and team Maurice Iwu in 2007 as witnessed by the whole world including the Honorable Justices. To conclusively adjudicate this matter, the Supreme court would have ordered a fresh election knowing fully well that Yaradua will still win it, because the opposition is weak and not well organized; and also judging from the outcome of such other ordered fresh elections in Cross River, Adamawa etc. Icheoku laments this missed opportunity to crown the Nigerian judiciary with the honored word COURAGEOUS! Icheoku notes that whereas Umaru Yar'Adua is saying that their doors are wide open to listen to any criticisms from any quarters yet he is arresting on-line bloggers, closing Channel Television and has also dragged Independent Newspapers to court? What a way to encourage dissenting voices, Umaru Yar'Adua's style? One only hopes and prays that this now Supreme court conferred-legitimacy will jolt the sleeping on duty, Mr. Slowman, the sloth back to life. Or hasn't he slept enough this past eighteen months in Aso Rock? Like Atiku, Icheoku accepts the verdict but like Buhari, the verdict is not agreeable to our common sense; hence we hereby formally declare our stand as the opposition e-media to Umaru Yar'Adua's presidency. From this date, December 12, 2008, in deference to the ruling of Supreme court, the Umaru Yar'Adua's presidency now becomes acceptable but not agreeable to Icheokudotcom!

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

S’Court judgment: Nnamani, Braithwaite, Atiku tackle Iwu
By Adelani Adepegba and Segun Olatunji
Published: Sunday, 14 Dec 2008
SOME eminent persons on Saturday tackled the Independent National Electoral Commission over the enormous challenges posed by the Supreme Court judgment which on Friday affirmed Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua‘s presidency.

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Former Senate president, Chief Ken Nnamani



Photo file
Former Vice President and Pres



Photo file
Tunji Braithwaite

A former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar and another leading politician, Dr. Tunji Braithwaite, said the ruling had a serious implication for the INEC.

Nnamani was a member of the Group of Eminent Persons that monitored the recent presidential poll in Ghana.

A coalition led by the Nigerians United for Democracy, warned that the ruling gave legitimacy to electoral fraud and other forms of electoral malpratices in the country.

But the Independent National Electoral Commission again said the judgment proved that the apex court had the capacity to be firm and to resist pressure, blackmail and intimidation

Nnamani said it was embarrassing that the nation was still talking about the 2007 elections in December 2008, blaming the trend on an institutional failure.

Stressing that the court was over-laboured and overwhelmed, he explained that the judiciary, ordinarily should not be doing the job of the electoral commission.

He said the court would not have been deciding the winner of elections if INEC had done its work well.

He cited the conduct of the election in Ghana where the government and the people followed the due process and everything went well.

Nnamani contended that Nigeria could conduct another election that would be as free and fair as the June 12, 1993 poll if the government really wanted to do what was proper.

”As a country, we should feel ashamed talking about election that was held in 2007 in December 2008; we should feel embarrassed.

“Other African countries are getting it right and so we can get it right too.

What is happening is a failure of institutions particularly INEC,” he quipped.

The NUD stated, “The so-called majority judgment of the Supreme Court in the Buhari’s challenge of the election of Yar’Adua – as President of Nigeria – delivered on Friday will go down in history as a shameful, unconvincing and dangerous judgment in any discourse of the role and duty of the judiciary within the context of democracy; if the deaf and the blind heard and saw the free-for-all and widespread stealing of ballot papers and boxes; the falsification of electoral returns; the deployment of armed military and police to intimidate voters.

“If both domestic and international observers could, in clear-conscience testify to the worst-ever election conducted anywhere in the world, then the question is, what gave those judges the comfort or the peace of mind to validate such daylight robbery of the most valuable possession of a peoples‘ right in a democracy to freely choose leaders for themselves?

“Another ugliness in the worthless judgment is the encouragement it clearly offers to corruption – in a country already paralysed by wholesale corruption. The message of the judgment is that in Nigeria nothing is a taboo!

“The self-serving, poor and short-sighted miscarriage of justice by four to three cannot in any way regress our forces of social justice to terminate the evils of corruption in our national life.

“The injustice has only succeeded in steeling the peoples‘ nerves now, more than ever before, to take their destiny into their own hands,” it said.

For the second time, former Vice-president and Presidential candidate of the Action Congress, Atiku Abubakar, also commented on the judgment, saying he had left it for Nigerians to determine its fairness.

He said that though he had foreknowledge that the judgment would not be in his favour, adding that only Nigerians could rightly say whether the verdict declaring that the president and his vice, Goodluck Jonathan, were duly elected, was fair or not.

Speaking on the Hausa Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation monitored on Friday evening in Kaduna, Abubakar, however, insisted that Nigerians were in a better position to determine the fairness of the verdict.

He, however, added that it was better that the judgment was in favour of his opponent, stressing that it would have been pointless to cancel the election and order a fresh one when those who conducted the controversial poll were still at the helm of affairs.

