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How Otoge Movement And Offa Robbery Caused A Revolt For Saraki In Kwara Politics

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In 2011, Bukola Saraki retired his father, Olusola Saraki, from politics by backing Abdulfatah Ahmed against Gbemisola, his own younger sister, in the governorship race. Their father had been the godfather Kwara politics for decades and the popular saying was: “Anywhere Saraki goes, Kwara goes.”

After controversially installing Bukola, his first son, as governor in 2003, Saraki – who was senate leader in the second republic – wanted the younger sister as the next governor and pulled every trick in the book. He failed, Bukola had his way and the conclusion was that Kwara now had a new godfather.

Well, not for too long. Bukola’s reign lasted for exactly eight years. He will not be returning to the senate and, except his party,the PDP, wins the presidential election and he gets a key position, the senate president may be on his way to political oblivion.

The nation’s number three citizen was defeated in the Kwara central senatorial district race by Ibrahim Oloriegbe of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who polled 123,808 votes to defeat Saraki’s 68,994 – a margin of 54,814.

A former governor of Kwara state and two-time PDP presidential aspirant, Saraki’s defeat is the biggest news so far in the 2019 general election. Here are five possible factors that may have caused Saraki’s fall.

THE ‘O TO GE’ MOVEMENT

For some years now, Kwara residents have been under the leadership of the Saraki family, a culture many refer to as the ‘Saraki dynasty’. Saraki’s late father, Olusola, was known for installing governors. In 2003, his son took over from Mohammed Lawal as governor of the state, an office he held for two terms. From there, he proceeded to the senate form where he is said to have been calling the shots in Kwara.

But as time went by, the people were said to have been “fed up” of the influence from Saraki’s family and gradually, a popular movement known as ‘O to ge!’ began. Loosely translated as ‘enough is enough’, the movement – or revolt as you may wish to call it – was spearheaded by key political figures in Kwara including Abdulrahman AbdulRazak, APC governorship candidate in the state, with the help of prominent figures there such as Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture.

Time and again, Mohammed lamented about the “Saraki dynasty.” The minister once said: “The main issues here have to do with how our state has been governed in the past 50 years, 40 of which have been dominated by a single family. What has happened to the commonwealth, which has been cornered by a single dynasty at the expense of the people?”

Fun fact: With what we understands that some of the voters did not even know the name of Saraki’s main challenger; they were simply motivated by “O to ge”.

Another key factor that led to the ‘downfall’ of Saraki is the popularity of President Muhammadu Buhari. The president, it was gathered, is even more popular than Saraki in in most parts of the state.

Interestingly, as the results of the presidential election tickled in, figures showed Buhari was having a comfortable lead in Kwara against Atiku Abubakar of the PDP, despite Saraki being his (Abubakar) campaign director-general.

Apart from the fact of the dwindling influence of the Saraki family following the ‘O to ge’ movement, the presence of Lai Mohammed, the information minister, helped boost the president’s popularity. In fact, in the build-up of the elections, Kwara was one of the major states of interest for the president and of course, the minister acted as the president’s front as events played out.

SORE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE PEOPLE

It is believed that Saraki’s not-so-good relationship with the people of Kwara robbed him of some votes in the senatorial election.

Some reTheCable claimed to TheCable claimed he does not have a good relationship with the people like his late father Olusola. “He is not free with his people like his father was,” a resident said when asked about the senate president. “People used to throng to their house when the father was alive but not anymore.”

OFFA ROBBERY

On April 5, 2018, armed robbers attacked banks in Offa, Kwara state, killing 33 people, including pregnant women and 12 police officers. It later emerged that some of the suspects had links to Saraki and the Kwara state government. This created a major PR disaster for Saraki as he became publicly involved in a spat with the police hierarchy.

http://gyonlineng.com/end-of-the-saraki-dynasty-kwara-politics/

The tragedy shook Offa to his very roots and apparently tarnished the image of Saraki in the state, and this might have contributed in no little to cutting down his influence and hurting his political fortune.

While addressing a press conference in Lagos earlier this year, Oloriegbe had accused Saraki’s family of not sharing in the “common heritage” of the people of the state. He also made it a point of duty to restore the state’s “lost values”.

