Saturday, 23 July 2016

10 Political Battles Since The Inception Of President Buhari's Administration

Really, Nigeria is in a boiling political war. Especially with the one year old administration of President Mohammadu Buhari, there have been so many troubles in the nation's political space, some disgraceful, and others to laugh about in these hard times. Here is
an examination of some of these battles.

1. Saraki's CCT Trial: The Code of Conduct Bureau cited a 13-count charge of corruption against Senator Olubukola Saraki, the President of Nigeria 8th Senate. In charge number ABT/01/15, dated September 11, 2015 and filed before the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Saraki is accused of offences ranging from anticipatory declaration of assets to making false declaration of assets in forms Saraki had filed with the Code of Conduct Bureau while he was governor of Kwara state. He was also accused of failing to declare some assets he acquired while in office as governor, acquiring assets beyond his legitimate earnings, and accused of operating foreign accounts while being a public officer. His name was also mentioned in the Panama Papers scandal

It was stated in a court affidavit that the investigation of the various petitions of corruption, theft, money laundering, among others, against Saraki in 2010, was conducted jointly by the officials of the EFCC, CCB and the DSS. “The EFCC conducted its investigation on the various petitions and made findings which showed that the defendant/applicant abused his office, while he was the governor of Kwara State and was involved in various acts of corruption as the governor of the state. The defendant/applicant borrowed huge sums of money running into billions from commercial banks, particularly Guaranty Trust Bank, and used the proceeds of the loan to acquire several landed properties in Lagos, Abuja and London, while he was the governor of Kwara State.

2. Melaye Vs Tinubu: Last week Tuesday’s shouting match between Senator Oluremi Tinubu, and Melaye during the closed-door session of the Senate is has now taken over the political space. Melaye, who represents Kogi West senatorial district in the Senate, had reportedly threatened to beat up the APC leader’s wife during the altercation between them, boasting allegedly that nothing would happen if he did so. In reaction, Senator Tinubu wrote APC, Senate and the Inspector General of Police that the Kogi lawmaker is after her life.

3. Benue State Lawmakers Clash Over Car Fraud: Benue state lawmakers engaged in fisticuffs on Tuesday, July 19, over an alleged 750 million naira car fraud. It was reported that the fracas was fueled by an alleged probe by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) into the purchase of cars for the lawmakers. The melee reportedly began on the floor of the House in Makurdi, the Benue state capital when Honourable Kester Kyenge, who is of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) raised a point of order before the consideration of votes and proceedings of the previous sitting.

4. Abia: Ogah Vs Ikpeazu: Abia state is still engulfed in a terrible political crisis. Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja on June 27 ordered the Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu, to vacate office immediately for submitting false information to his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, for the party’s governorship primary in December 2014. He also ordered the the Independent National Electoral Commission to immediately issue a certificate of return to the plaintiff, Uche Ogah, who polled the second highest number of votes in the PDP primary. The Abia crisis still lingers with various interest groups coming together in solidarity with Governor Ikpeazu, who vowed that he could not afford to relinquish his seat to Dr. Uche Ogah, saying that the mandate was freely given to him by God and Abia people.

5. Governor Fayose Vs Aisha Buhari: Following the blockage of account of the Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose, which he operates with Zenith Bank Plc, the governor vehemently reacted to the development, alleging that President Muhammadu Buhari and his family members are not saints after all. He accused President Muhammadu Buhari and his family of being corrupt. In a press release, he said, ” Even the President cannot claim to be an angel. The estate he built in Abuja is known to us. His wife was indicted over the Halliburton Scandal. When that American, Jefferson, was being sentenced, the President’s wife was mentioned as having wired $170,000 to Jefferson. Her name was on page 25 of the sentencing of Jefferson. We can serialize the judgment for people to see and read.” This generated heated controversy as Aisha Buhari, the wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, rebuked the governor over the allegation. The First Lady posted on her verified Twitter handle that:“Enough is Enough Fayose. A mad dog that isn’t chained. I refuse to keep quiet,”

6. Edo: Governor Oshiomhole and Deputy: Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo state and his deputy, Dr. Pius Odubu also engaged in war of words. The political dispute also snowballed to the state House of Assembly with the impeachment of two principal officers- Speaker, Victor Edoror and his deputy, Mr. Bright Osayande. Although a swift denial by the state government of any involvement in the impeachment.

Also governor Oshiomhole had, at the meeting, alleged that his deputy contracted native doctors to kill him. But his deputy denied the allegation vehemently, asserting that it was masterminded by people who wanted to destroy the cordial relationship between him and his boss over the past seven years.

7. Mama Taraba Vs Governor Ishaku of Taraba State: The Taraba brouhaha also characterised Political battle in President Muhamadu Buhari one year-old administration. The Appeal court had initially ruled in favour of Aisha Hassan and asked the state judiciary to swear in the popular acclaimed All progressives Congress candidate into office. The judgement generated so much debates from political analysts, politicians, Peoples Democratic Party as well as Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti. The battle also popularised the name, 'Mama Taraba'. On February 12, 2016, the election of Taraba state governor, Darius Ishaku of the People Democratic Party (PDP), was upheld by the Supreme Court.

8. PDP: Markaffi and Ali Modu Sheriff: The Ali Modu Sheriff and Markarfi factional leadership crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party is also one the political battles in President Buhari's administration. The crisis has resulted in protests, and agitations despite court ruling.

9. Trials: PDP In Oppositions: The anti-corruption trials of some prominent members of the Opposition party is also considered as a political battle that Nigeria is engulfed in. The trial has been seen by critics as being lopsided, leaving members of his cabinet untouched.

10. Kogi: Yahaya Bello And Faleke: The Gubernatorial crisis in Kogi state is also one of the noteworthy battles in President Buhari's administration. Bello’s emergence as governor followed the death of Prince Abubakar Audu, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the November 21, 2015 gubernatorial election.

Audu had polled 240,867 votes to have an edge over his opponent, the then Governor Idris Wada, who trailed behind with 199,514. Audu died shortly before the declaration of results. Trouble started when the INEC’s state Returning Officer for the Kogi governorship election, Prof Emmanuel Kucha, allegedly declined to make returns after collation of results on issues bordering on the margin of win between Audu and Wada. The deputy governorship candidate to the late Prince Abubakar Audu, Mr James Faleke, had insisted that the November 21 election was won on the joint ticket of Audu/Faleke and urged INEC to declare him as the governor. On his part, Wada, who was the then governor under the PDP, also challenged INEC to declare him winner of the poll, arguing that Audu was dead and his votes could not be inherited by anybody. 

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