He stated the judgment had neither dampened his spirit nor weakened him politically, recalling that the same apex court had in the past given judgment in his favour.

”It is better that the judgment was in their favour because there would have been no point cancelling this (the presidential) election for a fresh one with the same people who conducted the previous one still calling the shot.

He expressed his readiness to offer useful advice to the president if he deemed it necessary.

”We have always been cooperating with the president; we have never had any problem. If the president seeks my advice on any issue, I will offer my advice, if I have the time. I will advise him whenever I see that things were not going the right way.”

In its reaction, the INEC, said it only affirmed progress in the nation’s electoral reform.

Part of the statement reads, “Finally, the Supreme Court has laid to rest the legal disputations over the result of the 2007 Presidential Election as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

“The judgment by the Supreme Court proved once more and emphatically, that the legal and electoral systems in Nigeria were working, contrary to the impression some people continue to present about the nation.

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Chief Victor Umeh observed that the four against three split judgment of the court showed that those who held that the election was a sham were not wrong.

He said the court had raised strong moral questions about the election.

The Enugu State chairman of the Action Congress, Chief Emeka Nwatu who was not happy with the verdict blamed the electoral act for the outcome saying it was defective, as its provision which stated that election riggers should be brought to court was not enforceable.

A former governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, also said the judgment was not a surprise to him or other Nigerians.

He said the ruling did not reflect the events observed during the 2007 elections.

Anonymous said...

Yar’Adua After The Victory...
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By Louis Achi
December 14th, 2008



Just 48 hours ago, the Supreme Court of Nigeria finally resolved the legitimacy albatross hanging around the neck of President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua by affirming the sanctity of his victory in the April 2007 presidential poll. The apex court, in a majority judgement, held that the appeals filed by Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Action Congress (AC) and retired Major-General Muham-madu Buhari of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) had failed and consequently dismissed them both.

Significantly, in a swift reaction to the judgment confirming his victory Yar'Adua expressed humility at the outcome and called on the presidential candidate of the ANPP, General Buhari, and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar of the Action Congress (AC) to join hands with his administration to bring the dividends of democracy to Nigerians. He also commended Buhari and Atiku as well as his other opponents in the 2007 presidential election for channeling their protests through the legal system. "This is a testimony to their high democratic credentials, maturity and unwavering faith in our country," he stated.

Yar'Adua described Buhari and Atiku as "true democrats" and called on them and Nigerians to accept the verdict of the highest court of the land in good faith.

Beyond this statesmanlike stance, however, there are tough challenges ahead. Undeniably, the unrelenting legal challenges by some presidential candidates against the electoral victory of President Yar'Adua brought significant pressure on the president. By extension, the determination to deliver on his promised seven-point agenda could not have been immune to the sense of uncertainty that has shrouded governance in the past 18 months of the current presidency.

With this stubborn albatross lifted, all eyes are now on the president to accelerate delivery of democracy dividends to Nigeria. Although public perception about the electoral process that ushered in Yar'Adua was negative, his inaugural speech watered down these ill-feelings and succeeded in rallying Nigerians to give him a chance. He fired the zeal of the polity by pledging to lead by example, to be a doer and a listener, and ensure that he served with humility. These statesmanlike assurances, which he couched as 'servant-leadership', roused cautious optimism and also succeeded in rekindling the concept of Nigerianism nationwide.

Eighteen months on the saddle as president, how has he fared? In terms of the fundamentals of governance - philosophy, reform and leadership - Yar'Adua's style of leadership contrasts sharply with former President Olusegun Obasanjo's tempestuous rule. That could be his 'biggest achievement' to date.

Eighteen months represents rather a fleeting parameter on which to assess performance. But it could serve as a forerunner to the effectiveness of the vision and quality of the pathway a leader has defined for his journey.

In the past 18 months, Nigeria has traversed a path from high expectations to considerable uncertainty. Assessed against the famous seven-point agenda on which he set sail, how really has he fared? Mathematically, Yar'Adua has roughly seven months to achieve each point on the agenda in a 48-month tenure. Almost halfway into his first term, no single point has been achieved. The priorities of this agenda pivot around power and energy, food security, wealth creation and improved transport sector. Others are land reforms, security and education.

The president promised to declare a state of emergency on the strategic power/energy sector. It's trite repeating that this sector, which has consumed more of the nation's oil wealth than any other, is still lying prostrate due to maladministration, corruption and possibly outright sabotage. The extreme inefficiency and ineffectiveness of the power/energy sector paints a shocking hostage scenario that under-girds Nigeria's perpetual under-development. Clearly, the president's sincerity and good intention may be unquestionable since he has made several policy statements at both local and international fora that address the extant issues. But the facts on the ground are a horse of a different colour. Eighteen months on, his promised Niger Delta summit to cage the raging bull that is that region's destructive, money-spinning militancy has produced a technical committee chaired by Ledum Mitee, which has just submitted its report, and a Ministry of Niger Delta. This is a step forward.