The APC candidate had said: “In the past 16 years, our society has been in the grip of people who do not share our common values and heritage. They are dealers whose concerns are at variance with the people’s aspirations. They are leaders with (an) inordinate appetite for wealth acquisition. They are political voyagers and power merchants. They don’t share our Islamic values and culture of leadership.”

‘WRATH OF CIVIL SERVANTS’

A key factor that dealt a massive blow on Saraki’s ambition is the “poor welfare” of workers in Kwara state. Residents who spoke to TheCable complained the civil servants both at state and local government levels are usually not paid their salaries – and when they eventually get them, the salaries come in percentages.

“Sometimes, they pay workers as low as 30 percent,” a resident said, adding that workers have been abandoned over the years.

But Saraki is not the governor – so why direct their frustration at him? “Ask a typical Kwara man what his issue is and he may tell you Saraki has no paid us,” another resident told TheCabe. “It is true he is not the governor but he is the one calling the shots; so the people know if Saraki wants salaries paid, they will be paid.” Many believe that Kwara resources are still under his control.

Sahara weekly online is published by First Sahara weekly international. contact saharaweekly@yahoo.com

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Which Way Nigeria: The Imperatives of A New Economic Direction

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Presidency Clears The Air On Tinubu’s Planned Visit To Qatar

*Which Way Nigeria: The Imperatives of A New Economic Direction*

By Dapo Otubanjo, a financial analyst & real estate entreprenuer

 

After eight months in the Villa, the clock ticking on President Tinubu’s administration has gathered enough time for us to start seeking accountability for his actions, and the delivery of his electoral promises to a Nigeria with an urgent need for national renaissance, and a new economic direction.

The realities of our lives today as Nigerians is gravely incongruous to the promise to renew hopes, and reinvent the economy for a new era of opportunities, and prosperity for all of us. The agony of excruciating economic stagflation is now more widespread, and tending towards a period of national economic depression.

Nigerians understand, and have demonstrated severally in time past, that when time and government change, so must we the people as “new challenges require new responses”. Unfortunately the economic pains of this era are like a disaster with no solution in sight, leaving most folks in the terrifying situation of inadequate household income for survival talkless of a decent living.

Given Nigeria’s precarious economic situation post Buhari’s government of destructive economics, there was no doubt about the need, and urgency for appropriate reforms to reorganize the country for economic recovery, and national security. And whilst the reforms of Tinubunomics are requisite liberal policy prescriptions, the executions are mired in premature timing, terrible implementation, and insensitive partisan gloating over the government’s audacity to introduce the reforms rather than a democratic tolerance for national discussions on the devastating consequences of its impacts as leverage to gauge acceptance, and gather citizens feedbacks for reviews, adjustments, and corrective measures in its areas of deficiencies, and ineffectiveness.

However the opportunity still exist, for correction and, to arrest our miserable spiral towards economic doomsday, and President Tinubu must hurriedly embrace the wisdom to do a reset, and refine the wrong elements of his reforms for the achievement of better outcomes in critical areas of job creation, reducing, and stabilizing both the value of the naira, and inflation, and attracting significant local, and foreign investments for the immediate task of economic recovery, and recreation of a vibrant middle class that was totally wiped out by the previous APC government, and long term goals of industrialization, and sustainable growth in the economy, and our export sector.

The best, and most imperative solution, and palliative for the rising cost of living is immediate wage increase across all sectors. The Federal government must seek to achieve wage increase of two hundred thousand naira for Federal workers, negotiate with the states for one hundred and fifty thousand naira for all state employees, and push the private sector towards fifty thousand naira as the barest minimum for the lowest set of workers to fuel consumer spending that was hitherto dwindling for obvious reasons, and improve households financial resources to minimally mitigate against worsening economic situation.

The inflationary effects of an unstable naira need a freeze otherwise the application of wage increase will be futile, and become a continuous demand. It is imperative for the government to return the provision of interventions in the FX market through partial exchange rates management until all foreign investors seeking full liberalization are willing to bring in their funds, and/or when the sale of government assets, and export earnings are sufficient enough to provide adequate supply for FX demands. The arbitrage gains of FX trading in the previous APC government made FX business highly profitable with devastating practices of round tripping, and speculative FX trading that continuously encourage a large number of folks to hoard, and hold on to a large pool of foreign currencies at the expense of a free fall in the value of the naira.