Another arena the president has simultaneously fired the imagination of Nigerians and created an army of cynics is in the anti-corruption war. He has come out very unambiguously in different fora that he wants the immunity clause expunged from the constitution. This very significant position is, in a sense, a slap on the wrist of the legislature which has clearly failed to effectively checkmate the unseemly malfeasances of the executive arm of the nation's political class. On the other hand, many feel that, currently, only lip service is being paid to the anti-graft war. Former EFCC boss Mallam Nuhu Ribadu's travails at the hands of government is often seen in a poor light by many Nigerians. More importantly, the perception that many indicted figures are walking free without appropriate sanctions adds to the feeling of hopelessness.

Yar'Adua's policy think-tanks and administrative machinery appear suspect. This probably inspired the recent cabinet shake-up to revive and reposition his vision. One turf the president has clearly raised the bar is in the arena of rule of law as successively demonstrated by the new judicial 'activism'. The nation's judiciary has effectively keyed into Yar'Adua's uncompromising rule-of-law mantra to make far-reaching rulings, especially in the political sphere. These have sparked hope amongst Nigerians. With two and a half years left, can Yar'Adua significantly raise the all-round bar in his peculiar socio-political dialogue with Nigeria?

After last Friday's judgement that has finally rested the spectre of judicial termination of his tenure, the president faces a tough future but without the trepidations of the past. The stakes are extremely high, and Nigerians are mindful that a failure to achieve democratic stability, security and economic prosperity may imperil the country's future as a coherent state. The current global financial turmoil is hardly helping matters, despite the homilies of Nigeria’s immunity the nation's economic managers are churning out.

The key areas of challenge remain physical and human infrastructure development, security, the Niger Delta crisis and constitution re-engineering to address several areas of anxiety and concern in the Nigerian project. These do not exhaust the challenges but merely capture the kernel. The apex court’s affirmation provides a fillip to navigate with.

With little doubt, politics will always be propelled by grease, hot air and showmanship. But at a more fundamental level, the imperative of development in a Third World country in the 21st century suggests an alternative mode of engagement. The emerging consensus is that political leadership should not just be a matter of coping with the political challenges of the moment, or doing well at getting elected, or even meeting immediate problems the right way. In this light, political leaders must approach governance according to an understanding - according to a set of principles - that reflects a sense of the permanent destiny of the nation. That is the key post-victory challenge facing Yar'Adua.

Anonymous said...

Yar’Adua: Supreme Court judgment vindicates us - INEC
•Celebration in Katsina
By JOSSY IDAM
Sunday, December 7, 2008

More Stories on This Section

The Independent National Electoral CommissionUmaru (INEC) has said Friday’s Supreme Court’s decision that upheld President Yar’Adua’s election
Is a proof yet again that the legal and electoral systems in Nigeria are working, contrary to the impression held by some.

In a statement signed by the INEC Commissioner in charge of Information, Phillip Umeadi Jnr, it said the apex court’s confirmation of the victory of Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua as the duly elected President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the April 2007 election has reaffirmed that the conduct of the election and the result returned by the electoral commission complied substantially with the provisions of the Constitution and the Electoral Act. The judgment, Umeadi said, is a tribute to the profundity and thoroughness of the Justices at the Supreme Court.

"The Commission is proud of the sterling character which the Supreme Court is made of. The judgment of the apex court today, December 12, 2008 proved beyond doubt that the Supreme Court has the capacity and the will to be firm and to resist pressure, blackmail and intimidation, some of them not subtle.

The Commission notes the comments of the eminent justices with respect to aspects of the conduct of the election and has no doubt that with improved environment of elections and politics, the nation will record improved standards in the conduct of elections. The 2007 elections were conducted under very trying circumstances as no other election in the country had experienced." Umeadi submitted.

INEC went on to congratulate the Supreme Court and the judiciary as a whole, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and the entire nation for the definitive and historic judgment urging the nation to look ahead with great confidence and commitment to the rule of law.

Meanwhile, hundreds of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) faithful and kinsmen of President Umar Yar’Adua in Katsina, the Katsina State capital, took to the street on Friday evening rejoicing over the Supreme Court ruling which affirmed Yar’Adua’s election in the April 2007 election.
The court ruled in favour of Yar’Adua in the twin appeals instituted by another Katsina State indigene, Muhammadu Buhari of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and his Action Congress (AC) counterpart in the presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, challenging the victory of Yar’Adua at the Presidential Election Tribunal.

Yar’Adua’s kinsmen and political allies who drove round some major streets in the city in convoy comprising buses, cars and motorcycles that were blaring loud music and horn later converged at the PDP secretariat for a brief entertainment by praise singers and musicians.
They expressed delight over another victory recorded by the President and the party while offering prayers and praises for all who made the success story of Yar’Adua a reality.
Although most of PDP leaders in the state were not on hand to receive the rejoicing youth and politicians, the Senior Special Adviser on Political Affairs, Nasiru Umar, told newsmen shortly after the mini rally that they were rejoicing because of what Yar’Adua stood for.

Anonymous said...

As More Nigerians React to Supreme Court Judgement... Buhari: Why I Can’t Work with Yar’Adua
From Chucks Okocha in Abuja and Olawale Olaleye in Lagos, 12.14.2008

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Forty-eight hours after the Supreme Court rejected his appeal for the nullification of the April 2007 presidential election, former Head of State and presidential candidate of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Major-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) yesterday said he cannot work with President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua because such move would amount to a betrayal of his supporters who were unjustly treated during the election.
The former leader, who did not however make any categorical statement on whether or not he would start attending the Council of States meeting personally told THISDAY that “it is a personal decision for me to make”.
Also, Secretary of the ANPP Presidential Council and spokes person for Buhari, Engr Buba Galadima told THISDAY that the offer to work with Yar’Adua was not acceptable to Buhari. By implication, Galadima said Buhari has rejected the offer by the President, enlisting the service of the ANPP flag bearer in the Government of National Unity.
President Yar’Adua had moments after the Supreme Court ruling invited Buhari and former vice president Atiku Abubakar to join hands with his administration in order to bring dividends of democracy to Nigerians. But the request, Galadima said was not acceptable because “Buhari sees it as a betrayal of his supporters who were maimed, arrested and detained by the security agents. We will not join the Government of National Unity”.
Meanwhile, more Nigerians have begun to react to the Friday judgment of the Supreme Court, affirming the election of President Yar’Adua. Kwara State Governor, Dr Bukola Saraki, while congratulating the President, described the judgment as a triumph for democracy,
Saraki, who was at the Presidential Villa to rejoice with Yar’Adua, said in a statement by Billy Adedamola, his Special Adviser on Media, that with land mark judgement of the Supreme Court, the dispute over the outcome of the last presidential election has finally been laid to rest, saying the country can now forge ahead.
He commended the judiciary for a job well done and for proving to Nigerians that it is the last hope of the common man.
The governor, however, appealed to the appellants in the case to join hands with the President in his bid to give a new hope to the country and put the matter behind them so that “we can collectively move Nigeria forward”.
Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Ghana, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro also described the judgment as a good one, saying “it goes to confirm that there’s really need for us to improve the electoral process which the President himself acknowledged is not the best the country can offer”.
“The good thing is that the President can now sit down and concentrate on delivering the dividends of democracy to the good people of this country and in doing so, he will leave a legacy of electoral process that Nigeria will be proud of”.
On his part, Mr. Paul Usoro (SAN) said “what I can say is that the President’s election has been validated. But the judges of the Supreme Court who gave judgment in favour of the President and those who dissented; all criticised our electoral system in harsh comments. And that I think is an area where the President should take home from the judgment.
“The responsibility of reforming the electoral system is that of the President and the legislature and the President should drive the process. President Yar’Adua should aim to leave a good electoral system that will reduce disputes as part of the legacies of his administration”, he said.
Former works minister under the Obasanjo administration, Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe also said the judgment is a victory for both the judiciary and the country. Ogunlewe however said it depends on which perspective it is being viewed from. For instance, he said “if you are a PDP person, you are happy. But if you are an AC person, you are unhappy. And if you are an independent onlooker, it’s a mixed feeling”.
“But in all of these, I think INEC is culpable. It’s important that all the ballot papers should have been numbered serially for record purposes from the state through the wards. But once not numbered serially, it creates problem of accountability. It’s significant and worrisome. But on the whole and in the interest of the nation, blessed be their judgment”, he said.
A frontline member of Afenifere, a pan Yoruba socio-cultural group, Chief Ayo Adebanjo said it was no doubt another round of applause for the judiciary. “And of course, the judiciary is the last hope of the common man. But the judgment is more political than legal. I share the view that it would have been better delivered. I think we should get a consistent highest court of the land that will deliver landmark judgments, no matter who is involved. But generally, I think it is not a good one for the country”.
Senate Committee Chairman on Capital Market, Senator Ganiyu Solomon said the judgment on Friday has clearly put paid to controversies over who actually won the election. “So, if it’s Yar’Adua, so be it. But it’s instructive to note that allowing the petition run through its entire course is commendable because it is in a way, strengthening our democracy. So, we must commend both the petitioners and the defendants who have taken out time to seek justice the way they should”.

Anonymous said...

Yar'Adua: An Expected Victory
By Maxwell Oditta Assistant Politics Editor

For President Umaru Yar'Adua and Nigerians at large, Friday, December 12, was decisive. It was the day the Supreme Court slated for making public its verdict on whether his election on April 21, 2007 was in substantial compliance with the provisions of the 2006 Electoral Act. The verdict has come and gone, and it was in favour of Mr. President.

What is disturbing, however, is that the victory of a President, who, according to the results released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), scored over 23 million votes representing more than 60 per cent of the total votes cast, was received with passive enthusiasm by a largely indifferent populace.