Through the CBN, the government need to urgently introduce appropriate monetary measures to curb these practices, and incentivize the release of more foreign currencies into the market.

Our national challenges cannot be resolved by government alone but the government have a crucial role to play in setting the agenda, and transforming the private sector into a pivot for growth, and national development. President Tinubu should as a matter of national emergency deploy all presidential support for the Dangote, and other refineries to achieve refining capacity sufficient enough for local fuel consumption, and make provisions to export excess supply to the West African sub region. And use the support, and other regulatory instruments to negotiate a stable fuel price over three to five year period as further safeguard against inflation, and forex pressure on the naira.

So many of our Federal assets are wallowing in the inefficiencies of terrible operations, corrupt government practices, and nepotistic managements delivering inadequate, and unreasonable returns for the Nigerian state. There should be an urgent consideration for their privatization, and sales to generate requisite, and significant revenues to shore up the economy, and engineer a long term foundation for sustainable growth, and national prosperity.

Our demands, and exploration for foreign investments must seek prospects in the Middle East, and some parts of Asia where there are abundance of liquidity for investment capital, and great probability for immediate result. The president should constantly deploy his most brilliant envoys to the region for continuous negotiations, and schedule all presidential investment travels around the region for closing of appropriate investment deals.

Recently, the government launched over a hundred billion naira housing programme. As good, and commendable that is, it is still a drop in the ocean, and too meagre for any significant social, and economic impact for a nation of over two hundred million population. We must seek to raise trillions of naira within a short term for the substantial growth of the sector, and its exponential impacts on the economy, and provide complementary infrastructure for urbanization, rural connections, and the financial reform of our mortgage system to reduce interest rates, increase period, and affordability, and expand access to more households. We have a large pool of idle funds in various pension schemes, and must explore a viable government means for these funds to find profitable returns in real estate business opportunities.

The erosion of value in our banking sector capitalization levels are critical challenges for our national ambitions, and obviously needs urgent rounds of renewal towards the trillions of naira capitalization threshold to adequately fund the expansion of national productivity, manufacturing, sustainable large scale credit industry, and a new middle class.

And those super highways (SHW) the president promised us need to start coming alive in urgent, and huge contract awards, and accelerated construction works as credible means to connect communities, and states across the country, and ease the movement of people, and products. Our rail networks need significant improvements, and expansion with appropriate security measures to complement the comprehensive renewal, and expansion of our transport means, and its impact in the boosting of trade, and commerce.
Generations of Nigerians have endured economic crises at different times of bad governance often with the deceptive cliché that the situation will eventually get better. President Tinubu must make a departure from that decades old political narrative, and explore credible means within the limitless possibilities of our potentials to stimulate immediate economic recovery, and long term sustainable growth, secure, and unite the country, and deliver the promise of a developing nation.

Today’s worsening economic situation is not a new territory for Nigeria as we have often travelled through tough national periods of economic stagnation, and recession, widespread poverty, and underdevelopment. The president should reasonably review thoroughly the economic reforms of the democratic government of 1999 – 2007, and draw appropriate economic lessons from the successful economic reforms of that era in reasonable FX market, and inflation management, naira stabilization, privatization, bank consolidation, the commencement of a credit system that was subsequently unscaled, a widening middle class, and amazing economic growth that put Nigeria at the forefront of the globally acclaimed narrative of Africa rising. And essentially gave a national rebirth to the audacious can do spirit of the Nigerian folks. It was an era of incredible demonstration of what we can achieve together through collective actions, and visionary leadership, and we must seek to replicate the same economic results as a navigating path out of our current economic downturn.

The current generation of Nigerians possess all that we require to transform ourselves from a nation perpetually travelling in the wrong direction into a developing country of proud citizens. The onus is essentially the president’s to lead from the front, and set forth a clear vision with opportunity for everyone to make appropriate contributions towards sustainable growth, and national development.