At least, Yar'Adua can now concentrate on bringing to life the promises contained in his Seven-point agenda and in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to which he subscribes and has too often pledged commitment. He can also devote time and other resources in rehabilitating the nation's basic infrastructure in urgent need of Federal Government's intervention.

Mr. President's days of anxiety over the possible outcome of the consolidated appeal of candidates of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and the Action Congress (AC), Major General Muhammadu Buhari and Atiku Abubakar, respectively, are over. Though Buhari's petition nearly threw spanner on Yar'Adua's works, with three out of the seven judges giving a dissenting judgement in favour of fresh election.

While four judges, namely, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, (CJN) Idris Legbo Kutigi, Aloysius Iyorger Kastina-Alu, Niki Tobi and Dahiru Musdapher, dismissed the Buhari appeal and upheld the election of Yar'Adua and Jonathan, the three other Justices - George Adesola Oguntade, Aloma Mariam Mukhtar and Walter Nkanu Onnoghen - agreed with the petitioner that the elections were fraught with irregularities, cancelled the elections and ordered that fresh elections be conducted within 90 days. Were Yar'Adua's election nullified by the Supreme Court, it would be the first presidential election to suffer such fate. It would also have created a sensation unequalled in the democratic history of Nigeria. Even the number of dissenting judges was unprecedented in the history of presidential election cases in the country. It could however be said that Buhari's appeal failed not because of the sanctity of the presidential poll, but his failure to discharge the burden of proof, exemplified by his counsel's innocence of the Evidence Act. Atiku's constructive exclusion as an issue did not seem credible enough, winning the sympathy of only one of the Justices. Expectedly, his party, the AC, frowned at the verdict of the other six members of the panel.

"In the case of our presidential candidate, Atiku, the dissenting judge was correct when he said he (Atiku) was 'constructively excluded' despite participating in the elections, especially as he did not enjoy the benefit of a level playing ground due to INEC's decision not to put his name on the ballot until a few days to the election," AC spokesman, Lai Mohammed said.

Many Nigerians who gave their opinion on the judgement described it as a sad end to a flawed poll. One politician went as far as describing the whole proceedings from the Court of Appeal to the apex court as a national distraction. His name is Chief Maxi Okwu of the Citizens Popular Party (CPP).

With recent showcasing of the elective principles at its best in neighbouring Ghana, many, who had preferred a fresh presidential election to enable Nigeria apply the lessons from the former Gold Coast, have reasons to be appalled by the Supreme Court verdict, irrespective of its merit.

There are others who console themselves that the Ghana experience would have a telling effect on the future of democracy in the country, especially with the far-reaching recommendations of the Muhammadu Uwais panel.

Anonymous said...

Aftermath Of Supreme Court Ruling: Man Commits Suicide In Ibadan
By Gbenga Abegunrin, Reporter, Ibadan
A young man simply identified as Taye Igbira, has committed suicide in the Apata area of Ibadan to show his displeasure over the ruling of the Supreme Court, upholding the election of President Umaru Yar'Adua.

Taye, a carpenter, reportedly killed himself by eating dry batteries cells immediately after he got the news that the Supreme Court had upheld Yar'Adua's election.

According to eyewitness' accounts, the young man, after he was informed that the petitions filed against the President by both Atiku Abubakar and Muhammad Buhari were decided in favour of Yar'Adua, screamed and shouted that "there is no hope for Nigerians again."

Before the weekend, the deceased had reportedly bet with his life that President Yar'Adua, having confessed that the election that brought him to the office was flawed, would be kicked out of the Presidency by the apex court.

The eyewitness accounts have it that the deceased immediately after being informed of the apex court's ruling left the joint where he was drinking local gin, and went straight to the streets shouting "no hope for Nigerians again; no hope for Nigerians again."

Few minutes later, he was seen eating battery cells by residents of the area.

It was also reported that attempts to stop him proved abortive as he reportedly insisted that he had no reason continue to live.

By Saturday evening, the entire Igbira community of Apata area was thrown into mourning as the corpse of Taye was found along a footpath in the Dojutelegan area of Gbekuba.

Anonymous said...

S/Court’s Verdict Dangerous For Democracy – NUD, TMG
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Samuel Aruwan, Kaduna
December 15th, 2008



Recriminations continue to trail last Friday's verdict of the Supreme Court on the presidential poll, as Nigerians United for Democracy (NUD), a coalition of pressure groups described the verdict as shameful, unconvincing and dangerous within the context of democracy.

NUD, led by Dr. Tunji Braithwaite, a seasoned politician and presidential candidate of the now defunct Nigeria Advanced Party (NAP) said that the message of the judgment is that in Nigeria nothing is taboo, 'as we've all become slaves to corruption'.

Furthermore, NUD said that it is miffed by the fact that the judgment clearly encouraged offers to corruption in a country already paralyzed by wholesome corruption.

"The message of the judgment is that in Nigeria nothing is taboo! But have all become slaves to corruption in this country. The answer is found in the total opposition of our organization", NUD further noted.

Describing the verdict as self-serving and a ruse, NUD concluded: "The self-serving, poor and shortsighted miscarriage of justice by 4 to 3 cannot in any way regress our forces of social justice to terminate the evils of corruption in our national life. The injustice has only succeeded in steeling the peoples' nerves now, more than ever before, to take their destiny into their own hands

In a similar reaction, the Transition Monitoring Group [TMG], the foremost election observer group in Nigeria said it received with mixed feelings the Supreme Court judgment

"The Judgment of the Supreme Court confirmed and reconfirmed the position of the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) that the Electoral Management Body in concert with anti-democratic forces programmed the 2007 elections to fail. It was therefore the resilience, persistence, vigilance and courage of civil society groups and other patriotic stakeholders that thwarted their design", the TMG said in a statement yesterday.

"Although the Supreme Court by a margin of 4/3 upheld the election of Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar'Adua as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, we see the judgment from a broad perspective as a victory to the Nigerian people and the Nigerian judiciary who have made it clear that free and fair elections is non negotiable. The judgment showed that a people and a nation can have faith in the interpretative role of the judiciary. It showed that the rule of law and due process anchored on free, fair and transparent elections are the bedrocks of democracy.

"Notwithstanding that the Supreme Court upheld the result of the 2007 Presidential Elections; all the Supreme Court justices agreed that the election was not conducted in compliance with the law and the Constitution. The only major point of disagreement hinged on the consequences of non- compliance to the outcome of the elections and whether the non- compliance was substantial enough to vitiate the entire election.

The group said it agree completely with Hon. Justice Oguntade that an invalid ballot paper could not yield a valid vote and that the Electoral Management Body did not comply with the condition precedent to the holding of elections and that the subsequent act of pretending to conduct elections is an exercise in futility.

"We therefore reiterate that the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, his pay masters and his robots must be held accountable for the failure of the 2007 elections. From his conduct since the 2007 elections, it is therefore clear that he has completely lost touch with the realities of the Nigerian situation and the more he tries to whitewash the fraud that was the 2007 elections, the more the judiciary lays bare his partisanship, willful disregard of the law and the Constitution and reckless manipulation of his office to the disadvantage of persons not in his good books", it said.

The group therefore advised:

* That the President in conjunction with the National Assembly should as a matter of national emergency begin the implementation of the report of the Electoral Reform Committee. The Committee made far-reaching recommendations that even anticipated some of the issues raised in the judgment of the Supreme Court.

* That the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission should voluntarily resign, as his continued stay in office poses credibility problems for the nation within the international community and gives the impression that Nigerians are at peace with flawed elections.

* That civil society groups in Nigeria will explore all constitutional and democratic means to force Professor Iwu out of office in case he remains obstinate.

* That the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission should urgently investigate the way and manner Professor Iwu purchased the Direct Data Capture Machines used for the 2007 elections. They must investigate the cost of the machines in the international market, the number purchased, the suppliers and the promoters of the machines. They must study the contract agreements and make a determination on why nobody was held to account despite the clear breach of the agreement. They must determine the number of collapsible booths purchased and the number budgeted for. They should investigate the uses to which the Commission made of huge donations from the international community even for things the National Assembly appropriated monies for.

* Opposition political parties must re-appraise their strategies and seek to forge a common ground. It is not enough to collect marching grants from the Independent National Electoral Commission and yet not field a single candidate for elections. The TMG will therefore consider the legal option to stop political parties that cannot account for previous grants from enjoying future grants as the Nigerian people are entitled to know how their monies are spent.

The TMG calls on the Nigerian people to remain faithful to the ideals of the rule of law and due process and see the judgment of the Supreme Court as a victory and a validation of their position that the 2007 elections was programmed to fail.

Anonymous said...

Aondoakaa: I Didn’t Bribe S’Court Justices
•NBA canvasses review of process of appointing judges
From Funso Muraina and Olaniyi Elewoniyi in Abuja, 12.17.2008