Tough times define great leaders. And time, and chance they say happen to all of us. There is a great moment for the president to seize, and more importantly for the sake of our nation, we hope he takes this period as an incredible chance to cement the foundation of his legacy, and unfold the greatness of Nigeria.

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Hardship: What Nigerians Must Do To Survive In Tinubu’s government – Gbolahan Adetayo

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Hardship: What Nigerians Must Do To Survive In Tinubu's government - Gbolahan Adetayo

Hardship: What Nigerians Must Do To Survive In Tinubu’s government – Gbolahan Adetayo

 

 

In a poignant reflection on Nigeria’s historical roots and economic evolution, esteemed Journalist, Gbolahan Adetayo emphasizes the pivotal role agriculture played before the discovery of crude oil and mineral resources. Historically, agriculture served as the primary source of income for Nigerians, providing sustenance for the nation.

 

Hardship: What Nigerians Must Do To Survive In Tinubu's government - Gbolahan Adetayo

 

 

 

Adetayo draws attention to the visionary leaders of the past, such as the late Obafemi Awolowo, whose administration, especially in the Western region, thrived on funds generated from agriculture, notably cocoa. The iconic Cocoa House in Ibadan, Oyo State stands as a tangible testament to the prosperity that once stemmed from agricultural endeavors.

Awolowo’s impactful initiative of free education for Nigerians marked a significant era in post-independence history. Unfortunately, Adetayo notes, a considerable number of beneficiaries of this free education system shifted away from agriculture, the very foundation of the nation’s economic strength.

Fast-forward to the present, where Nigeria faces economic challenges under President Bola Hammed Tinubu’s government. Rising inflation and the continual increase in the value of the dollar have led to widespread lamentation among the populace.

In response to these hardships, Gbolahan Adetayo advocates for a return to agriculture as a means of not only sustaining the population but also mitigating hunger in the land. Adetayo urges Nigerians to produce more food locally, emphasizing the importance of self-sufficiency in the face of economic uncertainties.

During these trying times, Adetayo highlights the need for Nigerians to shift their focus from importing food items from foreign countries, especially considering the persistent increase in the value of the dollar. Embracing locally produced food items, he argues, would not only alleviate hunger but also contribute to the overall economic resilience of the nation.

Adetayo’s call to action resonates with the historical context of Nigeria’s prosperity through agriculture and the importance of cultivating self-sufficiency in food production. As the nation grapples with economic challenges, his words serve as a reminder that a return to the roots of agriculture could pave the way for a more resilient and food-secure future for Nigeria.

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Alleged abduction of witnesses fake news – Kogi APC

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Ogun APC to PDP: Stop Circulating Fake Videos, Materials

Alleged abduction of witnesses fake news – Kogi APC

…urges security agencies to investigate, prosecute persons found culpable

 

The attention of the Kogi State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been drawn to allegations making the rounds on social media of an alleged abduction of the Witnesses of Action Alliance by persons suspected to be APC Supporters within the premises of the National Judicial Institute (NJI) where the Kogi State Governorship  Election Tribunal is currently sitting.

While it is reported that the said witnesses were abducted within the NJI premises, some other reports stated that it was outside the premises. While some reports alleged that the said witnesses have been released by their abductors, some reports alleged that they are still in the custody of their alleged abductors.

The APC Kogi State Chapter categorically refutes the mischievous allegation that any of its supporters abducted witnesses of the Action Alliance political party or even had any altercation with any witness.

The party views the allegations which are totally false to have originated from mischief makers who are out to tarnish the image of the party and whip up sentiments with the ulterior motive of prejudicing the mind of the tribunal and the public against the APC.

Indeed, the Chairman of the Kogi State Chapter of our party was in Court on the said 26th February, 2024 and he did not witness any such incidences but was only informed of a fracas which occurred between persons who were outside the tribunal complex.

The All Progressives Congress condemns the attribution of the alleged abduction to the supporters of the APC and calls on law enforcement agencies to investigate the incidence and prosecute any persons found to have committed such alleged acts.

Signed:
Abdullahi Bello
Chairman, APC
Kogi State Chapter

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