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The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Chief Michael Aondoakaa (SAN), has denied the allegation that he bribed some Supreme Court justices with $30 million to affirm the victory of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua in the April 21 2007 presidential poll.
The denial is coming just as the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) has called for the review of the process of appointing judges in the country.
The association said majority of Nigerians have lost confidence in the judiciary.
An Abuja-based newspaper had reported that Aondoakaa compromised the justices of the apex court with $30 million in upholding the victory of President Yar’Adua at the 2007 poll.
The newspaper had allegedly quoted Sahara Reporters as the source of the story.
Aondoakaa said there was no truth in the malicious report, which he said was aimed at tarnishing his image, adding that he would sue the media organisation that published the report.
Speaking at the swearing-in of 25 new Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) in Abuja yesterday, Andoakaa said: “Something bothers me. It was alleged that I collected US$30million on behalf of the Supreme Court justices to influence the judgment of the court in the presidential election appeal. That is wicked. I am going to take legal action against the newspaper that published the story.”
The Supreme Court last Friday, gave a split judgment in the two petitions challenging Yar’Adua’s election.
In a four-to-three-split verdict, the apex court affirmed Yar’Adua‘s election.
Justice Niki Tobi led three other justices on the seven-member panel that upheld the poll.
He justified his position in the case and flayed the media which carried stories insinuating that the justices of the court were compromised.
Justice Adesola Oguntade, however, led two other justices on the same seven-member panel that annulled the poll.
The justices also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a fresh poll within 90 days.
The All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) presidential candidate in the election, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari and his Action Congress (AC) counterpart, Atiku Abubakar, have both accepted the verdict of the court.
NBA President, Chief Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), also at the event said: “Today’s occasion affords us yet another opportunity to ruminate on the legal profession and in fact the state of the nation and proffer suggestions on how to arrest the dangerous drift. Some recent occurrences in the polity clearly support the assertion that our quest for democratic order remains a mirage.
“We must seek to reconstruct the collapsed bridge of trust between the people and us.
“The judiciary must, as a matter of urgency, embrace the logic of critical self-appraisal and self-development. We suggest that Senior Advocates be appointed to the appellate courts. We also believe that the judiciary, nay the nation, can benefit from the wealth of experience of serious academics.”

Anonymous said...

A cowardly majority By Okey Ndibe


Okey Ndibe
A cowardly majority

By Okey Ndibe

Legal historians may be scratching their heads to come up with a name for what happened last Friday at Nigeria’s Supreme Court. I propose that we call it, simply, “A Dark and Cowardly Friday”.

In two split decisions, the justices of the high court dismissed separate appeals by Muhammadu Buhari and Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidates of the All Nigerian Peoples Party and Action Congress respectively. The two candidates had asked the apex court to review a bizarre unanimous ruling – delivered last February by a five-judge panel of the court of appeal – to the effect that Umaru Yar’Adua’s “victory” in the presidential elections of April 21, 2007 was in accord with the nation’s electoral laws.

Instead of acceding to the vigorously argued grounds of the appeal, a majority of the Supreme Court opted – out of, one suspects, moral cowardice – to rubberstamp impunity. In so doing, they worsened the image and tainted the integrity of a troubled, troubling judiciary that often leaves the impression of prostituting itself to the highest bidder.

Despite the reign of mediocrity in every aspect of Nigerian life, one must state that you don’t become a justice of the highest court by being a certified fool. No, one can’t possibly accuse Chief Justice Legbo Kutigi and his colleagues of judicial foolishness or ignorance. But it’s entirely possible for a candidate to be elevated to the pinnacle of the Nigerian bench when he or she has little or no moral capital. And if one must make a choice, I’d choose a little foolishness in a judge rather than a deficiency in moral currency.

Even the most optimistic Nigerian would agree that the country’s fabric is frayed. I suggest that the electoral travesty of 2007 gravely exacerbated Nigeria’s travails. In effect, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party and an inept, shameless electoral commission used that “election” to serve notice that Nigeria is a space where any manner of impunity was possible. Millions of Nigerians had stood in the sun for hours just for the opportunity to cast their votes. For Nigerians, the experience of voting – which in Ghana and many other African countries has become a simple ritual – was akin to going to a war zone. Voters often queued under the gaze of the ruling party’s thugs – among them well armed police officers with instructions to regard political sympathy for any opposition party or candidate as nothing less than a capital crime.

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To the chagrin of millions of Nigerians, the electoral commission had bungled the ordinary tasks of compiling a voters register, providing valid ballot papers on time, and sending electoral officials to man polling booths. Throughout the country, there were accounts of programmed chaos, confusion and violence. Domestic and foreign observers saw on display a farce worthy of topping global indices of electoral infamy. And then, to the shock of decent people, including these observers and disenfranchised voters, Maurice Iwu’s commission proceeded to award legislative seats and executive offices, including the presidency, to the ruling party’s candidates.

Rather than a general election, Nigerians were treated to a general selection – a Darwinian absurdity in which the ruling party, as the fittest rigger, allocated offices to its members without regard to any electoral method. It was the most unabashed violation of electoral principles in Nigeria’s history. When it was all over, Nigeria was saddled with an illegitimate president for whom the task of composing even a medium-rate cabinet is a perplexing, confounding challenge.

If there was ever a presidential election that deserved to be quickly and decisively invalidated, Yar’Adua’s was it. Yet, Justice James Ogebe headed an appeal court panel that gleefully reached the strange conclusion that Yar’Adua’s “election” complied with the law. In a twist that reeked of inducement, Yar’Adua nominated Ogebe for a spot on the Supreme Court days before the verdict. Neither Yar’Adua nor Ogebe had the moral sensibility to recognize that the timing of the nomination, if not the nomination itself, was abominable. Responding to the panel’s (predictable) verdict, I wrote: “On February 26, Ogebe and four other members of the Presidential Election Tribunal wrote their name into judicial infamy by returning an inept verdict in a petition filed by Muhammadu Buhari and Abubakar Atiku challenging the ‘election’ of Umar Yar’Adua as Nigeria’s President. In upholding the legitimacy of the latter’s ‘mandate,’ Ogebe and his colleagues proved that the law could be manipulated to uphold illogicality. Their judgment was nothing short of disastrous and shameful.”

Today, such words could be used to describe the judicial abracadabra deployed by a majority of the Supreme Court’s panel to uphold the legitimacy of Yar’Adua’s mandate. And many disappointed Nigerians have done just that. Justice Niki Tobi, who read the majority judgment, led Chief Justice Kutigi and two others to what amounts to a legal cul-de-sac. The nation’s electoral laws state, in black and white, that “ballot papers SHALL be bound in booklets and numbered serially with differentiating colors for each office being contested” (emphasis mine). It was established that INEC breached this important requirement of the electoral law. Yet, Tobi, who showed questionable judgment when he accepted to chair former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s illegitimate political conference, was not bothered by the commission’s calculated decision to ignore a fundamental provision of the law.

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Why go through the rigmarole of writing laws at all if our supposedly best and brightest judicial minds would not insist on their strict observance? The only redeeming tinge to the Supreme Court’s appalling performance lay in the dissenting opinions, especially that of Justice George Oguntade. On a day when the majority advertised mediocrity, Oguntade spoke with rigor, courage and a brilliance that shone through in that murky hall. He asserted that the proper construction of the word “shall” meant that INEC did not have a choice. “Shall” connotes and denotes mandatory compliance. How sad that the majority failed to see straight on a matter that should not be open to legal and linguistic somersaults!

The worst of it is not that the Supreme Court’s majority has cast a vote (more political, it seems, than judicial) to keep an inept man at the helm of Nigeria’s affairs. Truth be told, an INEC headed by (the golden standard of rigging) Maurice Iwu and other partisan electoral commissioners would simply have “re-selected” Yar’Adua in a re-run poll.

The court’s tragic ruling has far more ominous consequences for the body politic. A friend of mine wrote: “the nation's highest judicial organ has canonized electoral iniquity.” Then he added: “Another sad day for the blackman.”

By Friday’s ruling, the judiciary has effectively removed itself as a factor in Nigeria’s future electoral politics. Here’s a prediction: the so-called elections in 2011 are bound to be a bloodbath. And a good deal of the reason is that the judiciary has signaled that it’s firmly on the side of the boldest, bloodiest rigger. Dispossessed candidates now know that the odds of reclaiming their mandates through the courts are slim to non-existent. Did I hear you say Adams Oshiomhole? Many Nigerians believe that his recent legal triumph was simply a contrivance to beguile the Nigerian palate before it was fed the bitter and toxic confection of the Yar’Adua verdict.

In 2011, candidates will recruit their small armies of thugs and resort to self-help as the rule of the game. We stand in danger of witnessing the murderous horror of Jos replayed all over the country.

The Supreme Court has fortified the conventional “wisdom” that the courts don’t have the spine or will to ever send away a presidential impostor, however offensive the manner of his imposition. Whenever the judiciary reveals a willingness to uphold crime – and there’s no crime worse than rigging – it’s a recipe for disaster.

In a carefully choreographed coincidence, Yar’Adua received the report of a 22-member “electoral reform committee” a day before the Supreme Court said he was properly elected. The grim symbolism should not be lost on Nigerians. Yar’Adua impressed the gullible when he conceded to some irregularities in the process that produced him. He was hailed for his alleged honesty. For me, he flunked the simple litmus test for honesty: that a truly honest man in possession of stolen property will find a way to return it.

In court, Yar’Adua did not admit to any flaws, minor or major, in his “election.” And two panels of justices who like to be called “learned” have now assured him that there’s indeed no provable defect in his mandate.

One wonders, then, why Yar’Adua told members of the Justice Muhammadu Uwais electoral reform panel that he would “carefully study and faithfully implement, with the support of the national assembly, those recommendations that will guarantee popular participation, ensure fairness and justice, and bring credibility to the electoral process in Nigeria”? Don’t bother, Mr. Yar’Adua. Sleep easy, for everything is all right. Nigeria is the gold standard in electoral transparency. And the PDP, which will soon gobble up the AC and the Ume-Ezeoke wing of the ANPP, is on the way to ruling for sixty years or until Nigeria dies from the exhaustion of being moved forward – whichever comes sooner. The trouble is that countries like the United States and Ghana are slow to learn that elections are just wars and that the ruling party’s job is to capture more seats and states in each election and to swallow up the opposition.

Uwais and the Supreme Court verdict are two sides of the same bad coin.

Bradly Jones said...

Thanks for the post. It's like five years of not being in Nigeria has finally made me out-dated for this to be news to me. The change is amazing. Great blog!



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